Effect of surfactants on the degradation of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) by ultrasonic (US) treatment

Jo Chen Lin, Ching-Yao Hu, Shang Lien Lo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Citations (Scopus)


Abstract Perfluorooctanoic acid (C7F15COOH, PFOA) is an aqueous anionic surfactant and a persistent organic pollutant. It can be easily adsorbed onto the bubble-water interface and both mineralized and degraded by ultrasonic (US) cavitation at room temperature. The aim of this study is to investigate whether the effect of US on the degradation of PFOA in solution can be enhanced by the addition of surfactant. To achieve this aim, we first investigated the addition of a cationic (hexadecyl trimethyl ammonium bromide, CTAB), a nonionic (octyl phenol ethoxylate, TritonX-100), and an anionic (sodium dodecyl sulfate, SDS) surfactant. We found the addition of CTAB to have increased the degradation rate the most, followed by TritonX-100. SDS inhibited the degradation rate. We then conducted further experiments characterizing the removal efficiency of CTAB at varying surfactant concentrations and solution pHs. The removal efficiency of PFOA increased with CTAB concentration, with the efficiency reaching 79% after 120 min at 25°C with a 0.12 mM CTAB dose.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2941
Pages (from-to)130-135
Number of pages6
JournalUltrasonics Sonochemistry
Publication statusPublished - Jul 15 2016


  • Critical micelle concentration
  • Hexadecyl trimethyl ammonium bromide
  • Perfluorooctanoic acid
  • Surfactants
  • Ultrasonic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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