Oxidative degradation of Piperazine (PZ) in aqueous KOH/K2CO3 solutions

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KOH and K2CO3 aqueous solutions have demonstrated potential for CO2 absorption processes due to their low toxicity, non-volatility of the capture agent and resistance to degradation. However, their absorption kinetics are typically slower than those of primary and secondary amines, and therefore promotors may be needed to allow competitive absorption rates and thus absorber heights. Here, we selected piperazine (PZ) as a promoter and investigated its oxidative degradation when blended with KOH or K2CO3. The changes in PZ concentration were analyzed by gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC–MS), while the degradation products were analyzed by GC–MS and anion chromatography. The results showed that PZ oxidative degradation followed the order KOH/PZ > PZ > K2CO3/PZ indicating that KOH enhanced PZ oxidation while K2CO3 inhibited PZ oxidation. Therefore, KOH/PZ may still be a promising solvent with appropriate CO2 loading as the CO2 protects the PZ from hydroxyl and oxygen radical attacks. The degradation products are similar across the blends and identified as Ethylenediamine (EDA), 2-oxopiperazine (OPZ), Formylpiperazine (FPZ), formate, acetate and oxalate, with formate being the most abundant product for all blends. Furthermore, the PZ first-order rate constants for all solutions were provided, and the oxidation degradation pathway of PZ-based solutions was proposed.
Original languageEnglish
Article number111228
JournalJournal of Environmental Chemical Engineering
Issue number6
Early online date10 Oct 2023
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023


  • CO absorption
  • Degradation
  • Electrochemical absorbent regeneration
  • Piperazine
  • Potassium hydroxide
  • Promoter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Pollution
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Process Chemistry and Technology


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