Wastewater treatment by catalytic wet air oxidation process over Al-Fe pillared clays synthesized using microwave irradiation
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Microwave irradiation has been used to prepare Al, Fe-pillared clays from a natural Tunisian smectite from the El Hicha deposit (province of Gabes). Chemical analysis, XRD spectra and surface properties evidenced the success of pillaring process. The obtained solids present higher surface area and pore volume than conventionally prepared Al-Fe pillared clays. The main advantages of the microwave methodology are the considerable reduction of the synthesis time and the consumption of water. The microwave-derived Al-Fe pillared clays have been tested for catalytic wet air oxidation (CWAO) of phenol in a stirred tank at 160°C and 20 bar of pure oxygen pressure. These materials are efficient for CWAO of phenol and are highly stable despite the severe operating conditions (acidic media, high pressure, high temperature). The catalyst deactivation was also significantly hindered when compared to conventionally prepared clays. Al-Fe pillared clays prepared by microwave methodology are promising as catalysts for CWAO industrial water treatment.
KeywordsWater Catalytic wet air oxidation Pillared clays Microwave Phenol
The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial support from Tunisian Chemical Group and the Project Partenariats Hubert Curien (PHC-Maghreb).
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