Document Type

Article

Subject Area(s)

Chemical Engineering

Abstract

We have demonstrated that superoxide ion can be generated electrochemically in room-temperature ionic-liquid solvents. In the absence of impurities, cyclic voltammetry showed that the super oxide ion is stable in these solvents. Similar superoxide ion chemistry has previously been demonstrated in volatile and environmentally suspect aprotic solvents such as dimethyl formamide and acetonitrile. However, ionic liquids are nonvolatile and should minimize the problems of secondary solvent waste. It is proposed that the resultant superoxide ion can be used to perform low temperature oxidation of wastes. Low-temperature oxidation of waste solvents can provide a much needed alternative to high-temperature waste incinerators, whose use is greatly complicated by regulatory requirements and locating suitable sites.

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