Catalytic wet air oxidation of Basic Yellow 11 (BY11), a basic dye, was studied in a batch reactor. Layered double hydroxides with the hydrotalcite-like structure containing nickel or iron cations have been prepared by coprecipitation and subsequently calcined leading to Ni- and Fe-doped mixed oxides, respectively. Compared with the results in the wet air oxidation of BY11, these catalysts showed high activity for total organic carbon (TOC), toxicity and dye removal at 120 °C and 50 bars after 120 min. It has been demonstrated that the activity depended strongly on the presence of catalyst. The results show that catalysts containing nickel provide a higher extent of oxidation of the dye whereas the reaction carried out with the iron catalyst is faster. The Ni and Fe dispersion determined from the TPR results was higher for the catalysts with a lower Ni or Fe content and decreased for higher Ni or Fe contents. On the basis of activity and selectivity, the Ni containing catalyst with the medium (3%) Ni content was found to be the best catalyst. Finally, a relationship between metal content of the catalyst and reaction rate has been established.
Keywords: catalytic wet air oxidation, dyes, heterogeneous catalysts, wastewater