TiO2-mediated photocatalytic mineralization of a non-ionic detergent: Comparison and combination with other advanced oxidation procedures

Péter Hegedus, Erzsébet Szabó-Bárdos, Ottó Horváth, Krisztián Horváth, Péter Hajós

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Citations (Scopus)


Triton X-100 is one of the most widely-applied man-made non-ionic surfactants. This detergent can hardly be degraded by biological treatment. Hence, a more efficient degradation method is indispensable for the total mineralization of this pollutant. Application of heterogeneous photocatalysis based on a TiO2 suspension is a possible solution. Its efficiency may be improved by the addition of various reagents. We have thoroughly examined the photocatalytic degradation of Triton X-100 under various circumstances. For comparison, the efficiencies of ozonation and treatment with peroxydisulfate were also determined under the same conditions. Besides, the combination of these advanced oxidation procedures (AOPs) were also studied. The mineralization of this surfactant was monitored by following the TOC and pH values, as well as the absorption and emission spectra of the reaction mixture. An ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography (UHPLC) method was developed and optimized for monitoring the degradation of Triton X-100. Intermediates were also detected by GC-MS analysis and followed during the photocatalysis, contributing to the elucidation of the degradation mechanism. This non-ionic surfactant could be efficiently degraded by TiO2-mediated heterogeneous photocatalysis. However, surprisingly, its combination with the AOPs applied in this study did not enhance the rate of the mineralization. Moreover, the presence of persulfate hindered the photocatalytic degradation. 2015 by the authors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)231-250
Number of pages20
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Advanced oxidation process
  • Nonionic surfactant
  • Ozonation
  • Persulfate
  • Photocatalytic degradation
  • Titanium dioxide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)

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