The role of calcium ions in the photocatalytic oxidation of humic acid at neutral pH


Gokongwei College of Engineering


Chemical Engineering

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Conference Proceeding

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Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences



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Humic acids (HAs) are natural organic matter derived from the decomposition of plant, algal, and microbial materials. They belong to the group of the most predominant type of natural organic matter present in ground and surface waters. HAs affect the mobility and bioavailability of aquatic contaminants. However, if they are left unremoved from the water before water treatment processes, they can form carcinogenic disinfection by-products, such as trihalomethanes, haloacetic acids, and other halogenated disinfection by-products, that can pose a threat to human beings. An advanced oxidation process using UV light and a commercially available titanium dioxide was used to oxidize HA at a pH that is similar to that of natural water. The effect of adding calcium ions to the adsorption and the photocatalytic oxidation of HAs was studied. The effect of varying the TiO2 load was also investigated. The experiment was done using a photochemical batch reactor equipped with a mercury lamp emitting light with wavelengths of 310-580 nm. The absorbances by the samples were determined at wavelengths of 254 nm and 436 nm, which represent the aromatic-compound content of and the color of the solution, respectively. Results indicated calcium ions have an effect on both the adsorption and the photocatalytic oxidation of HA at a pH within 8.0 ± 0.5. Calcium ions facilitated adsorption of HA onto the surface of TiO2 and resulted to faster photocatalytic oxidation. The data were plotted with respect to the normalized absorbances and irradiation time. © 2008 New York Academy of Sciences.


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Chemical Engineering


Calcium ions; Humic acid; Titanium dioxide; Oxidation

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