The development of active and stable catalysts without noble metals for low temperature oxidation of exhaust gases remains a significant challenge. The purpose of this study is to determine the influence of the preparation method on the catalytic activity of the supported copper-manganese mixed oxides in terms of VOCs oxidation. The catalysts were prepared by impregnation of γ- Al2O3 with copper and manganese nitrates and acetates and the possibilities for CO, CH3OH and dimethyl ether (DME) oxidation were evaluated using continuous flow equipment with a four-channel isothermal stainless steel reactor. Effect of the support, Cu/Mn mole ratio, heat treatment of the precursor and active component loading were investigated. Highly active alumina supported Cu-Mn catalysts for CO and VOCs oxidation were synthesized. The effect of preparation conditions on the activity behavior of the catalysts was discussed. The synergetic interaction between copper and manganese species increases the activity for complete oxidation over mixed catalysts. Type of support, calcination temperature and active component loading along with catalyst composition are important factors, determining catalytic activity. Cu/Mn molar ratio of 1:5, heat treatment at 450oC and 20 % active component loading are the best compromise for production of active catalyst for simultaneous combustion of CO, CH3OH and DME.
Comparative research has been conducted to allow us to determine the accumulation of heavy metals (Pb, Zn and Cd) in the vegetative and reproductive organs of safflower, and to identify the possibility of its growth on soils contaminated by heavy metals and efficacy for phytoremediation. The experiment was performed on an agricultural field contaminated by the Non-Ferrous-Metal Works (MFMW) near Plovdiv, Bulgaria. The experimental plots were situated at different distances (0.1, 0.5, 2.0, and 15 km) from the source of pollution. The contents of heavy metals in plant materials (roots, stems, leaves, seeds) were determined. The quality of safflower oils (heavy metals and fatty acid composition) was also determined. The quantitative measurements were carried out with inductively-coupled plasma (ICP). Safflower is a plant that is tolerant to heavy metals and can be referred to the hyperaccumulators of lead and cadmium and the accumulators of zinc. The plant can be successfully used in the phytoremediation of heavy metal contaminated soils. The processing of safflower seeds into oil and the use of the obtained oil will greatly reduce the cost of phytoremediation.
The catalytic oxidation of CO and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) is considered as one of the most efficient ways to reduce harmful emissions from various chemical industries. The effectiveness of gold-based catalysts for many reactions of environmental significance was proven during the past three decades. The aim of this work was to combine the favorable features of Au and Cu-Ce mixed oxides in the design of new catalytic materials of improved efficiency and economic viability for removal of air pollutants in waste gases from formaldehyde production. Supported oxides of copper and cerium with Cu: Ce molar ratio 2:1 and 1:5 were prepared by wet impregnation of g-alumina. Gold (2 wt.%) catalysts were synthesized by a deposition-precipitation method. Catalysts characterization was carried out by texture measurements, powder X-ray diffraction, temperature programmed reduction and electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy. The catalytic activity in the oxidation of CO, CH3OH and (CH3)2O was measured using continuous flow equipment with fixed bed reactor. Both Cu-Ce/alumina samples demonstrated similar catalytic behavior. The addition of gold caused significant enhancement of CO and methanol oxidation activity (100 % degree of CO and CH3OH conversion at about 60 and 140 oC, respectively). The composition of Cu-Ce mixed oxides affected the performance of gold-based samples considerably. Gold catalyst on Cu-Ce/γ-Al2O3 1:5 exhibited higher activity for CO and CH3OH oxidation in comparison with Au on Cu-Ce/γ-Al2O3 2:1. The better performance of Au/Cu-Ce 1:5 was related to the availability of highly dispersed gold particles and copper oxide clusters in close contact with ceria.