Accelerated oxidation of VOCs via vacuum ultraviolet photolysis coupled with wet scrubbing process

Haibao Huang , Ruijie Xie , Dongxue Lei , Xiaowen Xie , Ziyi Suo , Dennis Y.C. Leung , Jianping Cao , Fang Ruimei


Received January 26, 2022,Revised , Accepted May 01, 2022, Available online May 13, 2022

Volume 35,2023,Pages 55-64

Vacuum ultraviolet (VUV) photolysis is a facile method for volatile organic compounds (VOCs) elimination, but is greatly limited by the relatively low removal efficiency and the possible secondary pollution. To overcome above drawbacks, we developed an efficient method for VOCs elimination via VUV photolysis coupled with wet scrubbing process. In this coupled process, volatile toluene, a representative of VOCs, was oxidized by the gas-phase VUV photolysis, and then scrubbed into water for further oxidation by the liquid-phase VUV photolysis. More than 96% of toluene was efficiently removed by this coupled process, which was 2 times higher than that in the gas-phase VUV photolysis. This improvement was attributed to the synergistic effect between gas-phase and liquid-phase VUV photolysis. O3 and HO are the predomination reactive species for the toluene degradation in this coupled process, and the generation of O3 in gas-phase VUV photolysis can efficiently enhance the HO production in liquid-phase VUV photolysis. The result from in-situ proton transfer reaction ionization with mass analyzer (PTR-MS) further suggested that most intermediates were trapped by the wet scrubbing process and efficiently oxidized by the liquid-phase VUV photolysis, showing a high performance for controlling the secondary pollution. Furthermore, the result of stability test and the reuse of solution demonstrated that this coupled process has a highly stable and sustainable performance for toluene degradation. This study presents an environmentally benign and highly efficient VUV photolysis for gaseous VOCs removal in the wet scrubbing process.

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