Application of a novel advanced oxidation process using sulfite and zero-valent iron in treatment of organic pollutants

Pengchao Xie, Yizhou Guo, Yiqun Chen*, Zongping Wang, Ran Shang, Songlin Wang, Jiaqi Ding, Ying Wan, Wei Jiang, Jun Ma

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

104 Citations (Scopus)


A novel advanced oxidation process, combined zero-valent iron and sulfite (Fe0/sulfite) system containing oxygen, was firstly developed to efficiently degrade organic pollutants at weak acidic and neutral conditions by selecting X-3B as a target compound. The removal of X-3B was attributed to the formed reactive radicals, such as SO4 -, SO5 - and HO[rad], in the Fe0/sulfite system, and SO4 - was evidenced as the principal reactive species. The quite low removal efficiency of X-3B (less than 5%) after reaction for 90 min with purging nitrogen gas suggests oxygen to be an essential factor for producing SO4 - in the system. Optimal dosages of Fe0 and sulfite were suggested to be 0.5 mM and 1.0 mM, respectively, in the system as both the two chemicals would scavenge the reactive radicals at overdosing. The presence of 2 mM bicarbonate significantly inhibited the removal of X-3B from 74.1% to 37.5% in the system. Halide ions inhibited the removal of X-3B following a trend that Cl <Br <I. HSO3 , being effective in complexion of Fe(II) and transferring Fe(III) to Fe(II), is the main species during pHs 4–6, which results in the good reuse of Fe0 and the highest removal efficiency of X-3B at weak acidic condition. Fe0/sulfite system was also evidenced to be effective in the treatment of actual textile effluents along with improving biodegradability, and the removal of nitrobenzene, methylparaben, bisphenol A, imipramine and amitriptyline. Overall, this study provided a cheap and easy operational advanced oxidation process in treatment of aqueous organic pollutants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)240-248
Number of pages9
JournalChemical Engineering Journal
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2017


  • Biodegradability
  • Oxygen
  • Sulfate radical (SO )
  • Sulfite
  • X-3B
  • Zero-valent iron (Fe)


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