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Frontiers of Environmental Science & Engineering

Front. Environ. Sci. Eng.    2016, Vol. 10 Issue (4) : 15
An electrochemical process that uses an Fe0/TiO2 cathode to degrade typical dyes and antibiotics and a bio-anode that produces electricity
Chaojie Jiang1,Lifen Liu1,*(),John C. Crittenden2
1. Key Laboratory of Industrial Ecology and Environmental Engineering (Ministry of Education), School of Environmental Science and Technology, Dalian University of Technology, Dalian 116024, China
2. School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30332, USA
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A bio-electrochemical fuel cell reactor with cathodic Fe0/TiO2 generates electricity.

It destroys recalcitrant pollutants in cathode chamber without photocatalysis.

Fe0/TiO2 generates reactive oxygenated species in the dark or under photocatalysis.

Cathodic produced ROS (hydroxy radical/superoxide radical) can degrade tetracycline or dyes.

Electricity generation is enhanced by semiconductor catalyzed cathodic degradation of pollutants.

In this study, a new water treatment system that couples (photo-) electrochemical catalysis (PEC or EC) in a microbial fuel cell (MFC) was configured using a stainless-steel (SS) cathode coated with Fe0/TiO2. We examined the destruction of methylene blue (MB) and tetracycline. Fe0/TiO2 was prepared using a chemical reduction-deposition method and coated onto an SS wire mesh (500 mesh) using a sol technique. The anode generates electricity using microbes (bio-anode). Connected via wire and ohmic resistance, the system requires a short reaction time and operates at a low cost by effectively removing 94% MB (initial concentration 20 mg·L1) and 83% TOC/TOC0 under visible light illumination (50 W; 1.99 mW·cm2 for 120 min, MFC-PEC). The removal was similar even without light irradiation (MFC-EC). The EEo of the MFC-PEC system was approximately 0.675 kWh·m3·order1, whereas that of the MFC-EC system was zero. The system was able to remove 70% COD in tetracycline solution (initial tetracycline concentration 100 mg·L1) after 120 min of visible light illumination; without light, the removal was 15% lower. The destruction of MB and tetracycline in both traditional photocatalysis and photoelectrocatalysis systems was notably low. The electron spin-resonance spectroscopy (ESR) study demonstrated that ·OH was formed under visible light, and ·O2 was formed without light. The bio-electricity-activated O2 and ROS (reactive oxidizing species) generation by Fe0/TiO2 effectively degraded the pollutants. This cathodic degradation improved the electricity generation by accepting and consuming more electrons from the bio-anode.

Keywords Bio-anode      Photocatalytic cathode      Fe0/TiO2      ESR      Dye and antibiotics      Advanced oxidation     
Corresponding Authors: Lifen Liu   
Online First Date: 08 July 2016    Issue Date: 24 August 2016
 Cite this article:   
Chaojie Jiang,Lifen Liu,John C. Crittenden. An electrochemical process that uses an Fe0/TiO2 cathode to degrade typical dyes and antibiotics and a bio-anode that produces electricity[J]. Front. Environ. Sci. Eng., 2016, 10(4): 15.
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Chaojie Jiang
Lifen Liu
John C. Crittenden
Fig.1  Flow chart of the catalytic cathode preparation
Fig.2  Design of the MFC-PEC system
Fig.3  SEM images of nanoscale Fe0/TiO2 composites
Fig.4  UV-vis absorption spectra of TiO2 and nanoscale Fe0/TiO2 composites
Fig.5  Destruction of methylene blue (MB) under different conditions ((a) shows the decrement percent of concentration in the MB solution; (b) shows the change in TOC/TOC0 in the MB solution)
Fig.6  Destruction of tetracycline under different conditions
Fig.7  ESR spectrum of the experiment when MB was removed from the system with light (a) and without light (b)
Fig.8  Reactor cell voltage (a) and power density (b) under different conditions
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