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J Hazard Mater. 2013 May 15;252-253:306-12. doi: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2013.03.018. Epub 2013 Mar 16.

Electrochemical degradation of m-cresol using porous carbon-nanotube-containing cathode and Ti/SnO2-Sb2O5-IrO2 anode: kinetics, byproducts and biodegradability.

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  • 1School of Environment and Safety Engineering, Qingdao University of Science and Technology, Shandong, Qingdao 266042, China.


The degradation of m-cresol solution was studied using an electrochemical oxidation system with Ti/SnO2-Sb2O5-IrO2 anode for anodic oxidation and porous carbon-nanotube-containing cathode for H2O2 electrogeneration along with Fe(3+) reduction. Organic pollutants were oxidized by hydroxyl radical (OH) formed simultaneously in the medium from electro-Fenton reaction in the presence of Fe(2+) and at the anode surface from water oxidation. The porous cathode made of graphite, carbon nanotube (CNT) and polytetrafluoroethene (PTFE) exhibited a higher catalytic activity toward O2 reduction producing H2O2 and Fe(3+) reduction for Fe(2+) regeneration, favoring organics degradation by electro-Fenton oxidation. The degradation kinetics results revealed that the reaction of m-cresol cleavage with hydroxyl radicals could be described by pseudo first-order kinetics. The progress of organics mineralization demonstrated some byproducts were formed during m-cresol degradation. Based on the byproducts identified by GC-MS and HPLC, the sequential process of m-cresol degradation was proposed. Furthermore, the aerobic biological treatment showed that the electrochemical treatment was able to evidently enhance the biodegradability of m-cresol solution.

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