Ultrasonic Destruction of Surfactants: Application to Industrial Wastewaters

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Abstract:

This research focused on the use of sonication to destroy surfactants and surface tension properties in industrial wastewaters that affect traditional water treatment processes. We have investigated the sonochemical destruction of surfactants and a chelating agent to understand the release of metals from surfactants during sonication. In addition, the effects of physical properties of surfactants and the effect of ultrasonic frequency were investigated to gain an understanding of the factors affecting degradation. Sonochemical degradation of surfactants was observed to be more effective than nonsurfactant compounds. In addition, as the concentration is increased, the degradation rate constant does not decrease as significantly as with nonsurfactant compounds in the near-field acoustical processor reactor. The degradation of metal complexes is not as effective as in the absence of the metal. However, this is likely an artifact of the model complexing agent used. Surfactant metal complexes are expected to be faster, as they will accumulate at the hot bubble interface, significantly increasing ligand exchange kinetics and thus degradation of the complex.

Keywords: degradation; ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid; industrial wastewater; sonication; surfactants

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2175/106143005X41834

Publication date: May 1, 2005

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  • Water Environment Research® (WER®) publishes peer-reviewed research papers, research notes, state-of-the-art and critical reviews on original, fundamental and applied research in all scientific and technical areas related to water quality, pollution control, and management. An annual Literature Review provides a review of published books and articles on water quality topics from the previous year.

    Published as: Sewage Works Journal, 1928 - 1949; Sewage and Industrial Wastes, 1950 - 1959; Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, 1959 - Oct 1989; Research Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, Nov 1989 - 1991; Water Environment Research, 1992 - present.
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