The thermal transformation mechanism of chlorinated paraffins: An experimental and density functional theory study

Shanzhi Xin , Wei Gao , Dandan Cao , Kun Lv , Yaquan Liu , Chunyan Zhao , Yawei Wang , Guibin Jiang


Received April 12, 2018,Revised , Accepted May 25, 2018, Available online June 08, 2018

Volume 31,2019,Pages 378-387

The increasing production and usage of chlorinated paraffins (CPs) correspondently increase the amount of CPs that experience thermal processes. Our previous study revealed that a significant amount of medium-chain chlorinated paraffins (MCCPs), short-chain chlorinated paraffins (SCCPs) as well as aromatic and chlorinated polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (Cl-PAHs) were formed synergistically during the thermal decomposition of CP-52 (a class of CP products). However, the transformation mechanisms of CP-52 to these compounds are still not very clear. This article presents a mechanistic analysis on the decomposition of CP-52 experimentally and theoretically. It was found that CP-52 initially undergoes dehydrochlorination and carbon chain cleavage and it transformed into chlorinated and unsaturated hydrocarbons. Cyclization and aromatization were the most accessible pathways at low temperatures (200–400°C), both of which produce mostly aromatic hydrocarbons. As the temperature exceeds 400°C, the hydrocarbons could decompose into small molecules, and the subsequent radical-induced reactions become the predominant pathways, leading to the formation of Cl-PAHs. The decomposition of CP-52 was investigated by using density functional theory and calculations demonstrating the feasibility and rationality of PCB and PCN formation from chlorobenzene. The results improve the understanding of the transformation processes from CP-52 to SCCPs and Cl-PAHs as well as provide data for reducing their emissions during thermal-related processes.

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