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Anodic oxidation of phenolics found in coal conversion effluents Chettiar, Meenakshi


Anodic oxidation of the major phenolics that arise in coal conversion effluents was investigated. Experiments were performed in a packed bed anode of electrodeposited lead dioxide. The phenolics were treated individually in concentrations ranging up to 1 gpl in aqueous solutions in a batch recirculation system. Compounds studied were phenol, 0-cresol, p-cresol, 2,3-Xylenol, 3,4-Xylenol, resorcinol and catechol. The effects of variation in initial concentration and applied current were studied. Solutions were analyzed primarily by gas chromatography and by total organic carbon analyzer. The effect of the oxidation process on the removal of chemical oxygen demand (C.O.D.) and biological oxygen demand (B.O.D.) was determined in a few cases. Oxidation of the phenolics was favoured by increasing the current density and decreasing the initial concentration. Complete oxidation of the organic carbon in the phenolics was found to be difficult although complete removal of the phenolic compound was achieved in several cases. No direct correlation was found between the rate of anodic oxidation on Pb02 and the structure of the phenolic compounds. A mixture of five monohydric phenols which were present at concentrations reported as typical for coal conversion wastewaters was also oxidized. Up to 95% oxidation of the phenolics was obtained. A gas chromatograph/mass spectrometer analyzer was used to examine the products of anodic oxidation in typical runs. Reaction routes were postulated for the oxidation process. Comparisons of the experimental results with a mass transfer model are presented for a few experiments.

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