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Concept: Hydrogen chloride


Both nitrate and pentachlorophenol (PCP) are familiar pollutants in aqueous environment. This research is focused on the simultaneous removal of nitrate and PCP from simulated contaminated groundwater using a laboratory-scale denitrification reactor packed with corncob as both carbon source and biofilm support. The reactor could be started up readily, and the removal efficiencies of nitrate and PCP reached up to approximately 98 % and 40-45 % when their initial concentrations were 50 mg N/L and 5 mg/L, respectively, after 15-day continuous operation at 10 h of hydraulic retention time (HRT) and 25 °C. Approximately 91 % of PCP removal efficiency was achieved, with 2.47 mg/L of chloride ion release at 24 h of HRT. Eighty-two percent of chlorine in PCP removed was ionized. The productions of 3-chlorophenol and phenol and chloride ion release indicate that the reductive dechlorination reaction is a major degradation pathway of PCP under the experimental conditions.

Concepts: Concentration, Chemistry, Water pollution, Sodium chloride, Ion, Chlorine, Chloride, Hydrogen chloride


In June 2015, personnel from California’s Contra Costa Health Services Environmental Health and Hazardous Materials (hazmat) divisions were alerted to a possible chemical release at a swimming pool in an outdoor municipal water park. Approximately 50 bathers were in the pool when symptoms began; 34 (68%) experienced vomiting, coughing, or eye irritation. Among these persons, 17 (50%) were treated at the scene by Contra Costa’s Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and released, and 17 (50%) were transported to local emergency departments; five patients also were evaluated later at an emergency department or by a primary medical provider. Environmental staff members determined that a chemical controller malfunction had allowed sodium hypochlorite and muriatic acid (hydrochloric acid) solutions to be injected into the main pool recirculation line while the recirculation pump was off; when the main recirculation pump was restarted, toxic chlorine gas (generated by the reaction of concentrated sodium hypochlorite and muriatic acid) was released into the pool. A review of 2008-2015 California pesticide exposure records identified eight additional such instances of toxic chlorine gas releases at public aquatic venues caused by equipment failure or human error that sickened 156 persons. Chemical exposures at public aquatic venues can be prevented by proper handling, storage, and monitoring of pool chemicals; appropriate equipment operation and maintenance; training of pool operators and staff members on pool chemical safety; and reporting of chemical exposures.

Concepts: Hydrogen, Sodium chloride, Chlorine, Hypochlorous acid, Hydrogen chloride, Hydrochloric acid, Swimming pool, Sodium carbonate


Ingestion of contaminated soil is one potential internal exposure pathway in areas contaminated by the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident. Doses from this pathway can be overestimated if the availability of radioactive nuclides in soils for the gastrointestinal tract is not considered. The concept of bioaccessibility has been adopted to evaluate this availability based on in vitro tests. This study evaluated the bioaccessibility of radioactive cesium from soils via the physiologically-based extraction test (PBET) and the extractability of those via an extraction test with 1 mol/L of hydrochloric acid (HCl). The bioaccessibility obtained in the PBET was 5.3% ± 1%, and the extractability in the tests with HCl was 16% ± 3%. The bioaccessibility was strongly correlated with the extractability. This result indicates the possibility that the extractability in HCl can be used as a good predictor of the bioaccessibility with PBET. In addition, we assessed the doses to children from the ingestion of soil via hand-to-mouth activity based on our PBET results using a probabilistic approach considering the spatial distribution of radioactive cesium in Date City in Fukushima Prefecture and the interindividual differences in the surveyed amounts of soil ingestion in Japan. The results of this assessment indicate that even if children were to routinely ingest a large amount of soil with relatively high contamination, the radiation doses from this pathway are negligible compared with doses from external exposure owing to deposited radionuclides in Fukushima Prefecture.

