Chlorobenzene degeradation by non-thermal plasma combined with EG-TiO2/ZnO as a photocatalyst: Effect of photocatalyst on CO2 selectivity and byproducts reduction

J Hazard Mater. 2017 Feb 15;324(Pt B):544-553. doi: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2016.11.025. Epub 2016 Nov 9.


The non-thermal plasma (NTP) technique, which suffers from low selectivity in complete oxidation of volatile organic compounds to CO2 and H2O, creates unwanted and harmful byproducts. NTP in concert with photocatalyst can resolve this limitation due to additional oxidation. TiO2 and ZnO nanoparticles were coated on the surface of the expanded graphite and placed downstream of the NTP reactor under UV light. In this study, to compare the performance of NTP and the combined system, chlorobenzene removal, selectivity of CO2 and byproducts formation were investigated. The results showed that the combined system enhanced both the removal efficiency and CO2 selectivity. The output gas of the NTP reactor contained chlorobenzene, phosgene, O3, NO, NO2, CO, CO2, HCL and CL. The bulk of these byproducts was oxidized on the surface of the nanocomposite; as a result, the content of the byproducts in the output gas of the combined system decreased dramatically. The removal efficiency and CO2 selectivity increased by rising the applied voltage and residence time because the collision between active species and pollutant molecules increases. Based on these results, the combined system is preferred due to a higher performance and lower formation of harmful byproducts.

Keywords: Byproducts reduction; Expanded graphite; Non-thermal plasma; Photocatalyst; TiO(2)/ZnO catalysts.