Electrode development for electrocatalytic degradation of recalcitrant organic micropollutans in industrial saline wastewater

Water is one of the most important resources of our daily life and also the environment strongly depends on clean water. As the water consumption and water pollution level are rapidly increasing the society is facing severe problems. Thus, effective wastewater treatment methods have to be developed, especially with focus on removal of organic micropollutants since these compounds are insufficiently removed by conventional water treatment plants [1].

Electrocatalytic wastewater treatment belongs to electrochemical advanced oxidation processes (EAOP) and is a promising technology for the degradation of recalcitrant organic micropollutants. In electrocatalytic water treatment a high anodic potential is applied allowing for effective direct and/or indirect oxidation of organic compounds via highly reactive oxygen species (ROS) which can lead up to complete mineralization of the pollutants [2].

The main focus of this project is the development of industrially applicable electrode materials. Therefore, the (to be) developed material needs to fulfil certain requirements such as long-term stability, selectivity, high efficiency and low costs to allow large scale industrial application. Especially, the selectivity of the anode material towards non-toxic degradation products is of importance. Usually industrial wastewater is of high salinity and the formation of toxic halogenated organic compounds (HOC’s) has to be circumvented.



Scheme: Anode and anode reactions



[1] Luo, Y., et al., Science of The Total Environment, 473–474, 2014, 619-641, A review on the occurrence of micropollutants in the aquatic environment and their fate and removal during wastewater treatment.

[2] Sirés, I., et al., Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 21, (14), 2014, 8336-8367, Electrochemical advanced oxidation processes: today and tomorrow. A review.