Environmental pollution is one of the major challenges that the world face today. Our water resources are threatened by contamination from industrial wastewater namely volatile organic pollutants generated from the petrochemical, textile, pharmaceutical, chemical, and automotive industries. A class of compounds that is of great concern are the organic dyes, which represent a large family of refractory organic pollutants. It is estimated that over 10,000 different dyes and pigments are used industrially and over 700,000 tons of synthetic dyes were produced in 2003 worldwide. With about 1-20% of the total world production of dyes being discharged to the aquatic environment during their application, this can potentially result in severe damages to the photosynthetic activities of aquatic plants and the health of humans.
Conventional methods for wastewater treatment include biological process, thermal decomposition, adsorption, membrane separation, and advanced oxidation process. Each of these methods has its strengths and limitations. The catalytic wet air oxidation (CWAO) process has gained much attention recently as its uses air as the oxidant at a relatively low cost.
This technology relates to a bimetallic hybrid catalytic system for oxidative degradation of organic pollutants. Compared to conventional wet air oxidation processes, CWAO utilizes less energy as it can operate under ambient conditions using a novel catalyst.