Oxidation in Supercritical Water: Reaction Pathways and Kinetics (REU Supplement)

Project: Research project

Project Details


Several technologies are in use for the safe treatment of hazardous wastes. Some of these include adsorption, incineration, and biodegradation. Aqueous waste streams with moderate organic concentrations (1-30%) may be too dilute for economical incineration and too concentrated for treatment by adsorption or biodegradation. For such streams oxidation in supercritical water (SCW) is a potential alternative technology. Hazardous organic chemicals present in aqueous waste streams can thus be converted to carbon dioxide and water. This work is aimed at understanding the kinetics of the oxidation of hazardous organic wastes in SCW to be used in the design and development of such processes. Phenol, naphthalene, chlorobenzene and acetic acid will be oxidized in SCW. The oxidation reactions will be conducted in a flow reactor and the products will be analyzed by high performance liquid chromatography, gas chromatography, and gas chromatography mass spectrometry. Examining the variation of the products' yields and the reactant conversion with the reactor residence time will facilitate resolution of the reaction pathways and determination of the reaction kinetics. The project will provide opportunities for practical engineering advances as well as fundamental advances in understanding chemical reaction processes in supercritical fluids.

Effective start/end date12/15/9011/30/94


  • National Science Foundation: $218,408.00


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