Oxidation of 4-bromo-4'-chlorobiphenyl, model species for forming mixed halogenated aromatic compounds

Song Hou, Bogdan Z. Dlugogorski, John C. Mackie, Eric M. Kennedy, Stina Jansson, Mohammednoor Altarawneh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


This contribution reports results from the gas-phase oxidation of 4-bromo-4'-chlorobiphenyl (4,4'-BCB) in order to fathom the formation of toxic species produced during the combustion of mixed halogenated aromatics. In their own right, mixed polybrominated/polychlorinated biphenyls (PXBs) represent a new class of environmental contaminants, recently detected in food and human tissues. Gas chromatography-quadrupole mass spectrometry (GC-QMS), gas chromatography-quadrupole time of flight mass spectrometry (GC-QTOFMS), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and ion chromatography (IC) served to analyse the volatile and semi-volatile organic compounds (V/SVOCs), including mixed halogenated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans (PXDD/Fs), and gaseous products including HBr/HCl. The selection of non-ortho substituted PXB as a model species yields a large number of halogenated compounds, including monochloro- and monobromobenzene and higher halogenated benzenes and naphthalenes and derivatives of halogenated benzenes (such as 1-chloro-4-ethynylbenzene). We also detect small amounts of chlorinated and mixed halogenated dibenzofurans. The present study provides insights into the formation of several classes of halogenated and mixed-halogenated pollutants in combustion processes involving both bromine and chlorine sources, such as those of brominated flame retardants and PVC plastics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)243-260
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Environment and Pollution
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • 4-bromo-4'-chlorobiphenyl
  • PXBs
  • brominated and chlorinated biphenyls
  • formation mechanisms of trace pollutants
  • halogenated VOC and SVOC
  • halogenated aromatic compounds

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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