Chlorinated phenols 5

Chlorinated aromatics, such as chlorophenols, are environmental pollutants of great health concern.

Among the 19 different chlorophenols:

  • 2-chlorophenol (2-CP)
  • 2,4-dichlorophenol (2,4-DCP)
  • 2,4,6-trichlorophenol (2,4,6- TCP)
  • pentachlorophenol (PCP)

have been listed by the US EPA as priority pollutants.

These compounds have widely been used in the production of pesticides, herbicides, and wood preservatives. They can also be generated as byproducts in industrial operations, such as the paper pulp bleaching process and water disinfection with chlorine.

Being released into the environment, chlorophenols can enter water streams through various transport mechanisms and can also chemisorb onto soil surfaces and aquatic sediments.
Due to their toxicity, these xenobiotics are consequently harmful to humans, animals, and fish that are exposed to such contaminated environments. Because of their toxic properties to microorganisms, these compounds are also recalcitrant to conventional biological treatment.

Such substances may, however, be treated using UV irradiation.
Previous studies suggest that photolytic transformation is one of the major mechanisms contribute to the degradation of chlorophenols in aquatic environments.

Photolytic degradation
of chlorinated phenols

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