Degradation of PAHs by high frequency ultrasound

Ioannis D. Manariotis, Hrissi K. Karapanagioti, Constantinos V. Chrysikopoulos

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81 Scopus citations


Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are persistent organic compounds, which have been reported in the literature to efficiently degrade at low (e.g. 20 kHz) and moderate (e.g. 506 kHz) ultrasound frequencies. The present study focuses on degradation of naphthalene, phenanthrene, and pyrene by ultrasound at three different relatively high frequencies (i.e. 582, 862, and 1142 kHz). The experimental results indicate that for all three frequencies and power inputs ≥133 W phenanthrene degrades to concentrations lower than our experimental detection limit (<1 μg/L). Phenanthrene degrades significantly faster at 582 kHz than at 862 and 1142 kHz. For all three frequencies, the degradation rates per unit mass are similar for naphthalene and phenanthrene and lower for pyrene. Furthermore, naphthalene degradation requires less energy than phenanthrene, which requires less energy than pyrene under the same conditions. No hexane-extractable metabolites were identified in the solutions.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)2587-2594
Number of pages8
JournalWater Research
Issue number8
StatePublished - Apr 2011


  • High frequency
  • Naphthalene
  • Phenanthrene
  • Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons
  • Pyrene
  • Ultrasonic treatment


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