Decomposition of nitrotoluenes from trinitrotoluene manufacturing process by Electro-Fenton oxidation.

Research paper by Wen-Shing WS Chen, Jing-Song JS Liang

Indexed on: 25 Apr '08Published on: 25 Apr '08Published in: Chemosphere


Oxidative degradation of dinitrotoluene (DNT) isomers and 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene (TNT) in spent acid was conducted by Electro-Fenton's reagents. The electrolytic experiments were carried out to elucidate the influence of various operating parameters on the performance of mineralization of total organic compounds (TOC) in spent acid, including reaction temperature, dosage of oxygen, sulfuric acid concentration and dosage of ferrous ions. It deserves to note that organic compounds could be completely destructed by Electro-Fenton's reagent with in situ electrogenerated hydrogen peroxide obtained from cathodic reduction of oxygen, which was mainly supplied by anodic oxidation of water. Based on the spectra analyzed by gas chromatograph/mass spectrometer, it is proposed that initial denitration of 2,4,6-TNT gives rise to formation of 2,4-DNT and/or 2,6-DNT, which undergo the cleavage of nitro group into o-mononitrotoluene, followed by denitration to toluene and subsequent oxidation of the methyl group. Owing to the removal of both TOC and partial amounts of water simultaneously, the electrolytic method established is potentially applied to regenerate spent acid from toluene nitration processes in practice.