Destructive oxidation of phenol in dilute aqueous solution with molecular oxygen
Phelan, Frank Dennis
Master of Science
The objectionable characteristics of trace amounts of phenol in water has prompted considerable interest in development of methods of removal of phenol and phenolic materials from wastes. Removal processes have been developed which utilize absorption, extraction, chemical oxidation, or biological oxidation. These methods are frequently inefficient and costly, especially for dilute wastes. The development of a type of Zimmermaim Process to destructively oxidize phenolic material in aqueous solution could decrease costs and increase efficiency of phenolic waste removal. A preliminary study of this type of process is the purpose of this work. Bata is presented to show the feasibility of liquid-phase oxidation of phenol in dilute aqueous solution with molecular oxygen. Batch reactor data, showing the effects of concentration, time, temperature, and amount of oxygen on the reaction rate, lead to development of a first-order rate equation for phenol removal. A catalytic effect of the reactor wall is noted. The reaction products are indicated and a reaction mechanism is proposed. The proposed mechanism appears to be an adequate explanation of the data and the products.