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Enhanced photoelectrocatalytic degradation of ammonia by in situ photoelectrogenerated active chlorine on TiO2 nanotube electrodes

Xiao, Shuhu, Wan, Dongjin, Zhang, Kun, Qu, Hongbin, Peng, Jianfeng
Journal of environmental sciences (China) 2016 v.50 pp. 103-108
X-ray diffraction, ammonia, chlorides, chlorine, electrochemistry, electrodes, ions, irradiation, nanotubes, pH, photocatalysis, scanning electron microscopy, sodium sulfate, sol-gel processing, titanium dioxide
TiO2 nanotube (TiNT) electrodes anodized in fluorinated organic solutions were successfully prepared on Ti sheets. Field-emission scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM) and X-ray diffraction (XRD) were performed to characterize the TiNT electrodes. The linear voltammetry results under irradiation showed that the TiNT electrode annealed at 450°C presented the highest photoelectrochemical activity. By combining photocatalytic with electrochemical process, a significantly synergetic effect on ammonia degradation was observed with Na2SO4 as supporting electrolyte at pH10.7. Furthermore, the photoelectrocatalytic efficiency on the ammonia degradation was greatly enhanced in presence of chloride ions without the limitation of pH. The degradation rate was improved by 14.8 times reaching 4.98×10⁻²min⁻¹ at pH10.7 and a faster degradation rate of 6.34×10⁻²min⁻¹ was obtained at pH3.01. The in situ photoelectrocatalytic generated active chlorine was proposed to be responsible for the improved efficiency. On the other hand, an enhanced degradation of ammonia using TiNT electrode fabricated in fluorinated organic solution was also confirmed compared to TiNT electrode anodized in fluorinated water solution and TiO2 film electrode fabricated by sol–gel method. Finally, the effect of chloride concentration was also discussed.