Hybrid advanced oxidation processes (AOPs), where two or more AOPs are applied simultaneously, are known to give effective degradation of recalcitrant organic pollutants. This article attempts to discern the physical mechanism of the hybrid sono-Fenton process with identification of links between individual mechanism of the sonolysis and Fenton process. An approach of coupling experimental results with simulations of cavitation bubble dynamics has been adopted for two textile dyes as model pollutants. Fenton process is revealed to have greater contribution than sonolysis in the overall decolorization of both dyes. H2O2 added to the liquid medium as a Fenton reagent scavenges radicals produced by cavitation bubbles. Addition of only H2O2 to the medium during sonolysis does not yield marked difference in decolorization. Elimination of transient cavitation with application of elevated static pressure to the medium does not alter the extent of decolorization. The synergy between sonolysis and Fenton process is, thus, revealed to be negative. The dissolved oxygen in the medium is found to play an important role in decolorization through conservation of oxidizing radicals. © 2013 American Institute of Chemical Engineers AIChE J, 59: 4303–4313, 2013
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