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Journal Articles Applied Catalysis A : General Year : 2015

Catalytic ozonation with γ-Al2O3 to enhance the degradation of refractory organics in water

Mendret Julie
Nicolas Lesage
  • Function : Author
Karine Faucher
  • Function : Author
Stephan Brosillon


Nowadays, heterogeneous catalytic ozonation appears as a promising way to treat industrial wastewaters containing refractory pollutants, which resist to biological treatments. Several oxides and minerals have been used and their behavior is subject to controversy with particularly the role of Lewis acid sites and/or basic sites and the effect of salts. In this study, millimetric mesoporous γ-Al2O3 particles suitable for industrial processes were used for enhancing the ozonation efficiency of petrochemical effluents without pH adjustment. A phenol (2,4-dimethylphenol (2,4-DMP)) was first chosen as petrochemical refractory molecule to evaluate the influence of alumina in ozonation. Single ozonation and ozonation in presence of γ-Al2O3 led to the disappearance of 2,4-DMP in 25 min and a decrease in pH from 4.5 to 2.5. No adsorption of 2,4-DMP occurred on γ-Al2O3. Adding γ-Al2O3 in the process resulted in an increase of the 2,4–DMP oxidation level. Indeed, the total organic carbon (TOC) removal was 14% for a single ozonation and 46% for ozonation with γ-Al2O3. Similarly, chemical oxygen demand (COD) removal increases from 35 to 75%, respectively. Various oxidized by-products were produced during the degradation of 2,4-DMP, but after 5 h ozonation 90% of organic by-products were acetic acid > formic acid ≫ oxalic acid. Some of the carboxylic acids were adsorbed on γ-Al2O3. The use of radical scavengers (tert-butanol) highlighted the involvement of hydroxyl radicals during catalytic ozonation with γ-Al2O3 in contrary to single ozonation, which mainly involved direct ozone reaction. γ-Al2O3 is an amphoteric solid with Lewis acid AlOH(H+) sites and basicAl-OH sites. After ozonation the amount of basic sites decreased due to carboxylates adsorption, while the Lewis acid sites remained constant as evidenced by FTIR. Several ozonation runs with γ-Al2O3 reported a progressive decrease of its catalytic activity due to the cumulative sorption of carboxylates on the basic sites. After 80 h of ozonation, a calcination at 550 °C allowed to recover allAl-OH basic sites and the initial activity of γ-Al2O3. A synthetic petrochemical effluent containing various petrochemicals (phenol, acetic acid, naphtenic acid, pyrene, naphtalene) was then treated with γ-Al2O3 with and without NaCl. Sodium ions prevented carboxylates adsorption on γ-Al2O3 leading to a higher efficiency of γ-Al2O3 in presence of NaCl and allowed to decrease the toxicity of the petrochemical effluent.
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hal-01079847 , version 1 (06-11-2018)



Jullian Vittenet, Aboussaoud Wael, Mendret Julie, Jean-Stephane Pic, Hubert Jean-Stephane, et al.. Catalytic ozonation with γ-Al2O3 to enhance the degradation of refractory organics in water. Applied Catalysis A : General, 2015, 504, pp.519-532. ⟨10.1016/j.apcata.2014.10.037⟩. ⟨hal-01079847⟩
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