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Research articles

ScienceAsia 41 (2015): 49-54 |doi: 10.2306/scienceasia1513-1874.2015.41.049

Decolourization of an azo dye in aqueous solution by ozonation in a semi-batch bubble column reactor

Che Zulzikrami Azner Abidin*, Muhammad Ridwan Fahmi, Ong Soon-An, Siti Nurfatin Nadhirah Mohd Makhtar, Nazzery Rosmady Rahmat

ABSTRACT:     The oxidative degradation of the azo dye Reactive Red 120 by ozonation was investigated. The decolourization was carried out by bubbling ozone at the bottom of a bubble column reactor containing the dye solution. The colour, chemical oxygen demand, and total organic carbon removal were evaluated, and the contaminants were characterized based on the changes in UV-Vis and FT-IR spectra. It was observed that changes of UV-Vis spectra represent the disappearance of both azo and aromatic groups, which causes the colour removal. FT-IR analysis indicated that ozonation shifts the functional groups in the azo dye which results in decolourization, a decrease in aromaticity, and an increase in acidity. The results indicate that the chromophore is destroyed and partially mineralized to small fragments during ozonation. The alkaline pH was favourable to decomposition by ozonation, initiated by the formation of the hydroxyl radicals. The oxidation followed first-order kinetics and the completed decolourization confirmed the capability of ozonation to cleave the azo bond from the dye.

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School of Environmental Engineering, Universiti Malaysia Perlis (UniMAP), 02600 Arau, Perlis, Malaysia

* Corresponding author, E-mail: zulzikrami@unimap.edu.my

Received 25 Mar 2014, Accepted 13 Feb 2015