Photocatalytic Oxidation of Gas-Phase BTEX-Contaminated Waste Streams

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


Researchers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have been exploring heterogeneous photocatalytic oxidation (PCO) as a remediation technology for air streams contaminated with benzene, toluene, ethyl-benzene, and xylenes (BTEX). This research is a continuation of work performed on chlorinated organics. The photocatalytic oxidation of BTEX has been studied in the aqueous phase,however, a study by Turchi et al. showed a more economical system would involve stripping organic contaminants from the aqueous phase and treating the resulting gas stream. Another recent study by Turchi et al. indicated that PCO is cost competitive with such remediation technologies as activated carbon adsorption and catalytic incineration for some types of contaminated air streams. In thiswork we have examined the photocatalytic oxidation of benzene using ozone (03) as an additional oxidant. We varied the residence time in the PCO reactor, the initial concentration of the organic pollutant, and the initial ozone concentration in a single-pass reactor. Because aromatic hydrocarbons represent only a small fraction of the total hydrocarbons present in gasoline and other fuels, wealso added octane to the reaction mixture to simulate the composition of air streams produced from soil-vapor-extraction or groundwater-stripping of sites contaminated with gasoline.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages12
StatePublished - 1995

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-473-7575


  • air
  • chlorinated organics
  • heterogeneous photocatalytic oxidation
  • ozone
  • remediation technology


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