Selenium catalyzed Fe(III)-EDTA reduction by Na2SO3: a reaction-controlled phase transfer catalysis

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Fe(II)-EDTA, a typical chelated iron, is able to coordinate with nitric oxide (NO) which accelerates the rates and kinetics of the absorption of flue gas. However, Fe(II)-EDTA can be easily oxidized to Fe(III)-EDTA which is unable to absorb NO. Therefore, the regeneration of fresh Fe(II)-EDTA, which actually is the reduction of Fe(III)-EDTA to Fe(II)-EDTA, becomes a crucial step in the denitrification process. To enhance the reduction rate of Fe(III)-EDTA, selenium was introduced into the SO3 2−/Fe(III)-EDTA system as catalyst for the first time. By comparison, the reduction rate was enhanced by four times after adding selenium even at room temperature (25 °C). Encouragingly, elemental Se could precipitate out when SO3 2− was consumed up by oxidation to achieve self-separation. A catalysis mechanism was proposed with the aid of ultraviolet–visible (UV–Vis) spectroscopy, Tyndall scattering, horizontal attenuated total reflection Fourier transform infrared (HATR-FTIR) spectroscopy, and X-ray diffraction (XRD). In the catalysis process, the interconversion between SeSO3 2− and nascent Se formed a catalysis circle for Fe(III)-EDTA reduction in SO3 2− circumstance.

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The financial support from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (51474246,51404306) and the Key Project of Science and Technology of Hunan Province, China (2013FJ1009) is gratefully acknowledged.

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Correspondence to Hui Liu or Xiaobo Min.

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Responsible editor: Santiago V. Luis

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Xiang, K., Liu, H., Yang, B. et al. Selenium catalyzed Fe(III)-EDTA reduction by Na2SO3: a reaction-controlled phase transfer catalysis. Environ Sci Pollut Res 23, 8113–8119 (2016).

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  • Selenium
  • Reaction-controlled phase transfer
  • Catalysis
  • Fe(III)-EDTA reduction
  • Desulfurization and denitrification