Transformation of dissolved organic phosphorus to phosphate using UV/H2O2

Hugo R. Sindelar, Jacquline Lloyd, Mark T. Brown, Treavor H. Boyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Phosphorus (P) driven eutrophication remains a problem in waterways worldwide. High P levels can significantly alter ecosystems, changing species composition and diversity. Most current P treatment technologies cannot adequately remove recalcitrant forms of P from the water column. As a result, this study evaluated the UV/H2O2advanced oxidation process (AOP) for the photodegradation of recalcitrant-P in natural waters to biologically available phosphate, which is analogous to soluble reactive P (SRP). In turn, SRP can be removed using available P treatment technologies. The UV/H2O2AOP was tested in synthetic waters and natural water from the Florida Everglades. Results showed that the photodegradation of recalcitrant P to SRP is possible using UV fluences of at least 5.1 J/cm2and H2O2doses of at least 50 mg H2O2/L. The UV/H2O2AOP was able to consistently convert recalcitrant-P to SRP in synthetic waters. However, the complex chemistry of Everglades water made consistent conversion of recalcitrant-P to SRP hard to achieve. An increase in the efficiency of UV lights is needed to make the UV/H2O2AOP economically feasible for conversion of recalcitrant-P to SRP in natural waters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)680-691
Number of pages12
JournalEnvironmental Progress and Sustainable Energy
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • UV
  • advanced oxidation process
  • hydrogen peroxide
  • natural organic matter
  • recalcitrant phosphorus
  • triethyl phosphate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology
  • General Environmental Science
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Environmental Chemistry


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