Improved debromination of polybrominated diphenyl ethers by bimetallic iron-silver nanoparticles coupled with microwave energy

Si Luo, Shaogui Yang*, Cheng Sun, Ji Dong Gu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study focused on the enhanced debromination of decabromodiphenyl ether (BDE-209) and 2,2',4,4'-tetrabromodiphenyl ether (BDE-47) by Fe-Ag nano-particles under microwave radiation (Fe-Ag/MW). Fe-Ag bimetallic nano-particles were synthesized by reductive deposition of Ag on nano-iron and characterized with a number of techniques, including BET, XRD, TEM and XPS. Approximately 97% of BDE-209 or 78% of BDE-47 were rapidly transformed to its degradation products within 8. min in the Fe-Ag/MW system. The dehalogenation efficiency of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) was enhanced apparently by microwave radiation. Moreover, the microwave thermal energy played a significant role in accelerating the degradation reactions. Compared with nano-iron alone, the deposition of Ag also increased the rates of degradation. GC-MS and LC-MS/MS analyses of PBDEs' degradation products reveals that the possible degradation pathway proceeds through stepwise debromination from [. n]-bromo- to [. n-1]-bromo-DE, with bromine being substituted by hydrogen sequentially. Di- to nona-brominated congeners were formed during BDE-209 reduction, while diphenyl ether to tri-BDEs were observed during BDE-47 degradation. These results suggest that PBDEs can be debrominated rapidly by the innovative processes that may be environmentally friendly in applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)300-308
Number of pages9
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Volume429
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2012
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Bimetallic iron-silver
  • Debromination
  • Microwave energy
  • Nano technologies
  • PBDEs
  • Zero valent iron

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