Application of Heterojunction Ni–Sb–SnO2 Anodes for Electrochemical Water Treatment

  • Yi Zhang
    Yi Zhang
    Linde Laboratories, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California 91125, United States
    More by Yi Zhang
  • Yang Yang
    Yang Yang
    Linde Laboratories, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California 91125, United States
    Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Clarkson University, Potsdam, New York 13699, United States
    More by Yang Yang
  • Shasha Yang
    Shasha Yang
    Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Clarkson University, Potsdam, New York 13699, United States
    More by Shasha Yang
  • Estefanny Quispe-Cardenas
    Estefanny Quispe-Cardenas
    Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Clarkson University, Potsdam, New York 13699, United States
  • , and 
  • Michael R. Hoffmann*
    Michael R. Hoffmann
    Linde Laboratories, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California 91125, United States
    *(M.R.H.) Phone: (626) 395-4391. Email: [email protected]
Cite this: ACS EST Engg. 2021, 1, 8, 1236–1245
Publication Date (Web):June 2, 2021
https://doi.org/10.1021/acsestengg.1c00122
Copyright © 2021 American Chemical Society
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Abstract

Electrochemical oxidation can be used for decentralized wastewater treatment without the addition of chemicals. Antimony-doped tin oxide (Sb-SnO2: AT) provides a catalytic anode coating that is easily prepared at a relatively low cost. However, there is the potential of Sb leaching during use. To overcome this problem, a heterojunction anode is developed that uses an AT oxide layer as an ohmic contact and a nickel-doped AT oxide layer (NAT) with a substantially lower Sb content as an outer catalytic layer (NAT/AT). The two-layer NAT/AT anode has significantly longer operational lifetimes, lower Sb leaching potential, and higher activities for free radical generation and ozone production than either layer when used alone. Based on experimental results in combination with theory, an anodic ozone activation pathway at the acidic electrode/electrolyte interface is identified as a key OH source coupled with direct OH production via water electrolysis. The NAT/AT anode outperforms commercial anodes (e.g., boron-doped diamond and IrO2) for organic compound destruction and for microbial disinfection. The 1-log removal of carbamazepine (surface area-normalized first-order rate constant kCBZ,SA = 1.13 × 10–3 m/s) and 5-log inactivation of E. coli and MS2 virus are achieved within 60 s in synthetic electrolytes. Even though the electrochemical efficiency is lower in the case of latrine wastewater treatment, the energy consumption (e.g., 3.9–14.0 kWh/m3) is low compared to previously reported values.

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