Interaction between organophosphorus and oxide surface for air pollution control

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The release of organophosphorus compounds (OPs) and subsequent exposure to these compounds is of concern to humans and the environment. The goal of this work was to control the

The release of organophosphorus compounds (OPs) and subsequent exposure to these compounds is of concern to humans and the environment. The goal of this work was to control the concentrations of gaseous OPs through interaction with sorbent oxides. Experimental and computational methods were employed to assess the interactions of dimethyl phosphite (DMHP), dimethyl methylphosphonate (DMMP), dimethyl ethylphosphonate (DMEP), diethyl ethylphosphonate (DEEP), and triethyl phosphate (TEP) with amorphous silica (a-silica), ã-alumina, and monoclinic zirconia (m-zirconia) for applications in air pollution control. Interactions of the selected OPs with a-silica were chosen as a baseline to determine the applicability of the computational predictions. Based on the a-silica results, computational methods were deemed valid for predicting the trends among materials with comparable interactions (e.g. -OH functionality of a-silica interacting with the phosphonyl O atoms of the OPs). Computational evaluations of the interactions with the OPs were extended to the oxide material, m-zirconia, and compared with the results for ã-alumina. It was hypothesized that m-zirconia had the potential to provide for the effective sorption of OPs in a manner superior to that of the a-silica and the ã-alumina surfaces due to the surface charges of the zirconium Lewis acid sites when coordinated in the oxidized form. Based on the computational study, the predicted heats of adsorption for the selected OPs onto m-zirconia were more favorable than those that were predicted for ã-alumina and a-silica. Experimental studies were carried out to confirm these computational results. M-zirconia nanoparticles were synthesized to determine if the materials could be utilized for the adsorption of the selected OPs. M-zirconia was shown to adsorb the OPs, and the heats of adsorption were stronger than those determined for commercial samples of a-silica. However, water interfered with the adsorption of the OPs onto m-zirconia, thus leading to heats of adsorption that were much weaker than those predicted computationally. Nevertheless, this work provides a first investigation of m-zirconia as a viable sorbent material for the ambient control of the selected gaseous OPs. Additionally, this work represents the first comparative study between computational predictions and experimental determination of thermodynamic properties for the interactions of the selected OPs and oxide surfaces.