Concepts: Chernobyl disaster, Digestive system, Chlorine, Nuclear power, Hydrogen chloride, Hydrochloric acid, Fukushima Prefecture, Tōhoku region


Trichloroethylene (TCE) is a widespread environmental pollutant common in groundwater plumes associated with industrial manufacturing areas. We had previously isolated and characterized a natural bacterial endophyte, Enterobacter sp. strain PDN3, of poplar trees, that rapidly metabolizes TCE, releasing chloride ion. We now report findings from a successful three-year field trial of endophyte-assisted phytoremediation on the Middlefield-Ellis-Whisman Superfund Study Area TCE plume in the Silicon Valley of California. The inoculated poplar trees exhibited increased growth and reduced TCE phytotoxic effects with a 32% increase in trunk diameter compared to mock-inoculated control poplar trees. The inoculated trees excreted 50% more chloride ion into the rhizosphere, indicative of increased TCE metabolism in planta. Data from tree core analysis of the tree tissues provided further supporting evidence of the enhanced rate of degradation of the chlorinated solvents in the inoculated trees. Test well groundwater analyses demonstrated a marked decrease in concentration of TCE and its derivatives from the tree-associated groundwater plume. The concentration of TCE decreased from 300 µg/L upstream of the planted area to less than 5 µg/L downstream of the planted area. TCE derivatives were similarly removed with cis-1,2-dichloroethene decreasing from 160 µg/L to less than 5 µg/L and trans-1,2-dichloroethene decreasing from 3.1 µg/L to less than 0.5 µg/L downstream of the planted trees. 1,1-dichloroethene and vinyl chloride both decreased from 6.8 and 0.77 µg/L, respectively, to below the reporting limit of 0.5 µg/L providing strong evidence of the ability of the endophytic inoculated trees to effectively remove TCE from affected groundwater. The combination of native pollutant-degrading endophytic bacteria and fast-growing poplar tree systems offers a readily deployable, cost-effective approach for the degradation of TCE, and may help mitigate potential transfer up the food chain, volatilization to the atmosphere, as well as direct phytotoxic impacts to plants used in this type of phytoremediation.

Concepts: Plant, Ion, Chlorine, Trees, Hydrogen chloride, Endophyte, Hydrochloric acid, Love Canal


The synthesis of carboxylic acid derivatives from unsaturated hydrocarbons is an important process for the preparation of polymers, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and agrochemicals. Despite its industrial relevance, the traditional Reppe-type carbonylation reaction using pressurized CO is of limited applicability to laboratory-scale synthesis because of: (1) the safety hazards associated with the use of CO, (2) the need for special equipment to handle pressurized gas, (3) the low reactivity of several relevant nucleophiles and (4) the necessity to employ different, often tailor-made, catalytic systems for each nucleophile. Herein we demonstrate that a shuttle-catalysis approach enables a CO- and HCl-free transfer process between an inexpensive reagent, butyryl chloride, and a wide range of unsaturated substrates to access the corresponding acid chlorides in good yields. This new transformation provides access to a broad range of carbonyl-containing products through the in situ transformation of the reactive acid chloride intermediate. In a broader context, this work demonstrates that isodesmic shuttle-catalysis reactions can unlock elusive catalytic reactions.

Concepts: Alcohol, Amine, Chemical reaction, Functional group, Hydrogen, Catalysis, Carboxylic acid, Hydrogen chloride


The pressure-temperature phase diagram of ice displays a perplexing variety of structurally distinct phases. In the century-long history of scientific research on ice, the proton-ordered ice phases numbered XIII through XV were discovered only recently. Despite considerable effort, none of the transitions leading from the low-temperature ordered ices VIII, IX, XI, XIII, XIV and XV to their high-temperature disordered counterparts were experimentally found to display the full Pauling entropy. Here we report calorimetric measurements on suitably high-pressure-treated, hydrogen chloride-doped ice XIV that demonstrate just this at the transition to ice XII. Dielectric spectroscopy on undoped and on variously doped ice XII crystals reveals that addition of hydrogen chloride, the agent triggering complete proton order in ice XIV, enhances the precursor dynamics strongest. These discoveries provide new insights into the puzzling observation that different dopants trigger the formation of different proton-ordered ice phases.

