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Degradation of organic pollutants combining plasma discharges generated within soil with TiO2 and ZnO catalysts: Comparative analysis, optimization and mechanisms
Authors: M. Hatzisymeon M.K. Daletou, G. Rassias and C.A. Aggelopoulos
Abstract: An advantageous plasma-catalytic setup was developed and applied towards the degradation of trifluralin in soil. For the first time, TiO2 and ZnO catalysts were compared when employed in conjunction with micro-discharges generated directly into the interconnected soil channels. In the presence of catalysts, a significant increase in degradation efficiency was observed; after 5 min, trifluralin degradation increased from 66.5% (plasma alone) to 94.2% and 93% with the addition of TiO2 and ZnO, respectively. In terms of degradation kinetics, TiO2 was a slightly superior catalyst compared to ZnO whereas both catalysts performed better under oxygen than in air atmosphere. Compared to plasma alone, the plasma-catalytic treatment considerably increased (~3fold) the process energy efficiency. Moreover, the inhibitory effect of soil moisture was less pronounced during TiO2 plasma-catalysis where a reduction of ~19% in pollutant degradation was observed at 5 wt% soil moisture compared to a ~54% reduction during plasma alone. The addition of TiO2 and ZnO resulted in a significant increase in NO2 concentration and a noticeable reduction in O3 generation associated with an increase of certain plasma species concentration and the generation of additional and more active ROS, respectively. Liquid chromatography (UPLC/MS) data at the early stages of the trifluralin degradation revealed similar intermediates and degradation processes between plasma-alone and plasma-catalysis. The present effort supports the potential of future implementation of a plasma-catalytic soil remediation method being a rapid, highly efficient, low energy demanding and green method.
Keywords: Plasma-catalysis, Dielectric barrier discharge, Cold plasma, Photocatalysts Trifluralin degradation, Soil remediation .
It can be downloaded directly from publisher: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1383586623010274?via%3Dihub