, Volume 29, Issue 3, pp 277-283

Electrochemical degradation of phenol in aqueous solution on bismuth doped lead dioxide: a comparison of the activities of various electrode formulations

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This paper describes the development of electrochemical processes for the oxidative degradation of toxic organic chemicals in waste waters. Doped bismuth lead dioxide anodes have been tested by the kinetic study of phenol anodic oxidation in aqueous solution. The main products during oxidative degradation of phenol are 1,4- benzoquinone, maleic acid and carbon dioxide. Several deposits of Bi2O5–PbO2 on Ti/(IrO2–Ta2O5) substrates have been prepared by anodic oxidation of Pb2+ and Bi3+ in aqueous solutions containing perchloric acid to increase the solubility of bismuth. To study the effect of perchlorate ions, the efficiency of the PbO2 deposit prepared from lead nitrate in an aqueous solution (pure PbO2) was compared with that of a deposit prepared from perchloric acid solution (perchlorate doped PbO2). Although the phenol is oxidized at the same rate on the two deposits, the charge corresponding to the total elimination of 1,4-benzoquinone is three times higher for perchlorate doped PbO2 than for pure PbO2. Phenol degradation is more efficiently carried out on a PbO2 anode doped with perchlorate and with bismuth than on the same electrode doped only with perchlorate. Among the electrodes tested in this work, the pure PbO2 anode is the most efficient for phenol degradation. It is assumed that certain active sites on the anode occupied by perchlorate ions do not participate in the transfer of oxygen atoms and that for the PbO2 electrode doped with bismuth, oxygen evolution is favoured to the detriment of oxygen atom transfer.