Catalytic reduction of water contaminants using palladium (Pd)-based catalysts and hydrogen gas as a reductant has been extensively studied at the bench-scale, but due to technical challenges it has only been limitedly applied at the field-scale. To motivate research that can overcome these technical challenges, this review critically analyzes the published research in the area of Pd-based catalytic reduction of priority drinking water contaminants (i.e., halogenated organics, oxyanions, and nitrosamines), and identifies key research areas that should be addressed. Specifically, the review summarizes the state of knowledge related to (1) proposed reaction pathways for important classes of contaminants, (2) rates of contaminant reduction with different catalyst formulations, (3) long-term sustainability of catalyst activity with respect to natural water foulants and regeneration strategies, and (4) technology applications. Critical barriers hindering implementation of the technology are related to catalyst activity (for some contaminants), stability, fouling, and regeneration. New developments overcoming these limitations will be needed for more extensive field-scale application of this technology.
We appreciate the opportunity provided by Dr. Kopinke’s comment(1) to address the calculation error in our manuscript(2) regarding the external mass-transfer coefficient, and to discuss the possibility of internal mass-transfer limitations during catalytic treatment of water contaminants. Other errors in our manuscript pointed out by Dr. Kopinke are corrected here.
A. Marruffo, Yoon, H., Schaeffer, D. J., Barkan, C. P. L., Saat, M. R., and Werth, C. J., “
Metal‐free fullerene (C60) was found to be an effective catalyst for the reduction of azo groups in basic aqueous solution under UV irradiation in the presence of NaBH4. Use of NaBH4 by itself is not sufficient to reduce the azo dyes without the assistance of a metal catalyst such as Pd and Ag. Experimental and theoretical results suggest that C60 catalyzes this reaction by using its vacant orbital to accept the electron in the bonding orbital of azo dyes, which leads to the activation of the NN bond. UV irradiation increases the ability of C60 to interact with electron‐donor moieties in azo dyes.
Nitrous Oxide (N2O), an ozone depleting greenhouse gas, is an observed intermediate in aqueous nitrate/nitrite reduction mediated by both natural microbial and synthetic laboratory catalysts. Because of our interest in catalytic nitrate/nitrite remediation, we have endeavored to develop a detailed concordant experimental/theoretical picture of N2O reduction with H2 over a Pd catalyst in an aqueous environment. We use batch experiments in H2 excess and limiting conditions to examine the reduction kinetics. We use density functional theory (DFT) to model the elementary steps in N2O reduction on model Pd(100), Pd(110), Pd(111) and Pd(211) facets and including the influence of adsorbed O, H, and of H2O. Both experiments and theory agree that hydrogen is necessary for removal of adsorbed oxygen from the catalyst surface. The dissociation of N2O to N2(g) and O(ads) is facile and in the absence of H proceeds until the catalyst is O-covered. Water itself is proposed to facilitate the hydrogenation of surface O by transferring absorbed hydrogen to Pd-absorbed O and OH. We measure an apparent activation energy of 41.4 kJ/mol (0.43 eV) for N2O reduction in the presence of excess H2, a value that is within 0.1 eV of the barriers determined theoretically.
Pd-based catalyst treatment represents an emerging technology that shows promise to remove nitrate and nitrite from drinking water. In this work we use vapor-grown carbon nanofiber (CNF) supports in order to explore the effects of Pd nanoparticle size and interior versus exterior loading on nitrite reduction activity and selectivity (i.e., dinitrogen over ammonia production). Results show that nitrite reduction activity increases by 3.1-fold and selectivity decreases by 8.0-fold, with decreasing Pd nanoparticle size from 1.4 to 9.6 nm. Both activity and selectivity are not significantly influenced by Pd interior versus exterior CNF loading. Consequently, turnover frequencies (TOFs) among all CNF catalysts are similar, suggesting nitrite reduction is not sensitive to Pd location on CNFs nor Pd structure. CNF-based catalysts compare favorably to conventional Pd catalysts (i.e., Pd on activated carbon or alumina) with respect to nitrite reduction activity and selectivity, and they maintain activity over multiple reduction cycles. Hence, our results suggest new insights that an optimum Pd nanoparticle size on CNFs balances faster kinetics with lower ammonia production, that catalysts can be tailored at the nanoscale to improve catalytic performance for nitrite, and that CNFs hold promise as highly effective catalyst supports in drinking water treatment.
We develop a 2‐D pore scale model of coupled fluid flow, reactive transport, and calcium carbonate (CaCO3) precipitation and dissolution. The model is used to simulate transient experimental results of CaCO3 precipitation and dissolution under supersaturated conditions in a microfluidic pore network (i.e., micromodel) in order to improve understanding of coupled reactive transport systems perturbed by geological CO2 injection. In the micromodel, precipitation is induced by transverse mixing along the centerline in pore bodies. The reactive transport model includes the impact of pH upon carbonate speciation and a CaCO3 reaction rate constant, the effect of changing reactive surface area upon the reaction, and the impact of pore blockage from CaCO3 precipitation on diffusion and flow. Overall, the pore scale model qualitatively captured the precipitate morphology, precipitation rate, and maximum precipitation area using parameter values from the literature. In particular, we found that proper estimation of the effective diffusion coefficient (Deff) and the reactive surface area is necessary to adequately simulate precipitation and dissolution rates. In order to match the initial phase of fast precipitation, it was necessary to consider the top and bottom of the micromodel as additional reactive surfaces. In order to match a later phase when dissolution occurred, it was necessary to increase the dissolution rate compared to the precipitation rate, but the simulated precipitate area was still higher than the experimental results after ∼30 min, highlighting the need for future study. The model presented here allows us to simulate and mechanistically evaluate precipitation and dissolution of CaCO3 observed in a micromodel pore network. This study leads to improved understanding of the fundamental physicochemical processes of CaCO3precipitation and dissolution under far‐from‐equilibrium conditions.