The Effect of Spectral Composition on the Photochemical Production of Hydrogen Peroxide in Lake Water


Hydrogen peroxide was produced when samples of lake water were exposed to direct or filtered sunlight in which UV or UV (B+C) light was selectively removed. In all cases, the concentration of hydrogen peroxide increased linearly with time-integrated irradiance. While both visible and UV light can induce the formation of hydrogen peroxide, the contribution from the latter was disproportionately large as it was responsible for about two-thirds of the formation of hydrogen peroxide. Among the UV lights, the contributions from UV-A and UV-(B+C) light were 70% and 30% respectively. The contribution form UV-A light was equivalent to about one half of the total production of hydrogen peroxide. Thus, relative to its contribution to the total irradiance in the solar spectrum, UV-A light is the most efficient type of light for the formation of hydrogen peroxide in lake waters.

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