The effects of pH on the photocatalytic decomposition of 2,4,6-trichlorophenol (TCP) were investigated in the presence of titanium dioxide suspensions illuminated by a high pressure mercury lamp over the wavelength range of 302-405 nm. Higher degradation rate was observed under alkaline conditions than acidic conditions. Although a rapid adsorption of TCP onto the TiO2 surface was observed at low pH and no adsorption at high pH, the role of adsorption of TCP was found insignificant in photocatalysis. With sodium chloride addition, a decrease in reaction rate was observed at pH 5 due to Cl ions inhibition, but at pH 10 the same anions had no adverse effect on the measured photocatalytic efficiency and Na+ ions enhanced the degradation rate of TCP. With no oxygen, however, the photocatalytic decomposition of TCP in sodium chloride solution gives lower degradation rate than with dissolved oxygen and no sodium chloride at various pH. Complete mineralization requires a longer illumination time than the decomposition of the parent compound. A mechanism for the reaction based on photogeneration of hydroxyl radicals was proposed.

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