Degradation of landfill leachate compounds by persulfate for groundwater remediation

Hua Zhong, Yaling Tian, Qi Yang, Mark L. Brusseau, Lei Yang, Guangming Zeng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


In this study, batch and column experiments were conducted to evaluate the feasibility of using persulfate oxidation to treat groundwater contaminated by landfill leachate (CGW). In batch experiments, persulfate was compared with H2O2 and permanganate for oxidation of organic compounds in CGW. Complementary experiments were conducted to evaluate biodegradation (natural attenuation) potential for the system. Persulfate was observed to be superior to H2O2 and permanganate for degradation of total organic carbon (TOC) in the CGW. Conversely, biodegradation caused only partial removal of TOC in CGW. In contrast, persulfate caused complete degradation of the TOC in the CGW or aged CGW, showing no selectivity to the contaminants. Magnetite (Fe3O4) enhanced degradation of leachate compounds in both CGW and aged CGW with limited increase in persulfate consumption and sulfate production. Under dynamic flow condition in 1-D column experiment, both biodegradation and persulfate oxidation of TOC were enhanced by Fe3O4. The enhancement, however, was significantly greater for persulfate oxidation. In both batch and column experiments, Fe3O4 by itself caused minimal consumption of persulfate and production of sulfate, indicating that magnetite is a good persulfate activator for treating CGW in heterogeneous systems The results of the study show that the persulfate-based in-situ chemical oxidation (ISCO) method has great potential to treat the groundwater contaminated by landfill leachate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)399-407
Number of pages9
JournalChemical Engineering Journal
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017


  • Biodegradation
  • Contaminated groundwater
  • Landfill leachate
  • Magnetite
  • Persulfate oxidation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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