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Portugaliae Electrochimica Acta

versão impressa ISSN 0872-1904

Port. Electrochim. Acta v.25 n.1 Coimbra  2007

 

Electrochemical Advanced Oxidation Processes (EAOPs) for Environmental Applications

Mehmet A. Oturan,a* Enric Brillasb

a) Université de Marne a Vallée, Laboratoire des Géomatériaux et Géologie de l'Ingénieur, Cité Descartes, 77454 Marne a Vallée cedex 2, France

b) Laboratori d’Electroquímica dels Materials i del Medi Ambient, Departament de Química Física, Facultat de Química, Universitat de Barcelona, Martí i Franquès 1-11, 08028 Barcelona, Spain

 

Abstract

Conventional processes for water treatment are inefficient for the remediation of wastewaters containing toxic and biorecalcitrant organic pollutants. A large number of advanced oxidation processes (AOPs) have been successfully applied to degrade pollutants present in waters. These methods are based on the generation of a very powerful oxidizing agent such as hydroxyl radical (·OH) in solution, able to destroy organics up to their mineralization. In recent years new AOPs based on the electrochemical technology are being developed. Electrochemical advanced oxidation processes (EAOPs) are environmentally friendly emerging methods for the decontamination of wastewaters contaminated with toxic and persistent herbicides, pesticides, chlorophenols, nitrophenols, polychlorinated biphenyls, pharmaceuticals, etc. This paper reports the fundamentals, main characteristics and recent developments of EAOPs such as anodic oxidation and electro-Fenton alone and coupled with other physicochemical processes. These techniques utilize electrolytic systems such as three-electrode divided and two-electrode undivided cells with different cathodes as working electrodes (carbon-felt or O2-diffusion cathode) and auxiliary electrodes (Pt, PbO2, boron-doped diamond (BDD) or iron anode). The effect of several experimental parameters that largely influence the degradation rate of organic pollutants is discussed. Chromatographic analyses and total organic carbon (TOC) and chemical oxygen demand (COD) measurements show a quick disappearance of initial pollutants and their aromatic and aliphatic reaction products in all cases. The great capacity of oxidation and/or mineralization of all these EAOPs to decontaminate acidic aqueous solutions of common herbicides and pesticides is described.

Keywords: AOPs, EAOPs, electro-Fenton, oxygen-diffusion cathode, carbon felt cathode, boron-doped diamond electrode, anodic oxidation, peroxi-coagulation, sonoelectro-Fenton, degradation, mineralization

 

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* Corresponding author. E-mail address: oturan@univ-mlv.fr

 

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