Multifactor Statistical Analysis of H<sub>2</sub>O<sub>2</sub>-Enhanced Photodegradation of Nicotine and Phosphamidon

Direct and indirect photolysis (λ = 254 nm) of aqueous nicotine and phosphamidon were studied. A central composite design was used to explore the effects of initial [H<sub>2</sub>O<sub>2</sub>] (0−10 mM), pH (2.8−11.2), and ionic strength (<i>I</i><sub>c</sub> = 0.02−0.71 M) on the rate constants of nicotine and phosphamidon separately dissolved in a surface water surrogate matrix. Five levels of each factor were included in the design. For nicotine, the fastest predicted photochemical oxidation rate constant (<i>k</i> = 0.43 min<sup>−1</sup>) occurred under the following conditions: pH = 7.5, [H<sub>2</sub>O<sub>2</sub>] = 7.5 mM, and <i>I</i><sub>c</sub> = 0.02 M. This rate constant predicts that 90% of the nicotine will react within 5.4 min under these conditions. In general, the photochemical oxidation of nicotine is more rapid at lower ionic strength and near-neutral pH values. For phosphamidon, the fastest predicted oxidation rate constant (<i>k</i> = 0.65 min<sup>−1</sup>) occurred at a pH of 7.1 and [H<sub>2</sub>O<sub>2</sub>] of 5 mM. Under these conditions, 90% of the phosphamidon would react within 3.5 min of treatment. Like nicotine, the photochemical oxidation of phosphamidon is more rapid at near-neutral pH values. Ionic strength has no significant effect on the photochemical oxidation of phosphamidon.