Aquatic environment

Dechlorination of carbon tetrachloride by the catalyzed Fe-Cu process

XU Wen-ying , GAO Ting-yao


Received August 30, 2006,Revised February 28, 2007, Accepted , Available online

Volume 19,2007,Pages 792-799

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The electrochemical reduction characteristics of carbon tetrachloride (CT) were investigated using cyclic voltammetry in this study. In addition, the di erence in reduction mechanisms of CT between Master Builders’ iron and the catalyzed Fe-Cu process was discussed. The results showed that CT was reduced directly on the surface of copper rather than by atomic hydrogen produced at the cathode in the catalyzed Fe-Cu process. The reduction was realized largely by atomic hydrogen in Master Builders’ iron. The entire CT in 350 ml aqueous solution with 320 mg/L was reduced to trichloromethane and dichloromethane in 2.25 h when 100 g of scrap iron with Fe/Cu ratio of 10:1 (w/w) were used. Moreover, the reduction rate slowed with time. CT could be reduced at acidic, neutral and alkaline pH from solution by Fe-Cu bimetallic media, but the mechanisms were di erent. The degradation rate was not significantly influenced by pH in the catalyzed Fe-Cu process; in Master Builders’ iron it clearly increased with decreasing pH. The kinetics of the reductions followed pseudo-first order in both cases. Furthermore, the reductions under acidic conditions proceeded faster than that under the neutral and alkaline conditions. The catalyzed Fe-Cu process was superior to Master Builders’ iron in treating CT-containing water and this advantage was particularly noticeable under alkaline conditions. The reduction was investigated in the cathode (Cu) and anode (Fe) compartments respectively, the results showed that the direct reduction pathway played an important role in the reduction by the catalyzed Fe-Cu process. The catalyzed Fe-Cu process is of practical value.

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