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Advances in Environmental Research
  Volume 2, Number 4, December 2013 , pages 261-277

Photocatalytic and Sonophotocatalytic degradation of alachlor using different photocatalyst
Manisha V. Bagal and Parag R. Gogate

    The degradation of alachlor has been investigated using sonolysis (US), photocatalysis (UV) and sonophotocatalysis (US/UV) using three photocatalyst viz. TiO2 (mixture of anatase and rutile), TiO2 (anatase) and ZnO. The effect of photocatalyst loading on the extent of degradation of alachlor has been investigated by varying TiO2 (both types) loading over the range of 0.01 g/L to 0.1 g/L and ZnO loading over the range of 0.05 g/L to 0.3 g/L. The optimum loading of the catalyst was found to be dependent on the type of operation i.e., photocatalysis alone or the combined operation of sonolysis and photocatalysis. All the combined processes gave complete degradation of alachlor with maximum rate of degradation being obtained in the case of sonophotocatalytic process also showing synergistic effect at optimized loading of photocatalyst. About 50% to 60% reduction in TOC has been obtained using the combined process of sonophotocatalysis depending on the operating conditions. The alachlor degradation fitted first order kinetics for all the processes under investigation. It has been observed that the TiO2 (mixtrure of anatase and rutile) is the most active photocatalyst among the three photocatalysts studied in the current work. The effect of addition of radical enhancers and scavengers on sonophotocatalytic degradation of alachlor has been investigated in order to decipher the controlling mechanism. The alachlor degradation products have been identified using LC-MS method.
Key Words
    alachlor degradation; sonophotocatalysis; photocatalysis; ultrasound; process intensification
Manisha V. Bagal and Parag R. Gogate: Chemical Engineering Department, Institute of Chemical Technology, Matunga, Mumbai-40019, India.

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