Kinetics Of Photo Initiated Organic And Polymer Reactions
Photo-initiated reactions involve the use of ultraviolet (UV) or visible light radiation to effect chemical transformations. Some of the advantages of photo-initiated reactions over thermal or high pressure reactions include mild reaction conditions like ambient temperature and pressure, good control over the reaction by the simple switching on/off the light source, and faster reaction kinetics. Usually, semiconductor photocatalysts or oxidizing agents are used to enhance the rate of photo reactions. “Photocatalysis” involves the generation of valence band holes and conduction band electrons by the band gap excitation of a semiconductor photocatalyst. These charge carriers produce reactive hydroxyl and superoxide radicals, which mediate oxidation and reduction reactions. However, the oxidizing agents are decomposed by the incident radiation to generate reactive radicals, which accelerate the photo reaction. Today, photocatalysis and photo-oxidative reactions are widely being practiced for environmental pollution abatement, synthesis of fine chemicals, synthesis of polymers, generation of hydrogen as a clean energy carrier, and in anti-fogging and self-cleaning surface treatments. The present investigation focuses on elucidating the mechanism and kinetics of environmentally and synthetically relevant photo-initiated reactions for a better understanding of the fundamental aspects of the photo processes. The different photo-initiated reactions studied in this dissertation can be grouped under the broad categories of (i) photocatalytic degradation of organic compounds like dyes and phenols, and reduction of metal ions, (ii) photocatalytic degradation of polymers, (iii) selective photocatalytic oxidation of cyclohexane, (iv) sonophotocatalytic degradation of dyes, (v) photopolymerization, and (vi) sonophotooxidative degradation of polymers. Nano-sized TiO2, synthesized by solution combustion technique (henceforth denoted as CS TiO2), was used as the photocatalyst for most of the above reactions, except for the last two polymer reactions, where organic initiators were used. Invariably, the photocatalytic activity of CS TiO2 was compared with the commercially available Degussa P-25 TiO2 (DP25). Based on the experimental results, detailed mechanisms were proposed for the different reactions, kinetic models were derived, and the rate coefficients signifying the importance of the underlying reaction steps were evaluated. Pd2+ substituted and Pd0 impregnated TiO2 were synthesized by solution combustion and reduction techniques, respectively, and characterized by powder XRD, XPS, TEM, BET surface area, UV/visible, TGA, FT-IR and photoluminescence measurements. While the above catalysts are known to be more active compared to CS TiO2 for the gas phase NO reduction and NO decomposition reactions, it was found in this study, that these catalysts exhibit lower activity for the degradation of organic compounds like dyes, phenol and 4-chlorophenol, in the aqueous phase. The decrease in activity was correlated with a reduction in surface area and photoluminescence intensity of these catalysts, compared to CS TiO2. Ag+ substituted (Ag sub) and Ag0 impregnated (Ag imp) nano-TiO2 were synthesized by solution combustion and reduction techniques, respectively, and characterized by the above standard measurements. These catalysts were used for the photodegradation of dyes, and the selective photooxidation of cyclohexane to cyclohexanone. For the photocatalytic degradation of dyes, unsubstituted CS TiO2 exhibited the highest activity, followed by 1% Ag imp and 1% Ag sub. However, for the photooxidation of cyclohexane, the total conversion of cyclohexane and the selectivity of cyclohexanone followed the order: 1% Ag sub > DP-25 > CS TiO2 > 1% Ag imp. The kinetics of photodegradation of the dyes and the photooxidation of cyclohexane was modeled using Langmuir-Hinshelwood rate equation, and a free radical mechanism, respectively. This study proves that the photoactivity of a catalyst is not solely determined by a single physical property, but rather by a number of variables including the surface area, band gap, surface hydroxyl content, oxide ion vacancy and surface charge of the catalyst. The photocatalytic degradation of five anionic, eight cationic and three solvent dyes, containing different functional groups, was evaluated. The degradation of the dyes was quantified using the initial rate of decolorization and overall percent mineralization. The decolorization of the anionic dyes with CS TiO2 followed the order: Indigo Carmine > Eosin Y > Amido Black 10B > Alizarin Cyanine Green > Orange G. The decolorization of the cationic dyes with DP-25 followed the order: Malachite Green > Pyronin Y > Rhodamine 6G > Azure B > Nile Blue Sulfate > Auramine O ≈ Acriflavine ≈ Safranin O. CS TiO2 exhibited higher rates of decolorization and mineralization for all the anionic dyes, while DP-25 was better in terms of decolorization for most of the cationic dyes. The solvent dyes exhibited adsorption dependent decolorization. The observed results were rationalized based on the molecular structure and degradation pathway of the dyes. The simultaneous photocatalytic degradation of phenolic compounds like phenol and 4-nitrophenol, and the reduction of metal ions like copper (Cu2+) and