High-efficiency degradation of Fe-CNs in SPL through microwave-activated persulfate

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Department of Materials Science and Engineering


Cyanide in spent potlining (SPL) is primarily present as sodium cyanide (NaCN) and iron (II, III) cyanide complexes (Fe-CNs). NaCN is easy to degrade, while Fe-CNs is extremely difficult to degrade. In this work, a novel microwave-activated persulfate technology (MW-PS) was firstly proposed to degrade Fe-CNs promptly and efficiently. The removal rate of 99.88 % was achieved within 180 s under optimal conditions of pH = 10.15, [oxidant]:[Fe-CNs] molar ratio of 5:1, and microwave power of 300 W. The remaining total cyanide content was less than 0.04 mg·L−1. The degradation mechanism of ferrocyanide (II) and ferricyanide (III) in the MW-PS degradation system was systematically analyzed through electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) and element identification techniques. The ROS (SO4[rad]−, HO[rad], O2[rad]−, and 1O2) generated under microwave activation and first attacked the C-Fe complex bond in Fe-CNs, causing the bond to dissociate and release the free CN−, and then CN− was thoroughly oxidized. This work develops a simple and high-efficiency decyanation technology for complex cyanide contained industrial waste disposal.

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Separation and Purification Technology