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Water Res. 2005 Jul;39(12):2687-703.

Electrochemical oxidation of phenolic wastes with boron-doped diamond anodes.

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Department of Chemical Engineering, Facultad de Ciencias Químicas, Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha, Campus Universitario s/n, 13071 Ciudad Real, Spain.


The electrochemical oxidation of several phenolic aqueous wastes has been studied using a bench-scale plant with a single-compartment electrochemical flow cell. Boron-doped diamond materials were used as the anode. Complete mineralization of the waste was obtained in the treatment of phenols not substituted with chlorine or nitrogen. Chlorinated phenolic compounds were transformed into carbon dioxide; volatile organochlorinated compounds and nitro-substituted phenols deal with the formation of polymeric materials. These polymeric materials behave as final products or treatment intermediates depending on the nature of the initial pollutant. The removal of nitro- or the chloro-group from the phenolic molecule seems to be one of the first stages in the treatment. Non-nitrogenated or chlorinated carboxylic acids have been found to be the main intermediates in the electrochemical oxidation of all the phenolic compounds tested. The efficiencies of the process depend strongly on the concentration of organic pollutants and on their nature, and not on the current density, at least in the operation range studied.

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