Enhancement effects of chelating agents on the degradation of tetrachloroethene in Fe(III) catalyzed percarbonate system

Zhouwei Miao, Xiaogang Gu, Shuguang Lu, Mark L. Brusseau, Xiang Zhang, Xiaori Fu, Muhammad Danish, Zhaofu Qiu, Qian Sui

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


The performance of Fe(III)-based catalyzed sodium percarbonate (SPC) for stimulating the oxidation of tetrachloroethene (PCE) for groundwater remediation applications was investigated. The chelating agents citric acid monohydrate (CIT), oxalic acid (OA), and glutamic acid (Glu) significantly enhanced the degradation of PCE. Conversely, ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) had a negative impact on PCE degradation, which may due to its strong Fe chelation and HO scavenging abilities. However, excessive SPC or chelating agent will retard PCE degradation. In addition, investigations using free radical probe compounds and radical scavengers revealed that PCE was primarily degraded by HO radical oxidation in both the chelated and non-chelated systems, while O2- also participated in the non-chelated system and the OA and Glu modified systems. According to the electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) studies, the presence of HO in the Fe(III)/SPC system was maintained much longer than that in the Fe(II)/SPC system. The results indicated that the addition of CIT, OA or Glu indeed enhanced the generation of HO in the first 10min and promoted degradation efficiency by increasing the amount of Fe(III) and maintaining the concentration of HO radicals in solution. In conclusion, chelated Fe(III)-based catalyzed SPC oxidation is a promising method for the remediation of PCE-contaminated groundwater.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)286-294
Number of pages9
JournalChemical Engineering Journal
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015


  • Chelating agents (CAs)
  • Groundwater remediation
  • Hydroxyl radical (HO<sup></sup>)
  • Sodium percarbonate (SPC)
  • Tetrachloroethene (PCE)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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