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Abstract

The focus of this study is to investigate the applicability of natural mineral iron disulfide (pyrite) in degradation of aromatic compounds including benzene and several chlorinated benzenes (from mono-chlorinated benzene (CB), di-chlorinated benzenes (di-CBs) to tri-chlorobenzenes (tri-CBs) in aerobic pyrite suspension by using laboratory batch experiments at 25°C and room pressure. At first, chlorobenzene was studied as a model compound for all considered aromatic compounds. CB was degraded in aerobic pyrite suspension, transformed to several organic acids and finally to CO2 and Cl-. Transformations of remaining aromatic compounds were pursued by measuring their degradation rates and CO2 and Cl- released with time. Transformation kinetics was fitted to the pseudo-first-order reactions to calculate degradation rate constant of each compound. Degradation rates of the aromatic compounds were different depending on their chemical structures, specifically the number and position of chlorine substituents on the benzene ring in this study. Compounds with the highest number of chlorine substituent at m-positions have highest degradation rate (1,3,5-triCB > 1,3-diCB > others). Three chlorine substituents closed together (1,2,3-triCB) generated steric hindrance effects. Therefore 1,2,3-triCB wasthe least degraded compound. The degradation rates of all compounds were in the following order: 1,3,5-triCB > 1,3-diCB > 1,2,4-triCB ≅ 1,2-diCB ≅ CB ≅ benzene > 1,4-diCB > 1,2,3-triCB. The final products of the transformations were CO2 and Cl-. Oxygen was the common oxidant for pyrite and aromatic compounds. The presence of aromatic compounds reduced the oxidation rate of pyrite, which reduced the amount of ferrous and sulfate ions release to aqueous solution.
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