Electrochemically assisted photocatalytic degradation of contaminants of emerging concern in simulated wastewater using WO3 – Elucidation of mechanisms

Alvaro Tolosana, Stuart McMichael, Jeremy Hamilton, John Byrne, A P Fernandez-Ibanez

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Abstract

In this work, the performance of a photoelectrochemical cell to degrade a mixture of contaminants of emerging concern (CECs) in distilled water and simulated wastewater effluents (SWWE) was assessed. The CECs mixture included trimethoprim (TMP), diclofenac (DFC), sulfamethoxazole (SMX) and carbamazepine (CBZ) (100 μg·L−1 each). WO3 nanoplate-like structures synthesized on fluorine tin oxide coated glass (FTO) were used as the photoanode with Pt or carbon gas diffusion electrodes (GDE) as the counter electrode. The most efficient degradation of the CECs was obtained with the WO3-GDE combination. Significant degradation of the CECs was observed under visible only radiation. Even under visible radiation, reasonable rate constants 5.67·10-3, 5.35·10-3, 2.9·10-3 and 4.35·10-3 min−1 were obtained for TMP, SMX, CBZ and DFC degradation. The degradation mechanism at the cathode and the photoanode was elucidated using a two-compartment cell, which allowed the identification of reactive species generated at each electrode. Photogenerated holes were the main responsible for CEC degradation in SWWE. With the carbon GDE, a high Faradaic efficiency (55 %) for H2O2 production was observed.
Original languageEnglish
Article number141442
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalChemical Engineering Journal
Volume458
Early online date13 Jan 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 15 Feb 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors wish to thank the EU-India H2020 cooperation program for funding this work under the PANIWATER project (RIA GA-820718). Álvaro Tolosana Moranchel also thank the Consejería de Educación, Juventud y Deporte of the Comunidad de Madrid for the Ayuda Destinada a la Atracción de Talento Investigador (2020-T2/AMB-19927) granted to him.

Funding Information:
The authors wish to thank the EU-India H2020 cooperation program for funding this work under the PANIWATER project (RIA GA-820718). Álvaro Tolosana Moranchel also thank the Consejería de Educación, Juventud y Deporte of the Comunidad de Madrid for the Ayuda Destinada a la Atracción de Talento Investigador (2020-T2/AMB-19927) granted to him.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023

Keywords

  • Carbon gas diffusion electrode
  • Contaminant of emerging concern
  • Photoelectrocatalysis
  • Reactive oxygen species
  • WO3 photoanode

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