Thermocatalytic destruction of gas-phase perchloroethylene using propane as a hydrogen source

Marty Willinger, Erik Rupp, Brian Barbaris, Song Gao, Robert Arnold, Eric Betterton, A. Eduardo Sáez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The use of propane in combination with oxygen to promote the destruction of perchloroethylene (PCE) over a platinum (Pt)/rhodium (Rh) catalyst on a cerium/zirconium oxide washcoat supported on an alumina monolith was explored. Conversions of PCE were measured in a continuous flow reactor with residence times less than 0.5 s and temperatures ranging from 200 to 600 °C. The presence of propane was shown to increase significantly the conversion of PCE over oxygen-only conditions. Conversions close to 100% were observed at temperatures lower than 450 °C with 20% oxygen and 2% propane in the feed, which makes this process attractive from a practical standpoint. In the absence of oxygen, PCE conversion is even higher, but the catalyst suffers significant deactivation in less than an hour. Even though results show that oxygen competes with reactants for active sites on the catalyst, the long-term stability that oxygen confers to the catalyst makes the process an efficient alternative to PCE oxidation. A Langmuir-Hinshelwood competitive adsorption model is proposed to quantify PCE conversion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)770-776
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Hazardous Materials
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - Aug 15 2009


  • Catalytic dechlorination
  • Oxidation
  • PCE destruction
  • Redox conditions
  • Reduction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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