The removal of p-chloronitrobenzene (pCNB) was investigated by a heterogeneous Fenton-like system using a laboratory synthesized goethite (FeOOH) as catalyst. The influencing factors and the degradation pathway of pCNB were also evaluated. With a stronger catalytic activity than Fe2+ catalyst, the synthesized FeOOH catalyst can significantly promote the decomposition of H2O2, and the decomposition product hydroxyl radicals (·OH) can oxidize pCNB in the water effectively. The FeOOH catalyst can also adsorb a certain amount of pCNB, and the adsorption effect is related to the amount of FeOOH and the initial pH value of solution. The results of liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry (LC-MS) and gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC-MS) showed that the main intermediate products were phenolic compounds and carbonyl compounds. About 60% of pCNB was mineralized during the catalytic oxidation, and chlorine and nitro groups on benzene ring were converted into Cl and NO3 after being attacked.

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