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Decomplexation of Cu-1-hydroxyethylidene-1,1-diphosphonic acid by a three-dimensional electrolysis system with activated biochar as particle electrodes

Xing Wang, Zilong Zhao, Hongjie Wang, Feng Wang, Wenyi Dong
Journal of environmental sciences (China) 2023 v.124 pp. 630-643
adsorption, almond shells, anodes, biochar, electric current, electrochemistry, mineralization, oxidation, pH, quinones, wastewater, China
The feasibility of decomplexation removal of typical contaminants in electroplating wastewater, complexed Cu(II) with 1-hydroxyethylidene-1,1-diphosphonic acid (Cu-HEDP), was first performed by a three-dimensional electrode reactor with activated biochar as particle electrodes. For the case of 50 mg/L Cu-HEDP, Cu(II) removal (90.7%) and PO₄³⁻ conversion (34.9%) were achieved under the conditions of electric current 40 mA, initial pH 7, acid-treated almond shell biochar (AASB) addition 20 g/L, and reaction time 180 min, with second-order rate constants of 1.10 × 10⁻³ and 1.94 × 10⁻⁵ min⁻¹ respectively. The growing chelating effect between Cu(II) and HEDP and the comprehensive actions of adsorptive accumulation, direct and indirect oxidation given by particle electrodes accounted for the enhanced removal of Cu-HEDP, even though the mineralization of HEDP was mainly dependent on anode oxidation. The performance attenuation of AASB particle electrodes was ascribed to the excessive consumption of oxygen-containing functionalities during the reaction, especially acidic carboxylic groups and quinones on particle electrodes, which decreased from 446.74 to 291.48 μmol/g, and 377.55 to 247.71 μmol/g, respectively. Based on the determination of adsorption behavior and indirect electrochemical oxidation mediated by in situ electrogenerated H₂O₂ and reactive oxygen species (e.g., •OH), a possible removal mechanism of Cu-HEDP by three-dimensional electrolysis was further proposed.