Rapid Total Destruction of Chlorophenols by Activated Hydrogen Peroxide

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Science  12 Apr 2002:
Vol. 296, Issue 5566, pp. 326-328
DOI: 10.1126/science.1069297

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A practical, inexpensive, green chemical process for degrading environmental pollutants is greatly needed, especially for persistent chlorinated pollutants. Here we describe the activation of hydrogen peroxide by tetraamidomacrocylic ligand (TAML) iron catalysts, to destroy the priority pollutants pentachlorophenol (PCP) and 2,4,6-trichlorophenol (TCP). In water, in minutes, under ambient conditions of temperature and pressure, PCP and TCP are completely destroyed at catalyst:substrate ratios of 1:715 and 1:2000, respectively. The fate of about 90% of the carbon and about 99% of the chlorine has been determined in each case. Neither dioxins nor any other toxic compounds are detectable products, and the catalysts themselves show low toxicity.

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