Fenton's reagent is the name given to a solution of hydrogen peroxide and an iron catalyst, such as iron(III) sulfate or chloride, very useful to destroy hazardous organic compounds, such as acetonitrile, benzene, chloroform, tetrachloroethane, trichloroethylene, etc.
Fenton's reagent will convert benzene into phenol:
- C6H6 + FeSO4 + H2O2 → C6H5OH
Some chemists think Fenton's reagent contains iron(IV).
A disadvantage of using the Fenton oxidation to remove organic contaminants is the formation of Fe(OH)3 precipitate, which contains large quantities of adsorbed organic compounds. Limiting the amount of Fe3+ added will limit the formation of the undesired hydroxide.
Fenton's reagent is a yellow-orange solution.
- Destroying hazardous organic compounds
- Ageing wood
Fenton's reagent is a strong oxidizing mixture and proper protection should be worn when handling it.
Fenton's reagent should be produced in situ. If needed for longer periods of time, it should be stored in containers without hermetic seal, to prevent a pressure buildup of the oxygen from the decomposing peroxide.
Used Fenton's reagent can be poured down the drain, after all the peroxide was neutralized. Just be sure to check if there aren't any more organic residues that escaped the oxidation.
- ↑ http://tchie.uni.opole.pl/freeECE/S_16_3/Barbusinski_16%283%29.pdf
- ↑ http://www.chemikinternational.com/year-2013/year-2013-issue-7/using-the-deep-oxidation-process-with-fentons-reagent-to-remove-formaldehyde-from-industrial-wastewater/
- ↑ http://www.academia.edu/3577222/Controlled_ageing_of_wooden_test_pieces_by_Fenton_s_reagent_mimicking_decay_of_brown-rot_fungi