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Structural Controls on the Catalytic Polymerization of Hydroquinone by Birnessites

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 January 2024

Ming-Ming Liu
Affiliation:
College of Resources and Environment, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan 430070, P.R. China
Xing-Hui Cao
Affiliation:
College of Resources and Environment, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan 430070, P.R. China
Wen-Feng Tan*
Affiliation:
College of Resources and Environment, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan 430070, P.R. China
Xiong-Han Feng
Affiliation:
College of Resources and Environment, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan 430070, P.R. China
Guo-Hong Qiu
Affiliation:
College of Resources and Environment, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan 430070, P.R. China
Xiu-Hua Chen
Affiliation:
College of Resources and Environment, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan 430070, P.R. China
Fan Liu
Affiliation:
College of Resources and Environment, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan 430070, P.R. China
*
* E-mail address of corresponding author: wenfeng.tan@hotmail.com

Abstract

The role of Mn oxide in the abiotic formation of humic substances has been well demonstrated. However, information on the effect of crystal structure and surface-chemical characteristics of Mn oxide on this process is limited. In the present study, hexagonal and triclinic birnessites, synthesized in acidic and alkali media, were used to study the influence of the crystal-structure properties of birnessites on the oxidative polymerization of hydroquinone and to elucidate the catalytic mechanism of birnessites in the abiotic formation of humic-like polymers in hydroquinone-birnessite systems. The intermediate and final products formed in solution and solid-residue phases were identified by UV/Visible spectroscopy, atomic absorption spectrometry, Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, solid-phase microextraction-gaschromatography-mas ss pectrometry, ion chromatography, and ultrafiltration. The degree of oxidative polymerization of hydroquinone wasenhanced with increase in the interlayer hydrated H+, the average oxidation state (AOS), and the specific surface area of birnessites. The nature of the functional groups of the humic-like polymers formed was, however, almost identical when hydroquinone was catalyzed by hexagonal and triclinic birnessites with similar AOS of Mn. The results indicated that crystal structure and surface-chemistry characteristics have significant influence on the oxidative activity of birnessites and the degree of polymerization of hydroquinone, but have little effect on the abiotic formation mechanism of humic-like polymers. The proposed oxidative polymerization pathway for hydroquinone isthat, asit approachesthe birnessite, it formsp recursor surface complexes. Asa strong oxidant, birnessite accepts an electron from hydroquinone, which is oxidized to 1,4-benzoquinone. The coupling, cleavage, polymerization, and decarboxylation reactionsaccompany the generation of 1,4-benzoquinone, lead to the release of CO2 and carboxylic acid fragments, the generation of rhodochrosite, and the ultimate formation of humic-like polymers. These findings are of fundamental significance in understanding the catalytic role of birnessite and the mechanism for the abiotic formation of humic substances in nature.

Type
Article
Copyright
Copyright © Clay Minerals Society 2011

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