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Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2013 Apr;20(4):2252-61. doi: 10.1007/s11356-012-1100-0. Epub 2012 Aug 1.

Electro-Fenton decolourisation of dyes in an airlift continuous reactor using iron alginate beads.

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Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Vigo, Isaac Newton Building, Campus As Lagoas, Marcosende, 36310 Vigo, Spain.


In this study, electro-Fenton dye degradation was performed in an airlift continuous reactor configuration by harnessing the catalytic activity of Fe alginate gel beads. Electro-Fenton experiments were carried out in an airlift reactor with a working volume of 1.5 L, air flow of 1.5 L/min and 115 g of Fe alginate gel beads. An electric field was applied by two graphite bars connected to a direct current power supply with a constant potential drop. In this study, Lissamine Green B and Reactive Black 5 were selected as model dyes. Fe alginate gel beads can be used as an effective heterogeneous catalyst for the degradation of organic dyes in the electro-Fenton process, as they are more efficient than the conventional electrochemical techniques. At optimal working conditions (3 V and pH 2), the continuous process was performed. For both dyes, the degree of decolourisation increases when the residence time augments. Taking into account hydrodynamic and kinetic behaviour, a model to describe the reactor profile was obtained, and the standard deviation between experimental and theoretical data was lower than 6%. The results indicate the suitability of the electro-Fenton technique to oxidise polluted effluents in the presence of Fe alginate gel beads. Moreover, the operation is possible in a continuous airlift reactor, due to the entrapment of iron in the alginate matrix.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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