Chemical oxidative degradation of methyl tert-butyl ether in aqueous solution by Fenton's reagent

Xiang Rong Xu, Zhen Ye Zhao, Xiao Yan Li, Ji Dong Gu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

109 Scopus citations

Abstract

Degradation of methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE) in aqueous solution by Fenton's reagent (Fe2+ and H2O2) was investigated. Effects of reaction conditions on the oxidation efficiency of MTBE by Fenton's reagent were examined in batch experiments. Under optimum conditions, 15 mM H2O2, 2 mM Fe2+, pH 2.8 and room temperature, the initial 1 mM MTBE solution was reduced by 99% within 120 min. Results showed that MTBE was decomposed in a two-stage reaction. MTBE was first decomposed swiftly based on a Fe2+/H2O2 reaction and then decomposed somewhat less rapidly based on a Fe 3+/H2O2 reaction. The detection of Fe 2+ also supported the theory of the two-stage reaction for the oxidation of MTBE by Fenton's reagent. The dissolved oxygen in the solution decreased rapidly in the first stage reaction, but it showed a slow increase in the second stage with a zero-order kinetics. A reaction mechanism involving two different pathways for the decomposition of MTBE by Fenton's reagent was also proposed. Chemicals including tert-butyl formate, tert-butyl alcohol, methyl acetate and acetone were identified to be the primary intermediates and by-products of the degradation processes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-79
Number of pages7
JournalChemosphere
Volume55
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2004
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Decomposition
  • Fenton's reagent
  • Hydroxyl radical
  • Mechanism
  • MTBE

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