Electrolytic Manipulation of Persulfate Reactivity by Iron Electrodes for Trichloroethylene Degradation in Groundwater

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State Key Lab of Biogeology and Environmental Geology, China University of Geosciences, 388 Lumo Road, Wuhan, Hubei 430074, P. R. China
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Northeastern University, 400 Snell Engineering, 360 Huntington Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, United States
*E-mail: [email protected]; phone: +86-27-67848629; fax: +86-27-67883456 (S.Y.).
*E-mail: [email protected]; phone: 617 373 3994; fax: 617 373 4419 (A.N.A.).
Cite this: Environ. Sci. Technol. 2014, 48, 1, 656–663
Publication Date (Web):December 13, 2013
Copyright © 2013 American Chemical Society
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Activated persulfate oxidation is an effective in situ chemical oxidation process for groundwater remediation. However, reactivity of persulfate is difficult to manipulate or control in the subsurface causing activation before reaching the contaminated zone and leading to a loss of chemicals. Furthermore, mobilization of heavy metals by the process is a potential risk. An effective approach using iron electrodes is thus developed to manipulate the reactivity of persulfate in situ for trichloroethylene (TCE) degradation in groundwater and to limit heavy metals mobilization. TCE degradation is quantitatively accelerated or inhibited by adjusting the current applied to the iron electrode, following k1 = 0.00053·Iv + 0.059 (−122 A/m3Iv ≤ 244 A/m3) where k1 and Iv are the pseudo first-order rate constant (min–1) and volume normalized current (A/m3), respectively. Persulfate is mainly decomposed by Fe2+ produced from the electrochemical and chemical corrosion of iron followed by the regeneration via Fe3+ reduction on the cathode. SO4•– and ·OH cocontribute to TCE degradation, but ·OH contribution is more significant. Groundwater pH and oxidation–reduction potential can be restored to natural levels by the continuation of electrolysis after the disappearance of contaminants and persulfate, thus decreasing adverse impacts such as the mobility of heavy metals in the subsurface.

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