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TAML/H2O2 Oxidative Degradation of Metaldehyde: Pursuing Better Water Treatment for the Most Persistent Pollutants

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journal contribution
posted on 18.04.2016, 00:00 by Liang L. Tang, Matthew A. DeNardo, Chakicherla Gayathri, Roberto R. Gil, Rakesh Kanda, Terrence J. Collins
The extremely persistent molluscicide, metaldehyde, widely used on farms and gardens, is often detected in drinking water sources of various countries at concentrations of regulatory concern. Metaldehyde contamination restricts treatment options. Conventional technologies for remediating dilute organics in drinking water, activated carbon, and ozone, are insufficiently effective against metaldehyde. Some treatment plants have resorted to effective, but more costly UV/H2O2. Here we have examined if TAML/H2O2 can decompose metaldehyde under laboratory conditions to guide development of a better real world option. TAML/H2O2 slowly degrades metaldehyde to acetaldehyde and acetic acid. Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H NMR) was used to monitor the degradationthe technique requires a high metaldehyde concentration (60 ppm). Within the pH range of 6.5–9, the reaction rate is greatest at pH 7. Under optimum conditions, one aliquot of TAML 1a (400 nM) catalyzed 5% degradation over 10 h with a turnover number of 40. Five sequential TAML aliquots (2 μM overall) effected a 31% removal over 60 h. TAML/H2O2 degraded metaldehyde steadily over many hours, highlighting an important long-service property. The observation of metaldehyde decomposition under mild conditions provides a further indication that TAML catalysis holds promise for advancing water treatment. These results have turned our attention to more aggressive TAML activators in development, which we expect will advance the observed technical performance.

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