Concepts: Crystal, Hydrogen, Ice, Phase, Chlorine, Triple point, Hydrogen chloride, Hydrochloric acid


Changes in the protein profile of acquired enamel pellicles (AEP) formed in vivo over different time periods were evaluated after the application of hydrochloric acid (HCl).

Concepts: Protein, Hydrogen, Acid dissociation constant, PH, Chlorine, Hydrogen chloride, Hydrochloric acid, Leblanc process


The orientation state of hydrogen chloride (HCl) molecules in a solid argon matrix was reversibly controlled by applying an external electric field of up to 4×10**8 V·m-1 using the ice film capacitor method. The rovibrational transitions of the field-oriented HCl were measured by reflection absorption infrared spectroscopy with p-polarized light. Upon application of the external field, free rotation of HCl inside the matrix gradually changed to a pendular state and then to harmonic liberation in the Stark potential well. Further increase in the field strength increased the degree of dipole alignment along the field direction, approaching an asymptotically perfect orientation of the molecules with an average tilt angle of <30° at a field strength above 1×10**8 V·m-1.

Concepts: Spectroscopy, Electric charge, Quantum mechanics, Atom, Ion, Chlorine, Hydrogen chloride, Hydrochloric acid


Ceramic filter material was prepared with silicon dioxide (SiO2), which was recovered from red mud and then modified with Fe (II) and Fe-Ti bimetal oxide. Ceramic filter material can be used to reduce the content of residual chlorine from drinking water. The results showed that after a two-step leaching process with 3 M hydrochloric acid (HCl) and 90% sulfuric acid (H2SO4), the recovery of SiO2exceeded 80%. Fe (II)/Fe-Ti bimetal oxide, with a high adsorption capacity of residual chlorine, was prepared using a 3:1 M ratio of Fe/Ti and a concentration of 0.4 mol/L Fe2+. According to the zeta-potential, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET) analysis, Fe (II) and Fe-Ti bimetal oxide altered the zeta potential and structural properties of the ceramic filter material. There was a synergistic interaction between Fe and Ti in which FeOTi bonds on the material surface and hydroxyl groups provided the active sites for adsorption. Through a redox reaction, Fe (II) transfers hypochlorite to chloride, and FeOTiCl bonds were formed after adsorption.

Concepts: Oxygen, Alcohol, Carbon dioxide, Hydrogen, Chlorine, Sulfuric acid, Hydrogen chloride, Hydrochloric acid


Chlorinated paraffins (CPs) are high production volume chemicals widely used as additives in metal working fluids. Thereby, CPs are exposed to hot metal surfaces which may induce degradation processes. We hypothesized that the elimination of hydrochloric acid would transform CPs into chlorinated olefins (COs). Mass spectrometry is widely used to detect CPs, mostly in the selected ion monitoring mode (SIM) evaluating 2-3 ions at mass resolutions R < 20'000. This approach is not suited to detected COs, because their mass spectra strongly overlap with CPs. We applied a mathematical deconvolution method based on full-scan MS data to separate interfered CP/CO spectra. Metal drilling indeed induced HCl-losses. CO proportions in exposed mixtures of chlorotridecanes increased. Thermal exposure of chlorotridecanes at 160, 180, 200 and 220 °C also induced dehydrohalogenation reactions and CO proportions also increased. Deconvolution of respective mass spectra is needed to study the CP transformation kinetics without bias from CO interferences. Apparent first-order rate constants (kapp) increased up to 0.17, 0.29 and 0.46 h-1for penta-, hexa- and heptachloro-tridecanes exposed at 220 °C. Respective half-life times (τ1/2) decreased from 4.0 to 2.4 and 1.5 h. Thus, higher chlorinated paraffins degrade faster than lower chlorinated ones. In conclusion, exposure of CPs during metal drilling and thermal treatment induced HCl losses and CO formation. It is expected that CPs and COs are co-released from such processes. Full-scan mass spectra and subsequent deconvolution of interfered signals is a promising approach to tackle the CP/CO problem, in case of insufficient mass resolution.

Concepts: Mass spectrometry, Hydrogen, Metal, Chlorine, Resolution, Metalworking, Hydrogen chloride, Hydrochloric acid