Bench-scale photoelectrocatalytic reactor utilizing rGO-TiO2 photoanodes for the degradation of contaminants of emerging concern in water

S. Alkharabsheh, S. McMichael, A. Singhal, A. Rioja-Cabanillas, P. Zamora, V. Monsalvo, F. Rogalla, J. A. Byrne, P. Fernández-Ibáñez

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Abstract

Pharmaceuticals and personal care products are contaminants of emerging concern (CEC) in water. Photocatalysis (PC) and photoelectrocatalysis (PEC) are potential advanced oxidation processes for the effective degradation of these contaminants. In this work a bench-scale photoelectrocatalytic reactor utilizing a UVA-LED array was designed and tested for the degradation of diclofenac as a model CEC. Reduced graphene oxide-titanium dioxide (rGO-TiO2) composite, prepared by the photocatalytic reduction of rGO on TiO2, was immobilised on fluorine doped tin oxide (FTO) glass and evaluated as a photoanode. The influence of UVA intensity and rGO:TiO2 ratio on the degradation rate was studied. Surface modification of the TiO2 with 1% rGO gave the highest photocurrent and best degradation rate of diclofenac, as compared to unmodified TiO2. However, following repeat cycles of photoelectrocatalytic treatment there was an observed drop in the photocurrent with rGO-TiO2 anodes and the rate of diclofenac degradation decreased. Raman and XPS analysis indicated the re-oxidation of the rGO. Attempts to regenerate the rGO in-situ by electrochemical reduction did not prove successful, suggesting that the site of photoelectrocatalytic oxidation of rGO was different to the reduction site targeted in the photocatalytic reduction for the formation of the rGO-TiO2 composites.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)833-844
Number of pages12
JournalProcess Safety and Environmental Protection
Volume182
Early online date21 Dec 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 29 Feb 2024

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We wish to thank the Marie Curie European H2020 Research and Innovation Action ( H2020-MSCA-ITN-EID-812574 ) for funding this research under the REWATERGY . We thank Pro-Photonix Ltd. (Ireland) for the UVA-LED source design, setting up, and technical support.

Funding Information:
We wish to thank the Marie Curie European H2020 Research and Innovation Action (H2020-MSCA-ITN-EID-812574) for funding this research under the REWATERGY. We thank Pro-Photonix Ltd. (Ireland) for the UVA-LED source design, setting up, and technical support.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023

Keywords

  • Photoelectrocatalysis
  • RGO
  • TiO2
  • UVA-LED reactor
  • Diclofenac
  • TiO

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