Environmental science and pollution research international

Efficient removal of insecticide "imidacloprid" from water by electrochemical advanced oxidation processes.

PMID 24671401


The oxidative degradation of imidacloprid (ICP) has been carried out by electrochemical advanced oxidation processes (EAOPs), anodic oxidation, and electro-Fenton, in which hydroxyl radicals are generated electrocatalytically. Carbon-felt cathode and platinum or boron-doped diamond (BDD) anodes were used in electrolysis cell. To determine optimum operating conditions, the effects of applied current and catalyst concentration were investigated. The decay of ICP during the oxidative degradation was well fitted to pseudo-first-order reaction kinetics and absolute rate constant of the oxidation of ICP by hydroxyl radicals was found to be k abs(ICP) = 1.23 × 10(9) L mol(-1) s(-1). The results showed that both anodic oxidation and electro-Fenton process with BDD anode exhibited high mineralization efficiency reaching 91 and 94% total organic carbon (TOC) removal at 2 h, respectively. For Pt-EF process, mineralization efficiency was also obtained as 71%. The degradation products of ICP were identified and a plausible general oxidation mechanism was proposed. Some of the main reaction intermediates such as 6-chloronicotinic acid, 6-chloronicotinaldehyde, and 6-hydroxynicotinic acid were determined by GC-MS analysis. Before complete mineralization, formic, acetic, oxalic, and glyoxylic acids were identified as end-products. The initial chlorine and organic nitrogen present in ICP were found to be converted to inorganic anions Cl(-), NO₃(-), and NH₄(+).