Degradation of two persistent surfactants by UV-enhanced ozonation

A. R. Tehrani-Bagha*, H. Nikkar, F. M. Menger, K. Holmberg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


In this study the treatment efficiency of different ultraviolet (UV)-enhanced ozonation processes for degradation of two surfactants, sodium dodecylbenzene sulfonate [200 mg/L or 0.3 critical micelle concentration (CMC)] and a nonylphenol ethoxylate with 40 oxyethylene units (200 mg/L∼0.5 CMC), were investigated in laboratory- scale experiments at ambient temperature. The absorbance band of the aromatic ring of the surfactants was monitored during the oxidation process. The reduction in chemical oxygen demand (COD) and total organic carbon (TOC) of the surfactant solution was evaluated. The results showed that a combination of UV irradiation and ozonation was considerably more efficient than the individual processes (at least two times more efficient in terms of COD and TOC reductions). The synergistic effect of ozonation and UV irradiation was particularly pronounced when medium-pressure UV irradiation was used. By adding alkali to the solution, the efficiency of the UV-enhanced ozonation increased with respect to COD reduction but decreased with respect to TOC reduction. This indicates partial oxidation with lower degree of mineralization of the surfactants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-66
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Surfactants and Detergents
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Alkylphenol ethoxylate-Sodium dodecylbenzene sulfonate
  • Degradation
  • Oxidation
  • Ozonation
  • UV irradiation


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