Iron-activated persulfate oxidation degrades aqueous Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) at ambient temperature

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA, C8HF15O2) is an industrial surfactant that is highly resistant to natural breakdown processes such as those mediated by heat, hydrolysis, photolysis, and biodegradation. Many efforts have been developed to breakdown PFOA to less harmful species due to its widespread human exposure and potential toxicity. However, these methods require high temperature or specialized equipment with serious disadvantages of high energy cost for long-term use. We investigated the effectiveness of PFOA degradation by ferrous iron-activated persulfate oxidation (IAPO) under various aqueous geochemical conditions. Approximately 64% of PFOA (initial concentration = 1.64 μmol L−1) was degraded after 4 h under illuminated anoxic conditions at ambient temperature. This degradation rate and magnitude support the potential use of IAPO as a novel inexpensive and environmentally friendly method to remediate PFOA in soil and groundwater.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number130824
StatePublished - Oct 2021


  • Emerging contaminants
  • Environmental remediation
  • Ferric oxide
  • Mass spectrometry
  • PFAS
  • Perfluorinated compounds

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • General Chemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


Dive into the research topics of 'Iron-activated persulfate oxidation degrades aqueous Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) at ambient temperature'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this