Photo-Fenton-like treatment of the commercially important naphthalene sulphonate K-acid (2-naphthylamine-3,6,8-trisulphonic acid) was investigated using UV-C, UV-A and visible light irradiation. Changes in toxicity patterns were followed by the Vibrio fischeri bioassay. Rapid and complete degradation of K-acid accompanied with nearly complete oxidation and mineralization rates (>90%) were achieved for all studied irradiation types. On the other hand, detoxification was rather limited and did not change significantly during photo-Fenton-like treatment. Several oxidation products could be identified via liquid chromatograph–mass spectrometer analyses, such as desulphonated and hydroxylated naphthalene derivatives, quinones, and ring-opening as well as dimerization products. Photo-Fenton-like treatment of K-acid with UV-C, UV-A and visible light irradiation occurred through a series of hydroxylation and desulphonation reactions, followed by ring cleavage. A common degradation pathway for photo-Fenton-like treatment of K-acid using different irradiation types was proposed.

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