Decomposition of perfluorooctanic acid by carbon aerogel with persulfate

Yu Chi Lee, Yueh Feng Li, Shang Lien Lo, Jeff Kuo, Wenjie Sun, Ching Yao Hu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Thermally-activated persulfate (PS) has been recognized as one of the most effective Advanced oxidation processes (AOPs) to oxidize Persistent perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). Applications of Carbon aerogel (CA)-activated PS for PFOA decomposition at 25, 40, 50 and 60 °C were evaluated. With the presence of CA in PS oxidation, 85.7% of PFOA was decomposed to fluoride ions and intermediates of short-chain perfluorinated carboxylic acids (PFCAs) with a 34.5% defluorination efficiency at 60 °C after 8 h. PFOA was decomposed and mineralized to fluoride ions in the CA + PS system following a stepwise degradation process of C6F13COOH → C5F11COOH → C4F9COOH → C3F7COOH → C2F5COOH → CF3COOH at 60 °C. The decomposition and defluorination rates of the combined CA + PS system at 60 °C were approximately 1.83 and 1.61 times faster than those of the PS-only system, respectively. With CA in the PS system, activation energies of PFOA removal and defluorination were significantly reduced from 66.8 to 37.2 and 97.3 to 49.2 kJ/mol, respectively. It implies that applying CA could effectively promote the PFOA degradation that leads to significant savings in energy consumption and reductions in process time. Characteristics of CA used were evaluated by using N2 adsorption, zeta potential, Raman, SEM, XRD, XPS and FT-IR techniques. A quenching test was conducted by using methanol as an inhibitor and Electron spin resonance (ESR) spectra of free radicals were analyzed for development of proposed reaction mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish
Article number132900
JournalChemical Engineering Journal
Publication statusPublished - Feb 15 2022


  • Activation energy
  • Carbon aerogel
  • Defluorination
  • Perfluorooctanoic acid
  • Persulfate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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