Aquatic environment

Reduction of nitrobenzene by the catalyzed Fe/Cu process

XU Wenying , LI Ping , FAN Jinhong


Received October 10, 2007,Revised February 18, 2008, Accepted , Available online

Volume 20,2008,Pages 915-921

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The polarization behavior of the couple Fe/Cu in 100 mg/L nitrobenzene aqueous solution was studied using Evans coupling diagrams. The results indicated that the iron corrosion was limited by both anodic and cathodic half-cell reactions under the neutral conditions, and cathodically controlled under the alkaline conditions. Batch experiments were performed to study the e ect of solution pH, reaction duration, concentration, type of electrolyte, and dissolved oxygen (DO) on the reduction of nitrobenzene by the catalyzed Fe/Cu process. This process proved e ective in the pH range of 3 to 11. The conversion e ciency of nitrobenzene at pH around 10.1 was almost the same as that under highly acid conditions (pH around 3). The degradation of nitrobenzene fell into two phases: adsorption and surface reduction, and the influence of adsorption and mass transfer became more extensive with solution concentration. The reduction rate decreased in the presence of DO in the solution, indicating that a need for aeration was eliminated in the catalyzed Fe/Cu process. Accordingly, spending on energy consumption would be reduced. Economic analysis indicated that merely 0.05 kg was required for the treatment of a ton of nitrobenzene-containing water with pH from 3 to 11. The catalyzed Fe/Cu process is cost-e ective and of practical value.

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