Advanced oxidation techniques and, in particular Pulsed Corona Discharges, PCD, (also known as thermal plasma degradation) are powerful approaches to eliminate organic contaminants from water effluents from industrial processes. The degradation power is associated with the mixture of high oxidation radicals (i.e., hydroxyls, H., etc.) as well as with the presence of other oxidizing agents including aqueous electron and hydrogen peroxide (i.e., eeq, H2O2, etc.), among others. The North region of Chile is wealthy in valuable minerals and, in particular, copper. The national production of copper is about 32% and it is handled by the state of Chile. Unfortunately, associated with this production there is a considerable deposit in mine tailing near the location of mines. This mine tailing is detrimental for the environment since, frequently, it contains organic compounds that are toxic to the environment. One type used by the mining industry in Chile are Xanthates. In particular, Sodium Isopropyl Xanthate (SIPX).
In this contribution, PCD has been applied to test the degradation level of the SIPX under a variety of conditions of operations. These include, for example, different pH, initial concentrations, electrodes gaps, etc. In addition, a detailed characterization of the PCD reactor (with point-to-point electrodes) and addition of air has been conducted. The degradation of the SIPX reached a successful level of 99% within a minutes of arc treatment. Results from the effort and observations for future work will be offered in the presentation by the co-authors.