Accelerated Oxidation of Organic Micropollutants during Peracetic Acid Treatment in the Presence of Bromide Ions


Peracetic acid (PAA), an alternative disinfectant of chlorine, has drawn increasing attention in the application of wastewater treatment. However, little is known about the influence of water matrices on PAA-induced organic micropollutant (OMP) degradation. Here, we found that the coexisting bromide ions (Br–) in water can trigger the oxidation of OMP during PAA treatment but probably result in higher ecotoxicity. Br– can efficiently decompose PAA with a species-specific rate constant (kPAAH/Br–) of 0.198 ± 0.003 M–1·s–1. The thus generated HOBr led to a significant abatement (31.8–81.3%) of OMPs (17α-ethinylestradiol, sulfamethoxazole, naproxen, and phenol) after a 1 h reaction at pH 7.1. The coexisting H2O2 component in the PAA solution can competitively consume HOBr and inhibit OMP transformation. The OMP degradation in the PAA/Br– process was highly pH-dependent and preferred acidic conditions. Furthermore, a comprehensive model was established to simulate the reaction kinetics of the OMP degradation by the PAA/Br– process with good accuracy. High-performance/electrospray ionization-triple quadrupole mass spectrometry results indicated the generation of various brominated products, with higher model-predicted toxicity than their parent compounds. This work significantly advances the understanding of the role of Br– in OMP oxidation by PAA and alerts the possible environmental health risks.