Hydrodechlorination of TCE by Pd and H2 Produced from a copper foam cathode in a circulated electrolytic column at high flow rate

Presenter: Noushin Fallahpour

Research Category: Engineering and Technology
PI: Akram Alshawabkeh

Pd-catalytic hydrodechlorination of trichloroethylene (TCE) using cathodic H2 in situ produced from water electrolysis has been reported. For a field in-well application, the flow rate is generally high. In this study, the performance of Pd-catalytic hydrodechlorination of TCE using cathodic H2 is evaluated under high flow rate (1 L/min) in a circulated column system. An iron anode and a copper foam cathode are used to enhance TCE hydrodechlorination because iron anode improves reducing conditions and copper foam cathode can hydrodechlorinate TCE directly in addition to H2 production. Under the conditions of 1 L/min flow rate, 500 mA current, and 5 mg/L initial concentration, TCE removal efficacy using iron anode (96%) is significantly higher than using mixed metal oxide (MMO) anode (66%). Two sets of experiments with iron anode and two types of cathodes (MMO and copper foam) in the presence of Pd/ Al2O3 catalyst under various current intensities were conducted to evaluate the effect of cathode materials. The removal efficiencies are almost the same for both cathodes under the same conditions, with more precipitation generated using copper foam cathode. Packing Pd pellets into a column with iron anode and copper foam cathode improves the removal rate to 90% for all the currents applied except 62 mA, with production of less precipitates. For the potential field application, a cost-effective and sustainable in situ electrochemical process is proposed using a solar panel as power supply.