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Catalyst-Free Oxidation Reactions in a Microwave Plasma Torch-Based Ion/Molecular Reactor: An Approach for Predicting the Atmospheric Oxidation of Pollutants

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journal contribution
posted on 2022-12-23, 15:06 authored by Fengjian Chu, Gaosheng Zhao, Wangyu Li, Wei Wei, Weiwei Chen, Zihan Ma, Zhan Gao, Nazifi Sani Shuaibu, Jikui Luo, Bingwen Yu, Hongru Feng, Yuanjiang Pan, Xiaozhi Wang
The atmospheric oxidation of chemicals has produced many new unpredicted pollutants. A microwave plasma torch-based ion/molecular reactor (MPTIR) interfacing an online mass spectrometer has been developed for creating and monitoring rapid oxidation reactions. Oxygen in the air is activated by the plasma into highly reactive oxygen radicals, thereby achieving oxidation of thioethers, alcohols, and various environmental pollutants on a millisecond scale without the addition of external oxidants or catalysts (6 orders of magnitude faster than bulk). The direct and real-time oxidation products of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and p-phenylenediamines from the MPTIR match those of the long-term multistep environmental oxidative process. Meanwhile, two unreported environmental compounds were identified with an MPTIR and measured in the actual water samples, which demonstrates the considerable significance of the proposed device for both predicting the environmental pollutants (non-target screening) and studying the mechanism of atmospheric oxidative processes.

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