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Enhancement of Photoelectrocatalytic Oxidation of Cu–Cyanide Complexes and Cathodic Recovery of Cu in a Metal-Free System

  • Shichao Tian
    Shichao Tian
    Key Laboratory of Drinking Water Science and Technology, Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100085, P. R. China
    Shenzhen Environmental Science and New Energy Technology Engineering Laboratory, Tsinghua–Berkeley Shenzhen Institute, Shenzhen 518055, P. R. China
    More by Shichao Tian
  • Congzhe Dang
    Congzhe Dang
    Key Laboratory of Drinking Water Science and Technology, Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100085, P. R. China
    More by Congzhe Dang
  • Ran Mao
    Ran Mao
    Key Laboratory of Drinking Water Science and Technology, Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100085, P. R. China
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  • , and 
  • Xu Zhao*
    Xu Zhao
    Key Laboratory of Drinking Water Science and Technology, Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100085, P. R. China
    University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, No.19 (A) Yuquan Road, Shijingshan District, Beijing 100049, P. R. China
    *E-mail: [email protected]. Tel.: 86-010-62849667.
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Cite this: ACS Sustainable Chem. Eng. 2018, 6, 8, 10273–10281
Publication Date (Web):June 26, 2018
https://doi.org/10.1021/acssuschemeng.8b01634
Copyright © 2018 American Chemical Society
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Abstract

In this work, a photoelectrocatalytic (PEC) system was established for oxidation of Cu–cyanide complexes and copper cathodic recovery. Graphitic carbon nitride (g-C3N4) responsive to visible light and graphitic carbon felt (GCF) modified by polyaniline (PANI) were used as the anode and cathode, respectively. Addition of 1.0 mM peroxydisulfate (PS) to this PEC system efficiently increased the oxidation efficiency of the Cu–cyanide complexes from 15.56% to 81.00% at 1.5 V. In comparison with the individual GCF cathode, the copper recovery efficiency was increased from 30.07% to 58.69% using a GCF/PANI electrode; the copper deposition onto the g-C3N4 photoanode was efficiently inhibited. Thus, the total Cu removal efficiency was determined to be 82.72%. The amine and imine functional groups in PANI were favorable for Cu recovery. Based upon ESR analysis, it was proposed that SO4•– radicals were generated through a Fenton-like reaction. Meanwhile, PS was also activated to generate SO4•– radicals by the deposition of copper oxides onto g-C3N4 photoanode and photogenerated electrons on the cathode. The generated SO4•– radicals were mainly responsible for CN removal. The established metal-free PEC system achieved the cyanide oxidation and cathodic copper recovery efficiently.

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The Supporting Information is available free of charge on the ACS Publications website at DOI: 10.1021/acssuschemeng.8b01634.

  • EDX analysis of various cathodes and Cu mass balance in the PEC/PS system with various bias potential and cycling test of the photoelectrocatalytic system (PDF)

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