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Utilizing an Integrated Flow Cathode–Membrane Filtration System for Effective and Continuous Electrochemical Hydrodechlorination

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journal contribution
posted on 2024-07-10, 20:09 authored by Jingyi Sun, Shikha Garg, T. David Waite
Pd-based electrodes are recognized to facilitate effective electrochemical hydrodechlorination (EHDC) as a result of their superior capacity for atomic hydrogen (H*) generation. However, challenges such as electrode stability, feasibility of treating complex matrices, and high cost associated with electrode synthesis hinder the application of Pd-based electrodes for EHDC. In this work, we investigated the feasibility of degrading 2,4-dichlorophenol (2,4-DCP) by EHDC employing Pd-loaded activated carbon particles, prepared via a simple wet-impregnation method, as a flow cathode (FC) suspension. Compared to other Pd-based EHDC studies, a much lower Pd loading (0.02–0.08 mg cm–2) was used. Because of the excellent mass transfer in the FC system, almost 100% 2,4-DCP was hydrodechlorinated to phenol within 1 h. The FC system also showed excellent performance in treating complex water matrices (including hardness ion-containing wastewater and various other chlorinated organics such as 2,4-dichlorobenzoic acid and trichloroacetic acid) with a relatively low energy consumption (0.26–1.56 kW h m–3 mg–1 of 2,4-DCP compared to 0.32–7.61 kW h m–3 mg–1 of 2,4-DCP reported by other studies). The FC synthesized here was stable over 36 h of continuous operation, indicating its potential suitability for real-world applications. Employing experimental investigations and mathematical modeling, we further show that hydrodechlorination of 2,4-DCP occurs via interaction with H*, with no role of direct electron transfer and/or HO•-mediated processes in the removal of 2,4-DCP.

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