Selective reduction of nitrate to N2 using ilmenite as a low cost photo-catalyst

Juan A. Zazo, P. García-Muñoz, G. Pliego, Jefferson E. Silveira, P. Jaffe, Jose A. Casas

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23 Scopus citations


This work assesses the feasibility of using natural ilmenite as catalyst in NO3 photo-reduction with oxalic acid as reducing agent. The experimental set-up includes a magnetically stirred batch reactor equipped with a medium pressure Hg UV-lamp (30 W/m2). Experiments were carried out under N2 atmosphere at 25 °C, using 1–2 times the stoichiometric amount of C2O42- to reduce NO3 to N2. The reduction of NO3 to N2 via NO2 is, by far, the main route. Concurrently, the generation of NOx (g) via NO3 and NO2 reduction is also observed. The complete NO3 and C2O42- removal and a selectivity towards N2 > 93 % is achieved by using the stoichiometric C2O42- dose after 210 min, without the generation of undesirable NH4+. The residual NO2 concentration was lower than 0.5 mg N/L. Besides, doubling the C2O42- dose allowed the complete removal of nitrogen from the aqueous phase with a N2 selectivity > 97 %.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number118930
JournalApplied Catalysis B: Environmental
StatePublished - Sep 15 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Catalysis
  • General Environmental Science
  • Process Chemistry and Technology


  • Ilmenite
  • Intensification
  • Nitrate
  • Photo-reduction
  • Selectivity


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