Electrochemical degradation of ibuprofen using an activated-carbon-based continuous-flow three-dimensional electrode reactor (3DER).Chemosphere. 2020 Jun 17; 259:127382.C
We developed a continuous-flow three-dimensional electrode reactor (3DER) to remove ibuprofen (IBP) from water. The effects of the operating parameters on the 3DER performance were investigated. The 3DER was constructed by filling a conventional two-dimensional electrode reactor with granular activated carbon, which acted as particle electrodes. The IBP removal efficiency of the 3DER was 98% in 4 h, which was 2.5 times higher than the removal efficiency for the two-dimensional electrode reactor. IBP removal kinetics tests indicated that the current density (1-20 mA/cm2) correlated better than the other operating parameters with the first-order rate constant (k). The flow rate affected the IBP removal kinetics to a small degree. Chloride and sulfate supporting electrolyte concentrations between 17 and 100 mM affected the IBP removal kinetics in opposite ways. Increasing the chloride concentration increased k, but increasing the sulfate concentration decreased k. Radical quenching experiments indicated that much more IBP degradation occurred through both indirect and direct oxidation mechanisms in the 3DER than in the two-dimensional electrode reactor. The particle electrodes caused hydroxyl radicals to form when the 3DER treatment was started, but the particle electrodes later acted as third electrodes and favored direct oxidation of IBP.