Catalysts For Aqueous Contaminant Reduction

Tech ID: 33290 / UC Case 2022-897-0

Patent Status

Patent Pending

Full Description


In the US, the health reference level for chlorate (ClO3-) is set at 0.21 milligrams per liter (mg/L) and the minimum reporting level at 0.02 mg/L. Although ClO3- contamination challenge for water systems has been recognized, research efforts for ClO3- reduction are limited. Platinum group metal (PGM) catalyzed hydrogenation provides a clean degradation route. However, most reported ClO3- reduction catalysts exhibit maximum activity in acidic conditions or require higher dosage (10 - 80X) of the catalyst.


Prof. Jinyong Liu and his research team have developed a novel catalyst through the use of rational chemistry and simple engineering approach. The developed ruthenium (Ru) on palladium-carbon supports (Pd/C) makes it possible to treat ClO3- contamination under various water conditions. The facile method yields catalysts that demonstrat robustness and unprecedented performance.

Comparison of Turnove Factor for the catalysts

Profiles and turnover factor (TOF0) for 1 millimolar (mM) ClO3- reduction by three different catalysts. 

Comparison of pH dependence of the catalysts

pH dependence of the Ru-Pd/C, Ru/C. First-order rate constants are normalized by the loading of PGM.  


  • Facile catalyst preparation - a highly active catalyst is prepared in 20 minutes using 1 atmosphere H2 at 20 deg. C - without any heating.
  • Unprecedented catalyst performance - the catalysts show a substantially higher activity of reduction at both neutral and acidic pH.
  • Higher robustness - the catalyst allows complete reduction of ClO3- even in the presence of sulphate (SO42-) and chloride (Cl-).
  • The ruthenium and palladium exhibit bimetallic synergy.
  • Reduced cost of catalyst.

Suggested uses

Water treatment applications such as:

  • Drinking water
  • Waste-water runoffs from agriculture and dairy
  • Waste-water treatment in industrial processes
  • Water treatments that use various electrochemical processes 

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perchlorate, chlorate, chlorate contamination, catalyst, platinum group metals, ruthenium, palladium, water treatment, wastewater

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