Degradation of aqueous cefotaxime in electro-oxidation - electro-Fenton -persulfate system with Ti/CNT/SnO2-Sb-Er anode and Ni@NCNT cathode.Chemosphere. 2020 Jul; 250:126163.C
Due to the potential threatening of antibiotics in aqueous environment, a novel electro-oxidation (EO) - electro-Fenton (EF) -persulfate (PS) system with the addition of peroxydisulfate and Fe2+ was installed for the degradation of cefotaxime. Ti/CNT/SnO2-Sb-Er with an ultra-high oxygen evolution potential (2.15 V) and enhanced electrocatalytic surface area was adopted as anode. The OH production and electrode stability test demonstrated great improvement in the electrochemical performances. Ni@NCNT cathode was tested with higher H2O2 generation by the presence of nitrogen functionalities due to the acceleration of electron transfer of O2 reduction. Experiment results indicated CNT and ErO2 modification increased the molecular and TOC removal of cefotaxime. Coupling processes of EO-EF and EO-PS both resulted in shorter electrolysis time for complete cefotaxime removal, however, the mineralization ability of EO-PS process was lower than EO-EF, which might result from the immediate vanishing of PS. Thus, a further improved treatment EO-EF-PS system achieved an 81.6% TOC removal towards 50 mg L-1 cefotaxime after 4 h electrolysis, under the optimal working condition Fe2+ = PS = 1 mM. The influence of current density and initial concentration on the performance of all processes was assessed. Methanol and tert-butanol were added in the system as OH and SO4- scavengers, which illustrating the mechanism of EO-EF-PS oxidizing process was the result of the two free radicals. Major intermediates were deduced and the degradation pathway of cefotaxime was analyzed. This research provides a potential coupling process with high antibiotic removal efficiency and effective materials for practical uses.