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Study on Mechanism of Wet Air Oxidation of Emulsification Wastewater

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Wet air oxidation (WAO) can effectively be used to treat high-concentration, non-biodegradable emulsification wastewater that contains nonionic matters. Gas chromatograph analysis of emulsification wastewater after oxidation indicated that a catalyst increased production of fatty acids but could not promote its oxidation between 160 and 180 °C. When the temperature was greater than or equal to 220 °C, the catalyst not only increased production of fatty acids initially but effectively promoted its oxidation in later stages and significantly reduced the concentration of residual surfactants. Experiments proved that fatty acids (especially acetic acid) were the primary intermediate products and that oxidation of these acids was the rate-limiting step. During the process of catalytic WAO of emulsification wastewater, active oxygen molecules attacked organic matters resulting in production of fatty acids, ketone, alcohol, hydrocarbon, and oligo-polyether through radical chain reactions.

Keywords: catalyst; emulsification wastewater; fatty acid; rate-limiting step; wet air oxidation

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2009-04-01

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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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