The transformation of trichloroethylene (TCE) in natural mineral iron disulfide (pyrite) aqueous suspension under different oxygen conditions was investigated in laboratory batch experiments. TCE transformation was pursued by monitoring its disappearance and products released with time. The effect of oxygen was studied by varying the initial dissolved oxygen concentration (DOi) inside each reactor. Transformation rates depended strongly on DOi in the system. In anaerobic pyrite suspension, TCE did not transform as it did under aerobic conditions. The transformation rate increased with an increase in DOi. The TCE transformation kinetics was fitted to a pseudo-first-order reaction with a rate constant k (h-1) varying from 0.004 to 0.013 for closed systems with DOi varying from 0.017 to 0.268 mmol/L under the experimental conditions. In the aerobic systems, TCE transformed to several organic acids including dichloroacetic acid, glyoxylic acid, oxalic acid, formic acid, and finally to CO2 and chloride ion. Dichloroacetic acid was the only chlorinated intermediate found. Both TCE and the pyrite surface were oxidized in the presence of O2. Oxygen consumption profiles showed O2 was the common oxidant in both TCE and pyrite oxidation reactions. Ferric ion cannot be used as an alternative oxidant to oxygen for TCE transformation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Environmental Chemistry