Water, Air, & Soil Pollution

, 230:271 | Cite as

Paracetamol Degradation Performance and Mechanisms Using Microwave-Assisted Heat-Activated Persulfate in Solutions

  • Qi Zhang
  • Song Cheng
  • Hongying XiaEmail author
  • Libo ZhangEmail author
  • Junwen Zhou
  • Chunyang Li
  • Jianhua Shu
  • Xin Jiang


A microwave (MW) heat-activated the persulfate (PS) process was employed to treat paracetamol (PAM) in wastewater, and the powder-activated carbon (PAC) be used is used as a catalyst to accelerate this reaction process. The PAM added (100 mg) to the solution was nearly completely removed within 70 min, and the PH, temperature, PAC, and PS dosage have great influence on the degradation process; the total organic carbon (TOC) removal rate reached 98%. The PAC1 still had a good catalytic effect after being reused six times. The radical mechanism was investigated to determine the type of dominant active species involved in PAM degradation. Sulfate radicals (\( {\mathrm{SO}}_4^{-\bullet } \)) were the dominant oxidizing agent for PAM degradation under acidic conditions. The degradation mechanism was proposed based on the PAM degradation intermediates, which were identified using ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography coupled with linear trap quadrupole orbitrap mass spectrometry. Three types of possible reaction pathways for PAM were identified as follows: including hydroxylation of the benzene ring, amine group oxidation at the benzene ring, and amine (HN–C=O) functional group N–C bond cleavage.


Paracetamol degradation Catalysis Persulfate Microwave Activated carbon Mechanism 


Funding information

National Natural Science Foundation of China(21966019、21567013), Yunan Ten Thousand Talents Plan Young & Elite Talents Project(2018-73), and Extracurricular Science and Technology Innovation Fund Project of Kunming University of Science and Technology (2015YB004)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Complex Nonferrous Metal Resources Clean UtilizationKunming University of Science and TechnologyKunmingChina
  2. 2.Yunnan Provincial Key Laboratory of Intensification Chemosphere MetallurgyKunming University of Science and TechnologyKunmingChina
  3. 3.Key Laboratory of Unconventional Metallurgy, Ministry of EducationKunming University of Science and TechnologyKunmingChina
  4. 4.Faculty of Metallurgy and Energy EngineeringKunming University of Science and TechnologyKunmingChina

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