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Reductive Dehalogenation of Gas-phase Trichloroethylene using Heterogeneous Catalytic and Electrochemical Methods

by Ju, Xiumin.

Abstract (Summary)
The first part of this work investigates catalytic hydrodechlorination (HDC) of gas-phase trichloroethylene (TCE) using 0.5 wt.% Pt/?-Al2O3 and 0.0025 wt.% Pt/SiO2 in packedbed reactors. TCE was efficiently transformed on the platinum surface using H2 as reducing agent. The main products of the reaction were ethane and chloroethane. In the case of Pt/Al2O3, more than 94% TCE conversion efficiency was maintained for over 700 hours of operation at 100ºC at a residence time of 0.37 seconds. At 22ºC, severe catalyst deactivation was observed. Catalyst deactivation was attributed to coking and chlorine poisoning. A series of treatments including (i) hydrogen gas addition at high temperature (oxygen free) to remove chlorine and (ii) oxygen addition at 500ºC to remove coke were attempted to regenerate the deactivated catalyst. Only hydrogen treatment partially restored catalyst activity. When using Pt/SiO2, catalyst deactivation was severe even at 100ºC, probably due to low surface area of Pt and the silica support. Adding KOH to the packed Pt/SiO2 catalyst during (otherwise) normal operation slowed catalyst deactivation. Adding O2 to the influent improved catalyst activity and slowed deactivation. The second part of this research involves the destruction of gas-phase TCE using an electrochemical reactor similar in design of a polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cell. With a proton-conducting membrane in the middle, the anode and cathode comprised of carbon cloth and carbon-black-supported Pt were hotpressed together to form a membrane electrode assembly (MEA). TCE contaminated gas streams were fed to the cathode side of the fuel cell, where TCE was reduced to ethane and hydrochloric 11 acid. The results suggest that TCE reduction occurs via a catalytic reaction with atomic hydrogen that is reformed on the cathode’s surface rather than an electrochemical reduction via direct electron transfer. Substantial conversion of TCE was obtained, even in the presence of molecular oxygen in the cathode chamber. The process was modeled successfully by conceptualizing the cathode chamber as a plug flow reactor with a continuous source of H2 (g) emanating from the boundary. 12
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School:The University of Arizona

School Location:USA - Arizona

Source Type:Master's Thesis

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