Removal of imidazolium- and pyridinium-based ionic liquids by Fenton oxidation

Esther Gomez-Herrero, Montserrat Tobajas, Alicia Polo, Juan J Rodriguez, Angel F Mohedano
Environmental Science and Pollution Research International 2018 January 9
The oxidation of imidazolium (1-hexyl-3-methylimidazolium chloride, HmimCl) and pyridinium (1-butyl-4-methylpyridinium chloride, BmpyrCl) ionic liquids (ILs) by Fenton's reagent has been studied. Complete conversion was achieved for both ILs using the stoichiometric H2 O2 dose at 70 °C, reaching final TOC conversion values around 45 and 55% for HmimCl and BmpyrCl, respectively. The decrease in hydrogen peroxide dose to substoichiometric concentrations (20-80% stoichiometric dose) caused a decrease in TOC conversion and COD removal and the appearance of hydroxylated oxidation by-products. Working at these substoichiometric H2 O2 doses allowed the depiction of a possible degradation pathway for the oxidation of both imidazolium and pyridinium ILs. The first step of the oxidation process consisted in the hydroxylation of the ionic liquid by the attack of the ·OH radicals, followed by the ring-opening and the formation of short-chain organic acids, which could be partially oxidized up to CO2 and H2 O. At H2 O2 doses near stoichiometric values (80%), the resulting effluents showed non-ecotoxic behaviour and more biodegradable character (BOD5 /COD ratio around 0.38 and 0.58 for HmimCl and BmpyrCl, respectively) due to the formation of short-chain organic acids. Graphical abstract ᅟ.

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