Room Temperature and Atmospheric Pressure Dioxygen Activation for the Deep Oxidation of Organic Wastes (TSE03-O) Grant uri icon



  • 0328827 Cheng (1) Intellectual merit of the proposed activity
    The aim of this investigation is to use dioxygen from air as the oxidizing agent for the destruction of organic pollutants and their surrogates under mild reaction conditions. We have recently discovered a method for the aqueous, room temperature, and atmospheric pressure of dioxygen from air. Such scheme is remarkable in that only air, water, iron particles, and a suitable iron chelation agent are required (Fe(0)/EDTA/O2). No expensive precious metal catalysts are used in the process. This process is a rare instance of abiotic dioxygen activation at room temperature. To our knowledge this is the only instance in which complete degradation of chlorinated organics compounds proceeds with dioxygen as the ultimate oxidant under such mild reaction conditions. We have recently demonstrated this system's oxidizing capabilities on a variety of surrogates including 4-chlorophenol, pentachlorophenol, phenol, nitrobenzene, and malathion. In all cases the starting compounds were degraded into simpler non-toxic carboxylic acids, and carbon dioxide. In this study we intend to examine the mechanism by which this system is able to generate kinetically facile oxidizing species from O2, a study of the reaction pathways through an elemental balance of the products, a survey of the oxidizing capabilities of this system. In terms of a study with both scientific and technical aspects, kinetic studies of the process are also proposed. Variables such as Fe(0) dissolution rate, O2 demand, and EDTA concentration are of interest with the eventual goal of increasing reaction kinetics.
    (2) Broader impacts resulting from the proposed activity.
    There is a significant interest in the discovery of a method for the destruction of organic pollutants under mild reaction conditions with inexpensive reagents. The Fe(0)/EDTA/O2 process fulfills these criteria. Ultimately, it is hoped that this system will lead to the development of field portable organic pollutant destruction schemes that can be rapidly commercialized and used by non-specialized personnel. The Fe(0)/EDTA/O2 process has a strong possibility for scale-up since there are no specialized catalysts or reagents required to activate dioxygen.

date/time interval

  • November 1, 2003 - October 31, 2006

total award amount

  • 100,000