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Hydrodechlorination of TCE in a circulated electrolytic column at high flow rate

Fallahpour, Noushin, Yuan, Songhu, Rajic, Ljiljana, Alshawabkeh, Akram N.
Chemosphere 2016 v.144 pp. 59-64
catalysts, cost effectiveness, electrochemistry, electrodes, electrolysis, foams, groundwater flow, solar collectors, trichloroethylene
Palladium-catalytic hydrodechlorination of trichloroethylene (TCE) by cathodic H2 produced from water electrolysis has been tested. For a field in-well application, the flow rate is generally high. In this study, the performance of Pd-catalytic hydrodechlorination of TCE using cathodic H2 is evaluated under high flow rate (1 L min−1) in a circulated column system, as expected to occur in practice. An iron anode supports reduction conditions and it is used to enhance TCE hydrodechlorination. However, the precipitation occurs and high flow rate was evaluated to minimize its adverse effects on the process (electrode coverage, clogging, etc.). Under the conditions of 1 L min−1 flow, 500 mA current, and 5 mg L−1 initial TCE concentration, removal efficacy using iron anodes (96%) is significantly higher than by mixed metal oxide (MMO) anodes (66%). Two types of cathodes (MMO and copper foam) in the presence of Pd/Al2O3 catalyst under various currents (250, 125, and 62 mA) were used to evaluate the effect of cathode materials on TCE removal efficacy. The similar removal efficiencies were achieved for both cathodes, but more precipitation generated with copper foam cathode (based on the experiments done by authors). In addition to the well-known parameters such as current density, electrode materials, and initial TCE concentration, the high velocities of groundwater flow can have important implications, practically in relation to the flush out of precipitates. For potential field application, a cost-effective and sustainable in situ electrochemical process using a solar panel as power supply is being evaluated.