Chlorophenols are compounds with high toxicity, poor biodegradability, and carcinogenic and recalcitrant properties. This work studies, for the first time, the destruction and detoxification of 2-chlorophenol (2-CP) in water using 60Co gamma radiation under different conditions including varied radiation doses, addition of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), and varied pH values. High-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and ion chromatography (IC) confirmed a successful degradation of 2-CP to primarily yield phenol molecules and chloride anions. A radiation dose as low as 25 kGy achieved approximately 90% removal of 50–150 ppm of 2-CP in neutral water. However, the addition of a strong oxidizer such as H2O2 to 2-CP solutions reduced the required dose to achieve 90% removal to at least 1.3-fold. The reduction in radiation doses was also observed in acidic and alkaline media, reducing the required doses of 90% removal to at least 0.4-fold. It was imperative to study the toxicity levels of the oxidation by-products to provide directions for the potential applicability of this technology in water treatment. Toxicology Microtox® bioassay indicated a significant reduction in the toxicity of the degradation by-products and the detoxification was further enhanced by the addition of H2O2 and changing the pH to more acidic or alkaline conditions. These findings will contribute to the knowledge of the removal and detoxification of such challenging environmental contaminant and could be potentially applied to other biologically resistant compounds.
Synthetic dyes are persistent pollutants with poor biodegradability. The present study is about the degradation of direct Congo red dye in aqueous media using the Co-60 gamma radiation source. The experimental conditions such as gamma-ray absorbed doses, amount of oxidant (H2O2) and pH conditions were evaluated. The λmax of dye solution was noted as 498 nm, and then, decrease in absorbance and reduction in chemical oxygen demand (COD) were examined. The complete colour removal of dye was observed at 5 kGy, while a significant COD removal was observed at 15 kGy gamma-ray absorbed dose in conjunction with oxidant for 50 mg/L concentration. It was found that pH has no influence on degradation efficiency. A possible degradation pathway was proposed. The radiolytic end products were monitored by Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) and gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry (GC-MS) to explore the degradation mechanism. It was imperative to study the oxidative degradation pathway to provide directions for potential applicability of advanced oxidation process (AOP) in industrial wastewater treatment.