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International Journal of Photoenergy
Volume 5 (2003), Issue 2, Pages 81-86

Photocatalytic oxidation of fuel oxygenated additives in aqueous solutions

1Institute of Chemistry at Tallinn Technical University, 15 Akadeemia tee, Tallinn 12618, Estonia
2Tallinn Technical University, 5 Ehitajate tee, Tallinn 19086, Estonia
3Lappeenranta University of Technology, P. O. Box 20, Lappeenranta 53851, Finland

Copyright © 2003 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Experimental research of photocatalytical oxidation (PCO) of aqueous solutions of de-icing agents (ethylene glycol and ethylene glycol monoethyl ether) and methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE) was undertaken. These chemicals are water-soluble components of jet and motor fuels accidentally disposed to the environment. Titanium dioxide (Degussa P25) under near-UV irradiation was selected as a photocatalyst. A slightly acidic medium was preferable for the process efficiency for MTBE, whereas a neutral medium was beneficial for de-icing agents and jet fuel aqueous extracts. TiO2 suspension fractional composition was found to be dependent on pH and the presence of organic admixtures: the minimum size of TiO2 particles at their maximum uniformity was established in an acidic medium, where the efficiency of PCO of de-icing agents was the poorest. On the other hand, neutral and slightly acidic media, beneficial for PCO efficiency, were favourable for particle agglomeration, which indicates a minimal role for photocatalyst particle size in PCO efficiency. PCO efficiency increased with increasing MTBE and icing inhibitor concentration. The biodegradability of aqueous solutions of oxygenated additives increased as PCO proceeded. The influence of mineral additives—sulphate, calcium, ferric and manganese ions—on the process efficiency was found to be complex. Special attention was paid to energy-saving PCO with a photocatalyst attached to buoyant glass micro-spheres and reduced intensity of stirring of the slurry.