This study investigated photocatalysis of MTBE via both UV/TiO2 and H2O2-UV/TiO2 processes. Several experimental parameters including pH level, H2O2 concentration, TiO2 dosage and light intensity were investigated. The experimental results demonstrated the degradation of MTBE following a pseudo first-order reaction in both reaction systems. Faster degradation rates were observed in alkaline solution for the UV/TiO2 system, but for the H2O2-UV/TiO2 system, faster degradation rates were detected in acidic solution. More dosage of TiO2 and irradiated light intensity were beneficial for the photocatalysis of MTBE. However, a peak reaction rate was observed at a TiO2 concentration of about 500 mg/L. The experimental results also indicated that the degradation rate of MTBE was enhanced by the addition of H2O2. H2O2 could be a more efficient electron acceptor than oxygen for retarding recombination of electron–hole pairs. The degradation rate in the H2O2-UV/TiO2 system was about 2.8 times faster than that in the UV/TiO2 system for solution pH below 5, and the rate increased 30% for solution pH above 6. In addition, it is observed that the reaction rate of MTBE increased quickly with H2O2 concentration at low H2O2 dosages, but the rate was independent of H2O2 dosage when adding too much H2O2.

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