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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Phenol and HCl at 550 degrees C yield a large variety of chlorinated toxic compounds.

During the past decade it has been shown conclusively that the incineration of municipal and industrial wastes gives rise to emissions of chlorinated dibenzodioxins and dibenzofurans. However, the mechanism by which these toxic compounds are formed has not yet been fully established. Some researchers believe that the presence of organically bound chlorine is necessary, but others consider that inorganic forms of chlorine may also participate in the process. We now report the synthesis of a large number of chlorinated environmental pollutants in a simple high-temperature experiment. The results show that phenol and HCl are the most likely precursors of the chlorinated dibenzodioxins and dibenzofurans formed in the combustion of wastes. The dependence of the reaction on the concentration of HCl indicates a way of controlling the formation of these toxic compounds during incineration.[1]


  1. Phenol and HCl at 550 degrees C yield a large variety of chlorinated toxic compounds. Eklund, G., Pedersen, J.R., Strömberg, B. Nature (1986) [Pubmed]
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