Development of a Physico-Chemical Process for the Removal of Organic Compounds from Waste Streams

J. O'Brien, T. Curtin, and T.F. O'Dwyer (Ireland)


Adsorption, catalytic oxidation, wastewater treatment water re-use


Zeolite beta was investigated in this study with a view to examining it’s potential to function as both adsorbent and catalyst in the removal of aniline from aqueous solutions. The H-Beta zeolite was first loaded with copper in an ion exchange process to enhance it’s catalytic activity. Experimental results indicated an aniline adsorbed level of approximately 110 – 120 mg g-1 for the 1.4Cu-Beta zeolite. The adsorption process followed the Langmuir model and the level of aniline adsorbed was largely unaffected by a change in temperature. The kinetics of the adsorption process indicated that maximum uptake of aniline occurred within five minutes. Assessment of the aqueous stability of the exchanged copper on the zeolite indicated minimum copper leaching in the range pH 5 to pH 11 thus providing a stable working pH range for the 1.4Cu-Beta adsorbent material. Catalytic oxidation studies were carried out on the aniline loaded 1.4Cu-Beta following adsorption. Mass spectroscopic analysis of the exhaust gases from the catalytic reactor suggested clear oxidation of the aniline to carbon dioxide, water and nitrogen with minor amounts of nitrogen oxide gases being produced. Successive adsorption/catalytic oxidation cycles did not diminish the adsorption capacity of the 1.4Cu-Beta zeolite for aniline uptake.

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