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Effects of Ionizing Radiation on Aqueous Solutions of the Detergent Al!tylbenzenesulfonate and Several Lower Homologs


Cohen, Jules Bernard (1965) Effects of Ionizing Radiation on Aqueous Solutions of the Detergent Al!tylbenzenesulfonate and Several Lower Homologs. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/67ES-AK62.


A study was conducted of the degradation of benzene-, p-toluene-, and alkylbenzenesulfonates under the action of ionizing radiation from a 3400 curie, Cobalt-60 irradiator. Effects of varying solute concentrations, pH, and dissolved oxygen concentrations were observed as functions of the energy absorbed by the solutions. The rates of oxygen depletion and the rates of hydrogen peroxide, enol, and sulfate production were followed by irradiating the solutions for varying periods of time. Results of the irradiations indicate that, in aerated solutions, the major mode of degradation is by desulfonation of the molecule. Degradation was accompanied by significant losses in oxygen, possibly a result of direct oxidation of the solute by radiation, rather than by free radical reactions. Enols were also found to occur, but at very low concentrations. The product formed as a result of desulfonation of benzenesulfonic acid appeared to be quinonoid rather than phenolic in nature. In deaerated solutions, enol yields were found to decrease, while sulfates were not observed. A more rapid decrease in the ultraviolet absorption peaks of these homologs in deaerated solutions was attributed to the formation of dimers. The study indicates that the use of radiation, as a water or wastewater treatment process for degrading organic compounds, would necessarily be limited to aerated solutions in situations where the large losses of oxygen would not be detrimental

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:(Civil Engineering)
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Engineering and Applied Science
Major Option:Civil Engineering
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Samples, William R. (advisor)
  • McKee, Jack E. (advisor)
Thesis Committee:
  • Unknown, Unknown
Defense Date:8 March 1965
Record Number:CaltechETD:etd-09122002-091628
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:3481
Deposited By: Imported from ETD-db
Deposited On:16 Sep 2002
Last Modified:10 Feb 2024 00:50

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