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Lv, H., N. Wang, L. Zhu, Y. Zhou, W. Li, and H. Tang.
Green Chemistry 20(11):2526-2533(2018)

Researchers developed an alumina-mediated solid-state mechanochemical (MC) method to simultaneously degrade PFOA and synthesize 1H-perfluorohept-ene (1H-1-PFHp), which is a valuable organofluorine block. A 2.5-h MC treatment resulted in nearly complete removal (99.4%) of PFOA and a high yield (92.5%) of 1H-1-PFHp. In this transformation, the surface hydroxyl groups on alumina are critical for anchoring the PFOA molecules during the defluorination reaction, and the milling process promotes the dehydration of alumina to produce reactive Lewis acid sites for activating the C-F bonds. High-energy ball milling initiates simultaneously the release of lattice oxygen from alumina, producing oxygen vacancies (in alumina) and free electrons, the latter of which can induce the breakage of C-F bonds via a reductive pathway. The combination of the mechanocaloric effect and the triple roles of alumina drive PFOA to a controlled defluorination.

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