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Scholars Day 2005, Wednesday, April 13

A Model System for PCB Remediation Using a Homogenous Palladium Catalyst System

Polychlorinated biphenyl compounds (PCBs) are toxic and environmentally hazardous. Their prevalence in soil, ground water and waste treatment systems has made them targets for environmental remediation. One way in which PCBs can be made less toxic is to remove the chlorines by reduction. The investigation of the reduction of aryl chlorides using homogeneous palladium catalysis may aid in developing a system for PCB remediation. A system consisting of a palladium catalyst with a monophosphine ligand and sodium formate refluxing methanol will be described. Sodium formate reacts to replace chlorine with hydrogen. Using this catalyst system, five aryl chlorides having a range of substituents gave the reduction products in yields of greater than 90% within several hours. Results of preliminary efforts to reduce 1-chloronapthalene in water in the presence of phase transfer catalysts will also be described.

Presenter: Mark Oinen (Undergraduate Student)
Topic: Chemistry
Location: 12 Hartwell
Time: 11:05 am (Session II)