Canadian Journal of Chemical Engineering, Vol.72, No.3, 522-533, 1994
The Oxidation of Valeric Acid in Aqueous-Solution
The liquid phase oxidation of an aqueous solution of a lower fatty acid, valeric (pentanoic) acid, has been studied at high temperatures (240-325-degrees-C) and pressures (10.3-10.4 MPa) in a batch autoclave reactor. The objective of the study was to develop a mechanistic understanding of the wet oxidation of industrial wastewaters contaminated with vegetable oils. Valeric acid was chosen as the prototype molecule. High performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) has been used to identify the liquid products and estimate their concentrations as a function of the extent of oxidation. Moreover the technique of GC-MS has also been used to obtain information on specific intermediate oxidation products that could not be identified by HPLC. The gaseous products of the reaction have been also identified and quantified. A detailed reaction mechanism is proposed based on free radical reactions.