Supercritical water oxidation for the destruction of hazardous waste: better than incineration

Bushra Al-duri, Faihan Alsoqyani, Iain Kings

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Supercritical water oxidation (SCWO) is an advanced process mainly employed for the treatment of hazardous stable wastes, otherwise treatable by incineration. It is based on the unique properties of water above its critical point (Tc=675 K, Pc=22.2 MPa), making it a superior reaction medium for the destruction of all organics in the presence of oxygen. This work presents preliminary laboratory scale studies on SCWO of nitrogen (N)-containing hazardous hydrocarbons, with a view to enhancing the process performance, using available reagents and non-complex reactor design. This article investigates the destruction of dimethylformamide (DMF), carried out in a continuous (plug flow) reactor system. SCWO of DMF was enhanced by (i) a split-oxidant system, where stoichiometric oxidant was divided between two inlet ports at various ratios and (ii) the addition of isopropyl alcohol (IPA) as a co-fuel, premixed with the feedstock. Testing a range of temperatures, initial DMF concentrations, oxidant ratios, IPA ratios and oxidant split ratios, selected results were presented in terms of % total organic carbon and % N removal. Reaction kinetics were studied and showed a dramatic decrease in the activation energy upon adding IPA. Split-oxidant-feeding enhancement depended on the split ratio and secondary feed position.
Original languageEnglish
Article number20150013
JournalRoyal Society of London. Philosophical Transactions A. Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences
Issue number2057
Publication statusPublished - 28 Dec 2015


  • supercritical
  • oxidation
  • split oxidant
  • isopropyl alcohol
  • hazardous waste


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