Activated Carbon as a Catalyst for Polymerization of Phenolic Compounds

by Jacob A. Bourdeau, Univ of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, United States,
Radisav D. Vidic, Univ of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, United States,



Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Critical Issues in Water and Wastewater Treatment

Abstract: Previous studies by the principal investigator showed that the increase in the adsorptive capacity of activated carbon for phenolic compounds can be attributed to polymerization (oxidative coupling) of these compounds in the adsorbed phase which is catalyzed by the carbon surface in the presence of molecular oxygen (oxic conditions). This study was conducted to determine the origin of the catalytic properties of activated carbon surface towards these reactions. Particular emphasis was directed towards various metals and metal complexes imbedded in the activated carbon graphite crystalline structure. Adsorption isotherm studies performed in the presence and absence of oxygen using the same adsorbate (o-cresol) and different types of activated carbons were utilized as a preliminary screening tool in determining surface characteristics that influence the catalytic properties of activated carbon. The presence of Fe on the carbon surface is related to the ability of that activated carbon to promote polymerization of 2-methylphenol. Furthermore, the adsorptive capacity of activated carbon for molecular oxygen correlates well with the irreversible adsorption promoted by the GAC surface.

Subject Headings: Activated carbon | Surface properties | Adsorption | Phenol | Polymer | Oxygen | Metals (material)

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