Heterogeneous photocatalytic oxidation of nitrotoluenes

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The photocatalytic oxidation rates of nitrotoluene (2-NT and 3-NT) and dinitrotoluene (2,4-DNT and 2,6-DNT) in aqueous suspensions of Degussa P-25 were found to be pH independent because these compounds do not exhibit any pH-dependent speciation. The reaction rates of mononitrotoluenes were found to be 60 to 80% greater than those of dinitrotoluenes. A Langmuir–Hinshelwood (L–H) rate form is used to describe the kinetics of the photocatalytic oxidation of these compounds. The L–H constant k 1 has been found to be essentially independent of the compound being degraded. At low concentrations, the reaction rates of nitrotoluenes decrease with increasing nitration. This has been explained through the electron-withdrawing characteristics of the nitro group, employing the Hammett relationship, with the reaction rates following the sequence

Toluene > 3-NT > 2-NT > 2,4-DNT > 2,6-DNT > TNT (trinitrotoluene, predicted)

The photocatalytic oxidation of 2,6-DNT produces ammonium and nitrate ions. Attempts at augmenting the reaction rate by addition of hydrogen peroxide or Cu2+ ions did not significantly increase the reaction rate.


Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2175/106143097X125993

Publication date: November 1, 1997

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  • Water Environment Research® (WER®) publishes peer-reviewed research papers, research notes, state-of-the-art and critical reviews on original, fundamental and applied research in all scientific and technical areas related to water quality, pollution control, and management. An annual Literature Review provides a review of published books and articles on water quality topics from the previous year.

    Published as: Sewage Works Journal, 1928 - 1949; Sewage and Industrial Wastes, 1950 - 1959; Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, 1959 - Oct 1989; Research Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, Nov 1989 - 1991; Water Environment Research, 1992 - present.
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