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Feasibility of a tandem photocatalytic oxidation-adsorption system for removal of monoaromatic compounds at concentrations in the sub-ppm-range.

Chemosphere (2009-08-12)
Wan-Kuen Jo, Chang-Hee Yang
ABSTRACT

Unlike previous photocatalytic oxidation (PCO) studies incorporated with adsorption, this study investigates the feasibility of applying a tandem PCO-adsorption hybrid technique regarding low-level monoaromatic compound removal. The PCO efficiencies decreased as the hydraulic diameter (HD) increased. A PCO reactor of a medium HD size was selected for further experiments. Under conditions relevant to the use of the PCO system, the CO level measured during the PCO process was minimal in comparison to indoor CO levels. Trace level formations of formaldehyde and acetaldehyde were observed during the photocatalytic process, but these compounds were undetectable at the activated carbon unit outlet. The degradation efficiencies, obtained from the PCO unit, exhibited a dependence on both the inlet concentration (IC) and relative humidity (RH), whereas those from the PCO-adsorption hybrid system did not. Under specific conditions, the PCO unit presented a high degradation efficiency of close to, or exceeding 90%, in regards to ethyl benzene, o-xylene, and m,p-xylene. However, the benzene air concentrations, after being treated by the PCO unit, substantially exceeded the USEPA inhalation reference concentration guideline of 30microgm(-3) (corresponding to 0.01ppm). In contrast, the PCO-adsorption hybrid system presented a high removal efficiency of close to 100% regarding all compounds, regardless of the IC or RH range. Consequently, it is suggested that the PCO-adsorption hybrid system has a synergistic advantage of photocatalysis and adsorption in regards to the BTEX elimination process.

MATERIALS
Product Number
Brand
Product Description

Supelco
o-Xylene, analytical standard
Sigma-Aldrich
o-Xylene, anhydrous, 97%
Sigma-Aldrich
Xylenes, reagent grade
Supelco
o-Xylene, Pharmaceutical Secondary Standard; Certified Reference Material
Supelco
o-Xylene, suitable for HPLC, 98%
Sigma-Aldrich
Xylenes, ACS reagent, ≥98.5% xylenes + ethylbenzene basis
Sigma-Aldrich
Xylenes, histological grade
Sigma-Aldrich
o-Xylene, puriss. p.a., ≥99.0% (GC)
Sigma-Aldrich
o-Xylene, reagent grade, ≥98.0%
Supelco
o-Xylene solution, certified reference material, 5000 μg/mL in methanol