The effect of chloride and sulfate ions on the oxidation of methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE) and its degradation products in a Fenton-like system was studied. Although both chloride and sulfate ions inhibited the decomposition of H 2O 2, chlorides were found to be
the more effective inhibitor of MTBE degradation. In the presence of sulfates, MTBE decomposition can be attributed to oxidation not only by hydroxyl radicals, but also likely by SO 4·− species. In the presence of chloride ions, it is possible that the dichloride
radical is formed, which is less reactive than OH•. In the system under investigation, t-butyl alcohol was found to be the major byproduct, followed by t-butyl formate and acetone. The degradation rates of all intermediates and their inhibition in the presence of inorganic ions are similar
to those obtained for MTBE, although their distributions are related to the concentrations of inorganic salts added.
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