Degradação eletroquímica de compostos fenólicos usando eletrodo de diamante dopado com boro
Souza, Renata Beraldo Alencar de
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The presence of organic compounds in industrial effluents is a serious environmental issue as well as for the human health, since most of those compounds are extremely toxic. The treatment of those effluents is done many times using biological processes; however some classes of compounds, among the phenolic ones, are resistant to this kind of treatment and require the use of technologies known as Advanced Oxidation Processes, that are based on the chemical or photochemical generation of oxidant radicals. The electrochemical technology emerged as an environmentally compatible alternative with advantages such as the elimination of transport and storage of dangerous chemical products, decrease of workforce and easiness to control the process. On this dissertation were systematically studied the variables of process and project of an electrochemical system using a boron-doped diamond anode for the oxidation of phenolic compounds aiming at current efficiency increase and, therefore, the decrease of energy consumption in the process. In a first phase it was studied the oxidation of the phenol using a reactor either with and without membrane, on the presence or absence of chloride. After that it was studied the influence of the kind of supporting electrolyte and its concentration on the process of oxidation of phenol, the interaction of the process and project variables analyzed, the effect of the flow rate, current density and concentration of chloride on the degradation of phenol and finally, the electrochemical degradation of a real effluent coming from a petroleum refinery. The results show that the use of a membrane had no significant influence on the kinetics of oxidation when compared with the reactor without membrane, mainly when the chloride ions were present on the solution, and that with the use of the membrane the highest cell potentials were achieved. In face of this, it was opted by the utilization of a reactor with one compartment. Overall, it was observed that the utilization of different supporting electrolytes did not interfere on a significant way on the process; however when supporting electrolytes of sulfuric acid, sodium sulfate or calcium carbonate were used there was an improvement of the process in terms of current efficiency and energy consumption. Still, generally, the presence of chloride ions leads to an increase on the kinetics of removal of chemical oxygen demand (COD) e total phenolic compounds (TPC). With respect to the interaction of process and project variables, it was verified that for both currents used, in most cases, the kinetics of degradation is weakly influenced by the distance between the electrodes. The increase on the current density leads to a faster speed on the degradation process, however there is a potential cell increase. The increase on flow rate provides, besides a faster kinetics, an improvement on current efficiency, due to enhancement of mass transport. As for the degradation of the real effluent, it was found that the use of lower current densities is essential to accomplish lower cell potentials to enable the utilization of the electrooxidation process in terms of global energetic consumption.