Electrochimica Acta, Vol.296, 317-326, 2019
Activated carbon as effective cathode material in iron-free Electro-Fenton process: Integrated H2O2 electrogeneration, activation, and pollutants adsorption
Major challenges for effective implementation of the Electro-Fenton (EF) water treatment process are that conventional efficient cathodes are relatively expensive, and H2O2 activation by Fe2+ may cause secondary pollution. Herein, we propose a low-cost activated carbon/stainless steel mesh (ACSS) composite cathode, where the SS mesh distributes the current and the AC simultaneously supports H2O2 electrogeneration, H2O2 activation, and organic compounds (OCs) adsorption. The oxygen-containing groups on the AC function as oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) sites for H2O2 electrogeneration; while the porous configuration supply sufficient reactive surface area for ORR. 8.9 mg/L H2O2 was obtained with 1.5 g AC at 100 mA under neutral pH without external O-2 supply. The ACSS electrode is also effective for H2O2 activation to generate center dot OH, especially under neutral pH. Adsorption shows limited influence on both H2O2 electrogeneration and activation. The iron-free EF process enabled by the ACSS cathode is effective for reactive blue 19 (RB19) degradation. 61.5% RB19 was removed after 90 min and 74.3% TOC was removed after 720 min. Moreover, long-term stability test proved its relatively stable performance. Thus, the ACSS electrode configuration is promising for practical and cost-effective EF process for transformation of OCs in water. (C) 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.