Environmental science & technology

A new approach to catalytic degradation of dimethyl phthalate by a macroporous OH-type strongly basic anion exchange resin.

PMID 20230023


In the present study, a novel approach was developed to remove dimethyl phthalate (DMP), a representative phthalic acid ester (PAE) pollutant, from an aqueous solution using a macroporous OH-type strong base anion exchange resin D201-OH. As compared to the traditional catalyst aqueous NaOH, D201-OH displayed much higher catalytic efficiency for DMP hydrolytic degradation. Almost 100% of DMP was hydrolyzed to far less toxic phthalic acid (PA) in the presence of D201-OH, while only about 29% of DMP was converted to PA in the presence of NaOH under the identical amount of hydroxyl anions in the reaction system. More attractively, the hydrolysis product PA also can be simultaneously removed by the solid basic polymer D201-OH through a preferable anion exchange process, while NaOH induced hydrolysis products were still left in solution. The underlying mechanism for the hydrolytic degradation and simultaneous ion exchange removal process was proposed. Fixed-bed column hydrolytic degradation and ion exchange removal tests indicate that DMP can be completely converted to PA and subsequently removed from water without any further process, with pH values of the effluent being around 6 constantly. The exhausted D201-OH was amenable to an efficient regeneration by 3 bed volumes (BV) of NaOH solution (2 mol/L) for repeated use without any efficiency loss. The results reported herein indicated that D201-OH-induced catalytic degradation and removal is a promising approach for PAEs treatment in waters.