Princeton Docket # 11-2630-1
Researchers at Princeton University have developed a
new catalytic method to produce chlorine dioxide quickly and efficiently from
easily transportable chlorite salts.
This method operates under mild conditions and without the input of
external energy or use of harsh chemicals, circumventing the major concerns of
large-scale production of ClO2 as well as providing a low-tech, green
option for water purification.
T.; Groves, J.T. ¿Catalytic Generation of Chlorine Dioxide from Chlorite Using a
Water-Soluble Manganese Porphyrin¿, Angew. Chem., 2011, 50(3),
T.; Wang, D.; Groves, J.T.; ¿Dissection of the Mechanism of Manganese
Prophyrin-Catalyzed Chlorine Dioxide Generation¿, Inorg. Chem., 2011 50 (20),
Chlorine dioxide gas (ClO2) is a potent oxidizing agent
for the bleaching of paper, the disinfection of water and air, and the treatment
of wastewater. The dangers and
energy costs of the production of ClO2, however, have limited its use
in the disinfection of drinking water to the pre-treatment before disinfection
with chlorine, and to the small-scale disinfection of water in remote areas that
have little access to high-tech purification methods.
Cl02 offers a number of advantages compared
with the use of chlorine gas for the disinfection of drinking water. ClO2 is a stronger oxidizing
agent above pH 7 and in the presence of other chemicals such as ammonia and
amine, and is less corrosive.
Cl02 is more effective than chlorine for killing water-borne
pathogenic microbes including viruses, Legionella and other bacteria, and
protozoa including the cysts of Giardia and the oocysts of Cryptosporidium. In addition, disinfection with
Cl02 does not form the toxic organochlorine byproducts produced
during the chlorine disinfection process.
Current methods for the production of Cl02
in large quantities require extreme reaction conditions, hazardous
reagents such as strong acids or oxidants, or an energy-intensive
ClO2 gas is highly unstable when high concentrations are
reached in air, decomposing explosively into Cl2 and O2.
Thus Cl02 gas is typically produced on-site, dissolved in cold water
at low concentrations, and used immediately rather than transported. Safer, low-tech kits for the production
of Cl02 are available only for small-scale production and typically
require long wait periods.
The method developed by Professor John T. Groves at Princeton
University utilizes the chemistry of a water-soluble manganese porphyrin
catalyst to produce Cl02 from chlorite ions. The manganese porphyrin catalyst
consumes chlorite ions, an undesirable byproduct in other methods producing
Cl02. The catalyst is
also active when immobilized on clay materials, allowing for facile recovery of
the catalyst. The clay-immobilized
catalyst could be used for the construction of flow systems which continually
produce chlorine dioxide on a larger scale.
T. Groves is the Hugh Stott Taylor Chair and Professor of the department of
Chemistry at Princeton University.
Professor Groves¿ research efforts focus at the interface of organic,
inorganic, and biological chemistry, and one major focus is the design and
characterization of novel biomimetic catalysts. He received the Hans Fischer Award in
Porphyrin Chemistry in 2010.
Intellectual property and technology
Industrial collaborators are sought to further establish this
opportunity as a green alternative for the purification of water and production
of chlorine dioxide. The research in this area continues in the identification
of more effective and economical catalysts.
University Office of Technology Licensing ¿ (609) 258-7256¿