Organic Matter Degradation
Decomposition of organic matter (plants and organisms) is the basic "cleaning tool" of nature, where organic residues are degraded and decomposed by oxidative processes involving rotting - bacterial and fungi processing, in order to proceed with the life cycle.
It is a great challenge to reproduce these oxidative processes in a man-made environment and be able to eliminate unwanted and uncontrolled organic matter presence (such as in water tracts and containment, food processing, animal and human waste treatment), while eliminating the spread of pathogenic microorganisms, bacteria, fungi, and providing disinfection and sanitisation.
Catalytic decomposition of hydrogen peroxide with generation of hydroxyl radicals is a very powerful oxidation tool, capable of degrading organic matter as well as annihilating microorganisms (bacteria, fungi, viruses, pathogenes) and providing full sterilization.
The process of Catalytic Advanced Oxidation is performed at room temperature, with safe, diluted hydrogen peroxide (pharmacy grade) and the oxycatalyst, at neutral pH=7.
Organic matter degradation by advanced oxidation with catalyzed hydrogen peroxide
A heavily contaminated water with organic matter can be effectively purified and sterilized by Catalytic Advanced Oxidation with Hydrogen Link's proprietary oxycatalyst, used with hydrogen peroxide H2O2. As shown in the picture, the process can be performed with a small amount of the catalyst (in the form of powder or granulate - reusable) and pharmacy grade hydrogen peroxide.
All types of organic matter (e.g. invasive or toxic algae, blue-green algal blooms, animal or human organic waste) can be remediated and sterilized by this reaction. The process finalizes in mineratization of the organic effluent with formation of a small amount of mineralized sedinemt, which can be easily separated. There is no need for introducing either acidic or alkaline change in pH. After the treatment and filtering off the sediment, clean, sterilized water with pH 7 is obtained. The processing achieves dramatic reduction of COD (Chemical Oxygen Demand) and BOD (Biological Oxygen Demand). COD is a measure of organic pollution in water, and therefore COD's allowable levels in the wastewater are regulated by most governments.
Catalytic Advanced Oxidation of organic matter can be called "artificial rotting" because it resembles the nature's oxidative processing by the action of bacteria and fungi resulting in decomposition of vegetation and animal matter. By contrast, the "artificial rotting" is performed in sterile reaction and provides further disinfection. Similarly to the natural decomposition of the organic matter, the degradation proceeds at first through decomposition of soft, wet tissue which gives good access for the bacteria, while in the sterile process - it provides access for the hydroxyl radicals.
In the following stage of the organic matter degradation, the more sturdy and compact parts of the plants are being degraded, such as cellulose or bones, leading to the total decomposition of organic matter. This feature is being exploited for example in our methods of extracting or cleaning cellulosic fibers from the plant material. Practical processes of upgrading the natural cellulose fibers with Catalytic Advanced Oxidation are becoming a very effective technology for processing natural fibers (such as flax, hemp, jute, kenaf, banana, sisal, ramie etc.)
The Catalytic Advanced Oxidation is capable of full degumming and delignification of fiber-bearing plant (bast fiber or leaf fiber), thus resulting in the clean cellulose fibers of high quality. This process imitates the natural degradation of bast plant ("retting"), which involves microbial removing of lignins, pectins, gums and hemicellulose in the natural environment. In this process, the "softer tissue" of the plant is being degraded preceding the decomposition of cellulose fiber, since cellulose has a strong, compact structure and is therefore more difficult to oxidize. Following the "delignification", the oxidative process of decomposing organic matter is subsequently directed towards degrading the cellulose - both in nature and with the use of the process of Catalytic Advanced Oxidation.
Processing of Agave leafs - extraction of sisal fibers
This example shows the capability of Catalytic Advanced Oxidation to selectively degrade the "soft tissue" of the plant and to extract the cellulosic, structural components, which are more compact, sturdy and more resistant to decomposition.
Degradation of the biomass in agave leafs is performed with catalytic decomposition of hydrogen peroxide, without any other chemicals or solvents, at neutral pH.
Bleaching of cellulose
Processing of cotton - from fiber to textile- involves many stages. An important step called "sizing" is needed to improve the fiber strength and resilience during yarn weaving. It is based on covering the cotton with various chemicals and waxes which improve the operation of machinery and reduce waste. The "sized" fibers as well as the resulting textiles, while reinforced, exhibit also strong hydrophobic properties, which prohibit subsequent dyeing and reduce the fabric softness. Sizing introduces also a characteristic beige color to cotton, which needs to be eliminated before dying or using it as a white cotton fabric. The "sized" cotton is also called "greige cotton" or grey cotton.
Catalytic Advanced Oxidation can be effectively used for "desizing" of the cotton fiber or greige cotton. It can entirely remove the chemical layer of the "size", as well as restore and improve whiteness of cotton. The processing is done at room temperature, without any harsh chemicals. The process is in practice "zero polluting", because it is based on the use of hydrogen peroxide and as a result no additional waste chemicals are introduced to the process and to the wastewater.
Degradation of Cellulose
Biomass is an invaluable source of sustainable energy, which takes advantage of the photolytic abilities of plants.
Plants harness solar energy and transform it into their tissue (while simultaneously consuming carbon dioxide CO2). Biomass can be subsequently used as a source of a sustainable, biomass-derived fuel, for example cellulosic ethanol.
Any type of biomass-derived fuel processing requires preparation and degradation of the biomass, e.g. cellulose. Catalytic treatment with hydrogen peroxide is capable of degrading cellulose into any desired form, and even decomposing it entirely, if needed. The process can be performed at room temperature, without any external energy input. Neutral pH allows to use the degraded cellulose as a feed for further processing, including bio-catalytic production of ethanol.
Degradation of Cellulose by Catalyzed Advanced Oxidation with Hydrogen Peroxide
Catalytic Decomposition of Cellulose Cotton Fibers by Hydrogen Peroxide
The following example shows H2O2 treatment of a heavily contaminated water with organic matter and algae. The sample turns clean within minutes, with subsequent disinfection and final decomposition of the organic matter completed within hours.
No adjustment of pH is needed and no harsh or toxic chemicals are used, just hydrogen peroxide and our heterogeneous catalyst, which is inexpensive and reusable.
Biomass Degradation and Water Purification with Catalyzed Hydrogen Peroxide
- Catalytic Advanced Oxidation
- Water Treatment and Purification
- Dye Decoloration and Degradation
- Hydroxyl Radicals Reactivity
- Cellulose Fibres Upgrading
- Oxygen Generation