Investigation of Dye Removal Efficiency of the Photoelectrocatalytic System Using Graphite and Stainless Steel as Electrodes

Document Type : Research Paper


1 MSc Student of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran

2 Assoc. Prof., Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran


The removal of Acid Orange 7 by the photoelectrocatalytic process was investigated at ambient temperature under solar irradiation using graphite as the cathode and stainless steel coated with the ZnO/TiO2 nanocomposite as the anode. The microstructure of the ZnO/TiO2 coated electrode was characterized by the SEM test. The results revealed dye and COD removal efficiencies of 99% and 97%, respectively, over a period of 360 minutes. The best performance was achieved in 360 minutes with no aeration at a current of 1 mA/cm2, an initial dye concentration of 100 mg/L, an electrode surface area of 30 cm2, and an electrolyte concentration of 0.01 M; energy consumption under these optimum conditions was 0.15 KWh/ppm. It may be concluded that the photoelectrocatalytic process is well capable of removing organic compounds, especially textile effluents containing dyes and non-degradable contaminants, due to its ability to produce hydroxyl radicals, superoxide, etc. Thus, the technique may be recommended for use as a pre-treatment process to reduce operational costs.


Main Subjects

1. Martínez-Huitle, C. A., and Brillas, E. (2009). “Decontamination of wastewaters containing synthetic organic dyes by electrochemical methods: A general review.” Applied Catalysis B: Environmental, 87(3), 105-145.
2. Pekakis, P. A., Xekoukoulotakis, N. P., and Mantzavinos, D. (2006). “Treatment of textile dye house wastewater by TiO2 photocatalysis.” Water Research, 40(6), 1276-1286.
3. De Souza, S. M. D. A. G. U., Bonilla, K. A. S., and De Souza, A. A. U. (2010). “Removal of COD and color from hydrolyzed textile azo dye by combined ozonation and biological treatment.” Journal of Hazardous Materials, 179(1), 35-42.
4. Hamzeh, Y., Izadyar, S., Azadeh, E., Abyaz, A., and Asadollahi, Y. (2010). “Application of canola stalks waste as adsorbent of Acid Orange 7 from aqueous solution.” Journal of Health and Environment, 4(1), 49-56.
5. Szyguła, A., Guibal, E., Ruiz, M., and Sastre, A. M. (2008). “The removal of sulphonated azo-dyes by coagulation with chitosan.” Colloids and Surfaces A: Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects, 330(2), 219-226.
6. Davila Jimenez, M. M., Elizalde Gonzalez, M. P., and Pelaez Cid, A. A. (2005). “Adsorption interaction between natural adsorbents and textile dyes in aqueous solution.” Colloids and Surfaces A: Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects, 254(1), 107-114.
7. Wu, J. S., Liu, C. H., Chu, K. H., and Suen, S. Y. (2008). “Removal of cationic dye methyl violet 2B from water by cation exchange membranes.” Journal of Membrane Science, 309(1), 239-245.
8. Zarrabi, M., Rahmani, A. R., Samarghandi, M. R., and Barjasteh Askary, F. (2013). “Investigation the zero-Valent Iron (ZVI) performance in the presence of UV light and hydrogen peroxide on removal of azo dyes Acid Orange 7 and Reactive Black 5 from aquatic solutions.” Journal of Health and Environment, 5(4), 469-478.
9. Ertugay, N., and Acar, F. N. (2013). “Removal of COD and color from Direct Blue 71 azo dye wastewater by Fenton’s oxidation: Kinetic study.” Arabian Journal of Chemistry, 6, 136-142.
10. Lin, H., Zhang, H., Wang, X., Wang, L., and Wu, J. (2014). “Electro-Fenton removal of Orange II in a divided cell: Reaction mechanism, degradation pathway and toxicity evolution.” Separation and Purification Technology, 122, 533-540.
11. Peng, Y.P., Yassitepe, E., Yeh, Y.T., Ruzybayev, I., Ismat Shah, S., and Huang, C. P. (2012). “Photoelectrochemical degradation of azo dye over pulsed laser deposited nitrogen-doped TiO2 thin film.” Applied Catalysis B: Environmental. 125, 465-472.
12. Hou, Y., Qu, J., Zhao, X., Lei, P., Wan, D., and Huang, C. P. (2009). “Electro-photocatalytic degradation of acid orange II using a novel TiO2/ACF photoanode.” The Science of the Total Environment, 407(7), 2431.
13. Uzunova, M., Kostadinov, M., Georgieva, J., Dushkin, C., Todorovsky, D., Philippidis, N., and Sotiropoulos, S. (2007). “Photoelectrochemical characterisation and photocatalytic activity of composite La2O3–TiO2 coatings on stainless steel.” Applied Catalysis B: Environmental, 73(1-2), 23-33.
14. Minaii Zangi, Z. (2013). “Photocatalytic degradation of Direct Blue 71 using TiO2 doped with Zn attached to the concrete surface.” MSc Thesis, Tarbiat Modares University, Iran. (In Persian)
15. Rehman, S., Ullah, R., Butt, A.M., and Gohar, N.D. (2009). “Strategies of making TiO2 and ZnO visible light active.” Journal of Hazardous Materials, 170, 560-569.
