Ozone and hydroxyl radical are the most active oxidizing species in water treated with gas-phase pulsed corona discharge (PCD). The ratio of the species dependent on the gas phase composition and treated water contact surface was the objective for the experimental research undertaken for aqueous phenol (fast reaction) and oxalic acid (slow reaction) solutions. The experiments were carried out in the reactor, where aqueous solutions showered between electrodes were treated with 100-ns pulses of 20 kV voltage and 400 A current amplitude. The role of ozone increased with increasing oxygen concentration and the oxidation reaction rate. The PCD treatment showed energy efficiency surpassing that of conventional ozonation.

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