Acta Phys. -Chim. Sin. ›› 2004, Vol. 20 ›› Issue (10): 1211-1215.doi: 10.3866/PKU.WHXB20041009

• ARTICLE • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Reaction Pathway of Photocatalytic Degradation of Methyl-tert-butyl Ether in Water

Su Wen-Yue;Zhang Yong;Wang Xu-Xu;Fu Xian-Zhi   

  1. Research Institute of Photocatalysis, Fuzhou University, Fuzhou 350002
  • Received:2004-04-20 Revised:2004-05-26 Published:2004-10-15
  • Contact: Fu Xian-Zhi

Abstract: The use of methyl-tert-butyl ether (MTBE),which is a gasoline additive to enhance the octane rating of gasoline, has resulted in increasing pollution of groundwater. Most of the conventional treatment technologies are inefficient or expensive due to its high solubility in water and low Henry's law constant. To find an ecology friendly and inexpensive method for MTBE remediation, homemade titanium dioxide (TiO2) was used as a photocatalyst, and the photocatalytic degradation of MTBE in a batch TiO2 slurry reactor was studied by using Purge & Trap GC-MS-SIM and IC. It was showed that MTBE could be photocatalytically transformed to innocuous products and mineralized ultimately in oxygenated TiO2 slurries. The major by-products of this reaction have been identified as t-butyl formate, t-butyl alcohol and acetone, all of which are also readily degraded photocatalytically, albeit at different rates. Based on identification of intermediates and products, the first step in the destruction of MTBE is thought to be abstraction of an α-hydrogen by •OH and a reaction scheme is proposed.

Key words: Methyl-tert-butyl ether, Photocatalytic degradation, Reaction scheme