16. Pelaez, M., Nolan, N. T., Pillai, S. C., Seery, M. K., Falaras, P., Kontos, A. G., and Dionysiou, D. D. (2012). “A review on the visible light active titanium dioxide photocatalysts for environmental applications.” Applied Catalysis B: Environmental, 125, 331-349.
17. Park, H., Park, Y., Kim, W., and Choi, W. (2013). “Surface modification of TiO2 photocatalyst for environmental applications.” Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology C: Photochemistry Reviews, 15, 1-20.
18. Daghrir, R., Drogui, P., and Robert, D. (2012). “Photoelectrocatalytic technologies for environmental applications.” Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology A: Chemistry, 238, 41-52.
19. Xin, Y., Gao, M., Wang, Y., and Ma, D. (2014). “Photoelectrocatalytic degradation of 4-nonylphenol in water with WO3/TiO2 nanotube array photoelectrodes.” Chemical Engineering Journal, 242, 162-169.
20. Wang, H., Zhang, X., Su, Y., Yu, H., Chen, S., Quan, X., and Yang, F. (2014). “Photoelectrocatalytic oxidation of aqueous ammonia using TiO2 nanotube arrays.” Applied Surface Science, 331, 851-857.
21. APHA, AWWA, WEF. (2012). Standard methods for the examination of water and wastewater, 22th Ed., USA.
22. Karunakaran, C., Abiramasundari, G., Gomathisankar, P., Manikandan, G., and Anandi,  V. (2011). “Preparation and characterization of ZnO–TiO2 nanocomposite for photocatalytic disinfection of bacteria and detoxification of cyanide under visible.” Materials Research Bulletin, 46, 1586-1592.
23. Minaii Zangi, Z., Ganjidoust, H., and Ayati, B. (2014). “Photocatalytic degradation of dye using dopping Titanium Dioxide nanoparticles and its kinetic study.” Journal of Color Science and Technology, 8, 203-211.
24. Souzanchi, S., Vahabzadeh, F., Fazel, S., and Hosseini, S. N. (2013). “Performance of an annular sieve-plate column photoreactor using immobilized TiO2 on stainless steel support for phenol degradation.” Chemical Engineering Journal, 223, 268-276.
25. Habibi, M. H., and Mikhak, M. (2012). “Titania/zinc oxide nanocomposite coatings on glass or quartz substrate for photocatalytic degradation of direct blue 71.” Applied Surface Science, 258(18), 6745-6752.
26. Li, W., Wu, D., Yu, Y., Zhang, P., Yuan, J., Cao, Y., and Xu, J. (2014). “Investigation on a novel ZnO/TiO2-B photocatalyst with enhanced visible photocatalytic activity.” Physica E, 58, 118-123.
27. Fujishima, A., Zhang, X., and Tryk, D. A. (2008). “TiO2 photocatalysis and related surface phenomena.” Surface Science Reports, 63(12), 515-582.
28. Li, G., Qu, J., Zhang, X., and Ge, J. (2006). “Electrochemically assisted photocatalytic degradation of Acid Orange 7 with β-PbO2 electrodes modified by TiO2.” Water Research, 40(2), 213-220.
29. Segura, S. G., Dosta, S., Guilemany, J. M., and Brillas, E. (2012). “Solar photoelectrocatalytic degradation of Acid Orange 7 azo dye using a highly stable TiO2 photoanode synthesized by atmospheric plasma spray.” Applied Catalysis B: Environmental, 132, 142-150.
30. Daghrir, R., Drogui, P., and El Khakani, M. A. (2013). “Photoelectrocatalytic oxidation of chlortetracycline using Ti/TiO2 photo-anode with simultaneous H2O2 production.” Electrochimica Acta, 87, 18-31.
31. Zhao, B. X., Li, X. Z., and Wang, P. (2007). “Degradation of 2, 4-dichlorophenol with a novel TiO2/Ti-Fe-graphite felt photoelectrocatalytic oxidation process.” Journal of Environmental Sciences (China), 19(8), 1020-1024.
32. Lin W. C., Chen, C. H., Tang H. Y., Hsiao, Y. C., Pan, J. R., Hu C. C., and Huang C. (2013). “Electrochemical photocatalytic degradation of dye solution with a TiO2–coated stainless steel electrode prepared by electrophotetic deposition.” Applied Catalysis B: Environmental, 140, 32-41.
33. Liao, W., Zhang, Y., Zhang, M., Murugananthan, M., and Yoshihara, S. (2013). “Effective photoelectrocatalysis degradation of microcystin-LR on Ag/AgCl/TiO2 nanotube array electrode under visible light irradiation.” Chemical Engineering Journal, 231, 455-463.
34. Zhang, W., An, T., Cui, M., Sheng, G., and Fu, J. (2005). “Effects of anions on the photocatalytic and photoelectrocatalytic degradation of reactive dye in a packed‐bed reactor.” Journal of Chemical Technology and Biotechnology, 80(2), 223-229.
35. Li, X. Z., Li, F. B., Fan, C. M., and Sun, Y. P. (2002). “Photoelectrocatalytic degradation of humic acid in aqueous solution using a Ti/TiO2 mesh photoelectrode.” Water Research, 36(9), 2215-2224.
36. Quan, X., Ruan, X., Zhao, H., Chen, S., and Zhao, Y. (2007). “Photoelectrocatalytic degradation of pentachlorophenol in aqueous solution using a TiO2 nanotube film electrode.” Environmental Pollution, 147(2), 409-414.
37. Stylidi, M., Kondarides, D. I., and Verykios, X. E. (2003). “Pathways of solar-light induced photocatalytic degradation of azo dyes in aqueous TiO2 suspension.” Applied Catalysis B Environmental, 40, 271-286