Effect of frequency and power on the piezocatalytic and sonochemical degradation of dyes in water

Franziska Bößl, Valentin C. Menzel, Efthalia Chatzisymeon, Tim P. Comyn, Peter Cowin, Andrew J. Cobley, Ignacio Tudela

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For the very first time, the effect of frequency on the piezocatalytic degradation of dyes has been systematically evaluated. To achieve this, a combination of systems and experimental setups operating at different ultrasonic frequencies ranging from 20 kHz up to 1 MHz were used. In addition, the effect of ultrasonic power was investigated at a low ultrasonic frequency of 20 kHz and higher ultrasonic frequency of 576 kHz to shed more light into the controversial discussion surrounding the ‘true’ mechanisms behind piezocatalysis. The results revealed that mechanical effects derived from acoustic cavitation, predominant at lower ultrasonic frequencies (100 kHz), the chemical effects derived from acoustic cavitation were so remarkable, that it raised the question of whether a piezocatalyst is really necessary when the optimisation of frequency and power may be enough for sonochemistry to fully degrade organic pollutants at a fast rate (pseudo first-order degradation reaction rate constant up to 0.037 min−1).
Original languageEnglish
Article number100477
Number of pages13
JournalChemical Engineering Journal Advances
Early online date9 Mar 2023
Publication statusPublished - 15 May 2023

Bibliographical note

© 2023 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/bync-nd/4.0/).


School of Engineering, The University of Edinburgh – Start Up fund.
Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland – RIG009799 grant.
EPSRC – EP/P030564/1 grant.


  • Piezocatalysis
  • Sonochemistry
  • Dye degradation
  • Cavitation
  • Ultrasonic frequency
  • Ultrasonic power


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