The Use of Ultrasound for the Degradation of Pollutants in Water: Aquasonolysis – A Review



The degradation of organic compounds in water is the subject of a number of fundamental and applied investigations. Aquasonolysis of organic compounds is an advanced technology for the purification of contaminated water. The process is based on the phenomenon of acoustic cavitation. Dominant reactions of volatile compounds are: cavitative high-temperature gas-phase reactions and thermal-oxidative decay in bubbles. Nonvolatile compounds are mainly decomposed by OH radicals in the aqueous solution (sonolytical cleavage of water). This article reviews mechanisms and kinetics of pollutant decomposition in water and discusses the influence of different experimental parameters. An overview of the application spectrum of aquasonolysis is provided, analyzing results gathered in experiments completed in our group as well as results reported in the literature.