Adsorption and photocatalyzed oxidation of methylated arsenic species in TiO2 suspensions

Environ Sci Technol. 2007 Aug 1;41(15):5471-7. doi: 10.1021/es0628349.


Monomethylarsonic acid (MMA) and dimethylarsinic acid (DMA) are used as herbicides in the agriculture industry. We have demonstrated that MMA and DMA are readily degraded upon TiO2 photocatalysis. DMA is oxidized to MMA as the primary oxidation product, which is subsequently oxidized to inorganic arsenate, As(V). The adsorption of MMA and DMA on Ti02 surface was measured as a function of initial arsenic concentration and solution pH. The pH of the solution influences the adsorption and photocatalytic degradation to a similar degree, due to the speciation of the arsenic substrates and surface charge of TiO2 as a function of pH. The mineralization of MMA and DMA by TiO2 photocatalysis follows the Langmuir-Hinshelwood kinetic model. Addition of tert-butyl alcohol, a hydroxyl radical scavenger, during TiO2 photocatalysis dramatically reduces the rate of degradation, indicating that *OH is the primary oxidant. For dilute solutions, TiO2 may also be applicable as an absorbent for direct removal of a variety of arsenic species, namely As(III), As(V), MMA, and DMA, all of which are strongly adsorbed, thus eliminating the need for a multistep treatment process.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adsorption / radiation effects
  • Arsenicals / chemistry*
  • Cacodylic Acid / chemistry*
  • Catalysis / radiation effects
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Kinetics
  • Light*
  • Oxidation-Reduction / radiation effects
  • Solutions
  • Suspensions
  • Titanium / chemistry*
  • tert-Butyl Alcohol / chemistry


  • Arsenicals
  • Solutions
  • Suspensions
  • titanium dioxide
  • Cacodylic Acid
  • Titanium
  • monomethylarsonic acid
  • tert-Butyl Alcohol