Photocatalytic oxidation of VX simulant 2-(butylamino)ethanethiol

Alexandre V. Vorontsov, Yi Chuan Chen, Panagiotis G. Smirniotis

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33 Scopus citations


Photocatalytic oxidation of 2-(butylamino)ethanethiol (BAET) was undertaken in aqueous suspension of TiO2 Hombikat UV 100 and Degussa P25 under different initial reaction conditions in order to determine the best parameters for the fastest mineralization of the substrate. BAET is considered to be a simulant for the VX chemical warfare agent. The application of ultrasound had only a small positive effect on the BAET photocatalytic degradation. The highest mineralization rate of 0.433 mg/(l min) was found in unbuffered TiO2 Degussa P25 suspension with initial pH value of about 9.4, TiO2 concentration 500 mg/l and the initial BAET concentration 1000 mg/l. Decreasing of the initial solution pH to 6.1 or below stops the mineralization of BAET while increasing of pH to about 11 drastically changed the degradation profile. At this initial pH, the first 100 min of reaction led to only oxidation of sulfur moiety and organic intermediates accumulated in the solution. Thereafter, mineralization of the products started. The main detected volatile product was butyl aldehyde and the main polar one was 2-(butylamino) acetic acid. In the case of TiO2 Hombikat UV 100, conversion of TOC at initial pH 11 exceeded that at initial pH 9.1. For Degussa P25, the starting pH 9.4 was the best for TOC conversion. The results can be used for treatment of water from pollutants with aliphatic nitrogen and sulfur atoms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-95
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Hazardous Materials
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - 10 Sep 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Chemical warfare agents
  • Mineralization
  • Photocatalysis
  • Ultrasound


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