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Platinum Metals Rev., 1990, 34, (4), 180

Destruction of Organochlorines

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Many organochlorine molecules are persistent environmental poisons, and after use they must be disposed of most carefully. Although high temperature incineration is the generally accepted method of destroying the polychlorinated biphenyls, for example, concern about incomplete oxidation remains.

Now, a report from the University of Sydney outlines a relatively low cost process for the electrocatalytic oxidative destruction of organochlorines (J. K. Beattie, Pure Appl. Chem., 1990, 62, (6), 1145-1146). Complete oxidation to carbonate and chloride is achieved using oxygen in alkaline solution, however, oxygen is too weak an oxidant to regenerate the ruthenium tetroxide which is the active catalytic species, but this can be achieved using a small applied voltage.

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