Chemical Reviews, Vol.116, No.24, 15198-15234, 2016
Electroreductive Remediation of Halogenated Environmental Pollutants
Electrochemical reduction of halogenated organic compounds is gaining increasing attention as a strategy for the remediation of environmental pollutants. We begin this review by discussing key components (cells, electrodes, solvents, and electrolytes) in the design of a procedure for degrading a targeted pollutant, and we describe and contrast some experimental techniques used to explore and characterize the electrochemical behavior of that pollutant. Then, we describe how to probe various mechanistic features of the pertinent electrochemistry (including stepwise versus concerted carbon halogen bond cleavage, identification of reaction intermediates, and elucidation of mechanisms). Knowing this information is vital to the successful development of a remediation procedure. Next, we outline techniques, instrumentation, and cell designs involved in scaling up a benchtop experiment to an industrial-scale system. Finally, the last and major part of this review is directed toward surveying electrochemical studies of various categories of halogenated pollutants (chlorofluorocarbons; disinfection byproducts; pesticides, fungicides, and bactericides; and flame retardants) and looking forward to future developments.