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Degradation of trinitroglycerin (TNG) using zero-valent iron nanoparticles/nanosilica SBA-15 composite (ZVINs/SBA-15)

National Research Council Canada (NRC-CNRC); NRC Biotechnology Research Institute; NRC Institute for Chemical Process and Environmental Technology
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Zero-valent iron nanoparticles; Nanostructured silica; Trinitroglycerin; Degradation; Kinetics; Reusability
Trinitroglycerin (TNG) is an industrial chemical mostly known for its clinical use in treating angina and manufacturing dynamite. The wide manufacture and application of TNG has led to contamination of vast areas of soil and water. The present study describes degradation of TNG with zero-valent iron nanoparticles (ZVINs) in water either present alone or stabilized on nanostructured silica SBA-15 (Santa Barbara Amorphous No. 15). The BET surface areas of ZVINs/SBA-15 (275.1 m2 g-1), as determined by nitrogen adsorption-desorption isotherms, was much larger than the non-stabilized ZVINs (82.0 m2 g-1). X-ray diffraction (XRD) showed that iron in both ZVINs and ZVINs/SBA-15 was present mostly in the ?-Fe0 crystalline form considered responsible for TNG degradation. Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) showed that iron nanoparticles were well dispersed on the surface of the nanosilica support. Both ZVINs and ZVINs/SBA-15 degraded TNG (100%) in water to eventually produce glycerol and ammonium. The reaction followed pseudo-first-order kinetics and was faster with ZVINs/SBA-15 (k1 0.83 min-1) than with ZVINs (k1 0.228 min-1). The corresponding surface-area normalized rate constants, knorm, were 0.36 and 0.33 L h-1 m-2 for ZVINs/SBA-15 and ZVINs, respectively. The ZVINs/SBA-15 retained its original degradation efficiency of TNG after repeatedly reacting with fresh nitrate ester for five successive cycles. The rapid and efficient transformation of TNG with ZVINs/SBA-15, combined with excellent sustained reactivity, makes the nanometal an ideal choice for the clean up of water contaminated with TNG. Crown Copyright © 2010.
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