Application of heterogeneous catalysts in ozonation of model compounds in water
Guzman Perez, Carlos Alberto
The presence of micropollutants, particularly pesticides, in surface waters across Canada has been of concern not only for their environmental impact, but also for their potential effects on human health and recalcitrant nature to conventional water treatment methods. Although ozone has been mainly applied for disinfection of drinking water, oxidation of trace organics by ozonation has been considered potentially effective. In an effort to meet increasingly stringent drinking water regulations, different solid catalysts have been used to enhance the removal of water contaminants by ozonation. In spite of the increasing number of data demonstrating the effectiveness of heterogeneous catalytic ozonation, the influence of different factors on the efficiency of micropollutants oxidation is still unclear. In the present work, application of three solid catalysts in ozonation of two model micropollutants in pure water was examined using a laboratory-scale reaction system over a range of operating conditions. The three catalysts investigated were activated carbon, alumina, and perfluorooctyl alumina, and the two model micropollutants were the pesticides atrazine and 2,4-dichlorophenoxyactic acid. The effects of solution pH, presence of a radical scavenger, pesticide adsorption on catalyst, and catalyst dose on micropollutant removal were investigated. Solution pH was found to significantly influence the catalyst ability to decompose ozone into free hydroxyl radicals. The effect of these free radicals was markedly inhibited by the radical scavenger resulting in a negative impact on pesticides degradation. In general, the removal rate of pesticides was found to increase with increasing doses of catalyst. In the ozonation process in the presence of activated carbon, atrazine removal rates increased four and two times when using a catalyst dose of 0.5 g L-1 at pH 3 and 7, respectively, whereas observed reaction rates for 2,4-D increased over 5 times in the presence of 1 × 10-4 M tert-butyl alcohol at pH 3. In the ozonation system catalyzed by 8 g L-1 alumina, the observed reaction rate constant of atrazine removal notably improved at neutral pH by doubling the micropollutant removal rate. For the pesticide 2,4-D in the presence of 1 × 10-4 M tert-butyl alcohol at pH 5, the observed removal rate was over ten times higher than that for the non-catalytic ozonation process using also using a catalyst dose of 8 g L-1. Modification of alumina to produce perfluorooctyl alumina resulted in a material able to significantly adsorb atrazine, while not exhibiting affinity for adsorption of 2,4-D. In spite of its adsorptive properties, perfluorooctyl alumina was found to enhance neither molecular ozone reactions nor ozone decomposition into hydroxyl radicals. Thus, the observed removal rates for atrazine and 2,4-D by ozonation in the presence of perfluorooctyl alumina did not increase significantly.
DegreeMaster of Science (M.Sc.)
CommitteeScott, Robert; Hwang, Dae Kun; Niu, Catherine
Copyright DateDecember 2011