In this study, Eriochrome Black T (EBT) in water was decolorized by means of argon atmospheric pressure plasma jet (APPJ), which showed great decolorization performance. The results showed that the relatively high decolorization rate (approximately 80%) was obtained after plasma treatment for 6 min. Changes to some reactive oxygen and nitrogen species (RONS) in the liquid phase were detected. The contents of peroxide, HO·, O2·, and NO· in the plasma-treated EBT solution were much less than those in the activated water. The roles of H2O2 and HO· in the decolorization of EBT solution were explored by evaluating the effects of their scavengers, and by exploring the direct effect of H2O2. The results indicated that reactive oxygen species (ROS), especially HO· and O2·, played significant roles in the decolorization of the EBT solution. Analysis of degradation by-products indicated that plasma discharge could destroy the azo bond first and gradually break the aromatic rings of EBT molecules into small molecular compounds.

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