Environmental science & technology

Mechanisms of dioxin formation from the high-temperature pyrolysis of 2-bromophenol.

PMID 14717166


Brominated hydrocarbons are the most commonly used flame retardants. Materials containing brominated hydrocarbons are frequently disposed in municipal and hazardous waste incinerators as well as being subjected to thermal reaction in accidental fires. This results in the potential for formation of brominated dioxins and other hazardous combustion byproducts. In contrast to chlorinated hydrocarbons, the reactions of brominated hydrocarbons have been studied only minimally. As a model brominated hydrocarbon that may form brominated dioxins, we studied the homogeneous, gas-phase pyrolytic thermal degradation of 2-bromophenol in a 1-cm i.d., fused-silica flow reactor at a concentration of 90 ppm, with a reaction time of 2.0 s, and over a temperature range of 300 to 1000 degrees C. Observed products included dibenzo-p-dioxin (DD), 1-monobromodibenzo-p-dioxin (1-MBDD), 4-monobromodibenzofuran (4-MBDF), dibenzofuran (DF), naphthalene, bromonaphthalene, 2,4- and 2,6-dibromophenol, phenol, bromobenzene, and benzene. These results are compared and contrasted with previous results reported for 2-chlorophenol. At temperatures lower than 700 degrees C, formation of 2-bromophenoxyl radical, which decomposes through CO elimination to form a bromocyclopentadienyl radical, forms naphthalene and 2-bromonaphthalene through radical recombination/rearrangement reactions. However, unlike the results for 2-chlorophenol, where naphthalene is the major product, DD becomes the major product for the pyrolysis of 2-bromophenol. The formation of DD and 1-MBDD are attributed to radical-radical reactions involving 2-bromophenoxyl radical with the carbon- (bromine) centered radical and the carbon- (hydrogen) centered radical mesomers of 2-bromophenoxyl radical, respectively. The potential product, 4,6-dibromodibenzofuran (4,6-DBDF) for which the analogous product, 4,6-dichlorodibenzofuran (4,6 DCDF), was observed in the oxidation of 2-chlorophenol, was not detected. This is attributed to the pyrolytic conditions of our experiments (e.g., shorter reaction times and higher temperatures) that favor reaction intermediates that form DD and 1-MBDD.

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2-Bromophenol, 98%