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Electromembrane Extraction Using Sacrificial Electrodes

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journal contribution
posted on 30.03.2020, 11:35 by Frederik A. Hansen, Henrik Jensen, Stig Pedersen-Bjergaard
In this paper, we report the first example of employing a sacrificial electrode in the acceptor solution during electromembrane extraction (EME). The electrode was based on a silver wire with a layer of silver chloride electroplated onto the surface. During EME, the electrode effectively inhibited electrolysis of water in the acceptor compartment, by accepting the charge transfer across the SLM, which enabled the application of 500 μA current without suffering gas formation or pH changes from electrolysis of water. The electroplating strategy was optimized with a design-of-experiments (DOE) methodology that provided optimal conditions of electroplating. With an optimized electrode, 1 cm of the electrode in contact with the acceptor solution inhibited electrolysis of water for approximately 30 min at 500 μA current (redox capacity). Further, the redox capacity of the electrode was found to increase through multiple uses. The advantage of the electrode was demonstrated by extracting polar analytes at high-current conditions in a standard EME system comprising 2-nitrophenyl octyl ether (NPOE) as SLM and 10 mM HCl as sample/acceptor solutions. Application of high current enabled significantly higher recoveries than could otherwise be obtained at 100 μA. Sacrificial electrodes were also tested in μ-EME and were found beneficial by eliminating detrimental bubble formation. Thus, the sacrificial electrodes improved the stability of μ-EME systems. The findings of this paper are important for development of stable and robust systems for EME operated at high voltage/current and for EME performed in narrow channels/tubing where bubble formation is critical.