Oxidation of ammonia in landfill leachates in the catalytic wet air oxidation (CWAO) process was investigated with Co/Bi catalyst. The characterization of the Co/Bi catalyst was carried out by the X-ray diffraction technique. Studies of ammonia removal from the landfill leachates by CWAO showed that Co/Bi catalyst exhibited higher activities for both total organic carbon (TOC) and ammonia with removal levels of 99% for TOC and 98% for ammonia, respectively. Results also indicated that large amounts of ammonia were produced during the elimination of nitrogenous organic compounds in the CWAO process and the further oxidation of ammonia gave off essentially N2 under 240 °C. When the system temperature reached above 240 °C, ammonia oxidation rate was much higher with nitrate dominating in the effluent; a very small amount of nitrite was observed in the reaction process, it possibly acts as the intermediate of nitrate ion and molecular nitrogen formation, showing that the system temperature had significant effects on the ammonia oxidation and reaction selectivity towards the production of molecular nitrogen or nitrate.

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