Catalytic and non-catalytic wet air oxidation of sodium dodecylbenzene sulfonate: Kinetics and biodegradability enhancement

María Eugenia Suárez-Ojeda, Jungkwon Kim, Julián Carrera, Ian S. Metcalfe, Josep Font

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12 Citations (Scopus)


Wet air oxidation (WAO) and catalytic wet air oxidation (CWAO) were investigated as suitable precursors for the biological treatment of industrial wastewater containing sodium dodecylbenzene sulfonate (DBS). Two hours WAO semi-batch experiments were conducted at 15 bar of oxygen partial pressure (PO2) and at 180, 200 and 220 °C. It was found that the highest temperature provides appreciable total organic carbon (TOC) and chemical oxygen demand (COD) abatement of about 42 and 47%, correspondingly. Based on the main identified intermediates (acetic acid and sulfobenzoic acid) a reaction pathway for DBS and a kinetic model in WAO were proposed. In the case of CWAO experiments, seventy-two hours tests were done in a fixed bed reactor in continuous trickle flow regime, using a commercial activated carbon (AC) as catalyst. The temperature and PO2 were 140-160 °C and 2-9 bar, respectively. The influence of the operating conditions on the DBS oxidation, the occurrence of oxidative coupling reactions over the AC, and the catalytic activity (in terms of substrate removal) were established. The results show that the AC without any supported active metal behaves bi-functional as adsorbent and catalyst, giving TOC conversions up to 52% at 160 °C and 2 bar of PO2, which were comparable to those obtained in WAO experiments. Respirometric tests were completed before and after CWAO and to the main intermediates identified through the WAO and CWAO oxidation route. Then, the readily biodegradable COD (CODRB) of the CWAO and WAO effluents were found. Taking into account these results it was possible to compare whether or not the CWAO or WAO effluents were suitable for a conventional activated sludge plant inoculated with non adapted culture. © 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)655-662
JournalJournal of Hazardous Materials
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jun 2007


  • Activated carbon
  • Catalytic wet air oxidation
  • Dodecylbenzene sulfonate
  • Respirometry
  • Wet air oxidation


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