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Ultrasensitive Fluorescence Detection of Peroxymonosulfate Based on a Sulfate Radical-Mediated Aromatic Hydroxylation

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journal contribution
posted on 19.11.2018 by Gui-Xiang Huang, Jin-Yan Si, Chen Qian, Wei-Kang Wang, Shu-Chuan Mei, Chu-Ya Wang, Han-Qing Yu
Recently, peroxymonosulfate (PMS)-based advanced oxidation processes have exhibited broad application prospects in the environment field. Accordingly, a simple, rapid, and ultrasensitive method is highly desired for the specific recognition and accurate quantification of PMS in various aqueous solutions. In this work, SO4•–-induced aromatic hydroxylation was explored, and based on that, for the first time, a novel fluorescence method was developed for the PMS determination using Co2+ as a PMS activator and benzoic acid (BA) as a chemical probe. Through a suite of spectral, chromatographic, and mass spectrometric analyses, SO4•– was proven to be the dominant radical species, and salicylic acid was identified as the fluorescent molecule. As a result, a whole radical chain reaction mechanism for the generation of salicylic acid in the BA/PMS/Co2+ system was proposed. This fluorescence method possessed a rapid reaction equilibrium (<1 min), an ultrahigh sensitivity (detection limit = 10 nM; quantification limit = 33 nM), an excellent specificity, and a wide detection range (0–100 μM). Moreover, it performed well in the presence of possible interfering substances, including two other peroxides (i.e., peroxydisulfate and hydrogen peroxide), some common ions, and organics. The detection results for real water samples further validated the practical utility of the developed fluorescence method. This work provides a new method for the specific recognition and sensitive determination of PMS in complex aqueous solutions.