Hydroxyl radicals are strong oxidants in aqueous solution, reacting rapidly with a wide range of dissolved compounds. In contrast, ozone is a highly selective oxidant. Understanding the process by which ozone is transformed into hydroxyl radicals is important in the treatment of wastewater and drinking water. We use electron spin-resonance spectroscopy to demonstrate that when microbubbles of ozone in strongly acidic aqueous solution collapse, the ozone progressively decomposes and large quantities of hydroxyl radicals are generated. Moreover, the degradation of polyvinyl alcohol, which is ozone resistant, was also observed during the collapse of the microbubbles. These findings indicate that ozone microbubbles are potentially useful in future water-treatment applications.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films
- Materials Chemistry