Environmental technology

Comparing atrazine and cyanuric acid electro-oxidation on mixed oxide and boron-doped diamond electrodes.

PMID 23837356


The breakdown of pesticides has been promoted by many methods for clean up of contaminated soil and wastewaters. The main goal is to decrease the toxicity of the parent compound to achieve non-toxic compounds or even, when complete mineralization occurs, carbon dioxide and water. Therefore, electrochemical degradation (potentiostatic and galvanostatic) of both the pesticide atrazine and cyanuric acid (CA) at boron-doped diamond (BDD) and Ti/Ru0.3Ti0.7O2 dimensionally stable anode (DSA) electrodes, in different supporting electrolytes (NaCl and Na2SO4), is presented with the aim of establishing the influence of the operational parameters on the process efficiency. The results demonstrate that both the electrode material and the supporting electrolyte have a strong influence on the rate of atrazine removal. In the chloride medium, the rate of atrazine removal is always greater than in sulfate under all conditions employed. Furthermore, in the sulfate medium, atrazine degradation was significant only at the BDD electrode. The total organic carbon (TOC) load decreased by 79% and 56% at the BDD and DSA electrodes, respectively, in the chloride medium. This trend was maintained in the sulfate medium but the TOC removal was lower (i.e. 33% and 13% at BDD and DSA electrodes, respectively). CA, a stable atrazine degradation intermediate, was also studied and it is efficiently removed using the BDD electrode in both media, mainly when high current densities are employed. The use of the BDD electrode in the chloride medium not only degrades atrazine but also mineralized cyanuric acid leading to the higher TOC removal.