Date of Award

Spring 1998

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Applied Chemistry - (M.S.)


Chemical Engineering, Chemistry and Environmental Science

First Advisor

Henry Shaw

Second Advisor

Robert Pfeffer

Third Advisor

James M. Grow


The reduction reaction of nitric oxide (NO) by carbon monoxide (CO), and granular activated carbon (GAC) in the presence and absence of oxygen was studied in a fixed bed catalytic reactor. The conversion of NO as a function of reaction temperature was evaluated for various reductant to NO ratios and space velocities. The results show that oxygen enhanced the NO+CO reaction over copper (Cu) ion exchanged ZSM-5. About 60% NO conversion to nitrogen (N2) was obtained at 400°C and 2,000 v/v/hr. This result is consistent with the hypothesis that CO is an intermediate in the soot-NO reaction. The apparent mechanism seems to be the soot-O2 reaction produces CO on the surface, the CO diffuses into the catalyst pores where it preferentially reacts with NO to produce carbon dioxide (CO2) and N2. The overall observation is that soot or GAC in the presence of oxygen reduces NO to N2 and CO2 if a Cu containing catalyst is present. One observes that Cu ion dispersed in GAC in the presence of 10% oxygen promotes the formation of CO at a relatively low temperature. This is followed by essentially complete NO conversion to N2 at 600°C and 2,000 v/v/hr and 20,000 v/v/hr. At 450°C, 95% NO is converted to N2 at 2,000 v/v/hr-. The reaction rate of NO conversion to N2 decreases with increasing space velocity with either CO or carbon black as the reducing materials. Based on the results presented here, additional research on the catalytic reduction of NO by CO on the results presented here, additional research on the catalytic reduction of NO by CO and copper loaded GAC in the presence of O2, at higher space velocities between 50,000 and 100,000 v/v/hr is warranted. Effect of water on the two reactions is also needed to be studied.

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