chromium (Cr6+) were studied. It was found that the presence of phenol accelerated the reduction of Cu2+ to Cu+, and the presence of phenol and 4-nitrophenol accelerated the adsorption of Cr6+ onto CS TiO2. A detailed dual-cycle, multi-step reaction mechanism was proposed for the simultaneous degradation and reduction, and a model was developed using the network reduction technique. The kinetic rate constants in the model were evaluated for the systems studied. The simultaneous UV and ultrasound (US) degradation of anionic dyes was carried out in presence of CS TiO2. The rates of degradation and mineralization of the dyes were higher for the sonophotocatalytic process compared to the individual photo-and sonocatalytic processes. The effect of dissolved gases and US intensity on the sonophotocatalytic degradation of the dyes was evaluated. A dual-pathway network mechanism of sonophotocatalytic degradation was proposed for the first time, and the rate equations were modeled using the network reduction technique. The kinetic rate coefficients of the individual steps were evaluated for all the systems by fitting the model with the experimental data. Eosin Y and Fluorescein dye sensitized visible light degradation of phenol, 4chlorophenol, 2,4-dichlorophenol and 2,4,6-trichlorophenol was studied. A detailed mechanism of sensitized degradation was proposed, and a mechanistic model for the rate of degradation of the phenolic compound was derived by using the pyramidal network reduction technique to evaluate the rate coefficients. An important conclusion of this study indicates that at low initial dye concentrations, the rate of degradation of the phenolic compound is first order in the concentration of the dye, while at high initial dye concentrations, the rate is first order in the concentration of the phenolic compound. The different phenolic and dye intermediates that were formed during degradation were identified by mass spectrometry, and a most probable pathway of degradation was proposed. The solution photopolymerization of methyl-, ethyl-, butyl-and hexylmethacrylates in presence of benzoyl peroxide as the initiator was studied. The effect of initiator and monomer concentrations on the time evolution of polymer concentration, number average molecular weight (Mn) and polydispersity (PDI) was examined. The reversible chain addition and β-scission, and primary radical termination steps were included in the mechanism along with the classical initiation, propagation and termination steps. The rate equations were derived using continuous distribution kinetics and solved numerically to fit the experimental data. The model predicted the instantaneous increase of Mn and PDI of the polymers to steady state values. The rate coefficients exhibited a linear increase with the size of the alkyl chain of the alkyl methacrylates. Poly(acrylamide-co-acrylic acid) copolymers of different compositions were synthesized and characterized. The copolymers were statistical with a relatively high percentage of acrylamide units, as determined by 13C-NMR. The aqueous phase photolytic and photocatalytic degradation of the copolymers and the homopolymers was conducted. The degradation was modeled using continuous distribution kinetics. The degradation followed a two step mechanism, wherein the rapid first step comprised of the scission of weak acrylic acid units along the chain, which was followed by the breakage of the relatively strong acrylamide units. The rate constants for the weak and strong links followed a linear trend with the percentage of acrylic acid and acrylamide in the copolymer, respectively. The photocatalytic degradation of the copolymers of methyl methacrylate with butyl methacrylate (MMA-BMA), ethyl acrylate (MMA-EA) and methacrylic acid (MMA-MAA) was carried out in toluene. The copolymers and the corresponding homopolymers degraded randomly along the chain. The degradation rate coefficient was determined using continuous distribution kinetics. The time evolution of the hydroxyl and hydroperoxide stretching vibration in the FT-IR spectra of the copolymers indicated that the degradation rate follows the order: MMA-MAA > MMA-EA > MMA-BMA. The photodegradation rate coefficients were compared with the activation energy of pyrolytic degradation. The observed contrast in the order of thermal stability compared to the photostability of these copolymers was attributed to the two different mechanisms governing the scission of the polymers and the evolution of the products. The mechano-chemical degradation of poly(methyl methacrylate), poly(ethyl methacrylate) and poly(n-butyl methacrylate) using US and UV radiation, in presence of benzoin as the photoinitiator, was carried out. A degradation mechanism that included the decomposition of the initiator, generation of polymer radicals by hydrogen abstraction of the initiator radicals, and reversible chain transfer between the stable polymer and the polymer radicals, was proposed. The mechanism assumed mid-point chain scission due to US and random chain scission due to UV radiation. The steady state evolution of PDI was successfully predicted by the continuous distribution kinetics model. The rate coefficients of polymer scission due to US and UV radiation exhibited a linear increase and decrease with the size of the alkyl group of the poly(alkyl methacrylate)s, respectively.