The presence of tartrazine (TAR) in the water cycle poses serious threats to human health. This study investigated the used of light emitting diodes (LEDs) in the advanced oxidation of TAR under different pH and duty cycle (DC) conditions. The first order reaction rate constant for TAR oxidation was positively correlated with DC, negatively correlated with pH, and typically greatest at pH 6. Chemical byproduct analysis indicated that OH addition, H abstraction, and electron transfer without molecule transfer were among the relevant reaction mechanisms for TAR degradation. Six byproducts were identified, four were reported for the first time, and two demonstrated that TAR rings were cleaved. This research is the first to determine the optimal pH for UVLED-driven oxidation of TAR and the first to identify new TAR-related byproducts from UVLED-based water treatment.

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