Chelate-modified fenton reaction for the degradation of trichloroethylene in aqueous and two-phase systems

Scott Lewis, Andrew Lynch, Leonidas Bachas, Steve Hampson, Lindell Ormsbee, Dibakar Bhattacharyya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

97 Scopus citations


The primary objective of this research was to model and understand the chelate-modified Fenton reaction for the destruction of trichloroethylene (TCE) present in both the aqueous and organic (in the form of droplets) phases. The addition of a nontoxic chelate (L), such as citrate or gluconic acid, allows for operation at near-neutral pH and controlled release of Fe(II)/Fe(III). For the standard Fenton reaction at low pH in two-phase systems, an optimum H 2O 2:Fe(II) molar ratio was found to be between 1:1 and 2:1. Experimentation proved the chelate-modified Fenton reaction effectively dechlorinated TCE in both the aqueous and organic phases at pH 6-7 using low H 2O 2:Fe(II) molar ratios (4:1 to 8:1). Increasing the L:Fe ratio was found to decrease the rate of H 2O 2 degradation in both Fe(II) and Fe(III) systems at near-neutral pH. Generalized models were developed to predict the concentration of TCE in the aqueous phase and TCE droplet radius as a function of time using literature-reported hydroxyl radical reaction kinetics and mass transfer relationships. Additional aspects of this work include the reusability of the Fe-citrate complex under repeated H 2O 2 injections in real water systems as well as packed column studies for simulated groundwater injection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)849-859
Number of pages11
JournalEnvironmental Engineering Science
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2009


  • Citrate
  • Groundwater
  • Hydroxyl radical
  • Iron
  • TCE droplet

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution


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