Catalytic Oxidation of Volatile Organic Compounds

O. Padilla, J. Gallego, A. Santamaria
University of Antioquia,

Keywords: VOCs, catalytic oxidation, Perovskite, ceramic monolith


The volatile organic compounds (VOCs) include a set of hydrocarbons with high vapor pressure. VOCs are highly harmful to health and the environment [1]. Catalytic oxidizers are one of the rising alternatives for remove them at low temperatures [2]. Several researches propose the substitution of noble metals for less expensive and more robust materials like transition metal oxides [3]. This work evaluates the use of perovskite-type catalysts for the oxidation of VOCs and the development of a functional catalytic filter prototype. Perovskites were synthesized using the autocombustion method. These materials were evaluated in both powder and supported on a ceramic monolith [4] for the oxidation of several model VOCs (hexane, 2-propanol and toluene). The conversion of VOC was monitored by mass spectrometry and the catalysts were characterized by XRD, SEM, Raman and XPS. Figure 1 represents the performed procedure. XRD characterization confirmed the phases of all perovskite-type catalysts and SEM micrographs showed good deposition of the catalysts on the monolithic surface. Thermal oxidation of VOCs occurred between 650°C and 750°C; while catalytic oxidation occurred between 270°C and 450°C. The next stage is the optimization of the space velocity (GHSV), VOCs and moisture concentration, and the charge of catalyst. Also, we are performing the design and construction of a reactor prototype for testing the monolithic catalyst with VOCs emissions from an industrial plant. This technology approaches the problematics of pollutant emissions in the environment and urban and labor spaces. We are using local Colombian ores as precursors of perovskites, leading to the increasing of the national competitivity for the development of technologies and the sustainable use of natural resources. This research is directed to achieve a technological design with a competitive construction cost and low operation costs.