Electrochimica Acta, Vol.277, 185-196, 2018
Rates of H2O2 electrogeneration by reduction of anodic O-2 at RVC foam cathodes in batch and flow-through cells
The Electro-Fenton process for in-situ H2O2 electrogeneration is impacted by low O-2 utilization efficiency (<0.1%) and the need of acid for pH adjustment. An electrochemical flow-through cell can develop localized acidic conditions, coupled with simultaneous formation and utilization of O-2 to enhance H2O2 formation. Multiple electrode configurations using reticulated vitreous carbon (RVC) foam and Ti/mixed metal oxides (MMO) are proposed to identify the optimum conditions for H2O2 formation in batch and flow-through cells. A pH of 2.75 +/- 0.25 is developed locally in the flow-through cell that supports effective O2 reduction. Up to 9.66 mg/L H2O2 is generated in a 180 mL batch cell under 100mA, at pH 2, and mixing at 350 rpm. In flow-through conditions, both flow rate and current significantly influence H2O2 production. A current of 120mA produced 2.27mg/L H2O2 under a flow rate of 3 mL/min in a 3electrode cell with one RVC foam cathode at 60min. The low current of 60 mA does not enable effective H2O2 production, while the high current of 250 mA produced less H2O2 due to parasitic reactions competing with O-2 reduction. Higher flow rates decrease the retention time, but also increase the O-2 mass transfer. Furthermore, 3-electrode flow-through cell with two RVC foam cathodes was not effective for H2O2 production due to the limited O-2 supply for the secondary cathode. Finally, a coupled process that uses both O-2 and H-2 from water electrolysis is proposed to improve the H2O2 yield further. Published by Elsevier Ltd.