Optimal pH for indirect electrochemical oxidation of isopropyl alcohol with Ru-Ti anode and NaCl electrolyte
(1) Kang Chiao International School, New Taipei City, Taiwan, (2) National Taiwan University of Science and Technology, Taipei City, Taiwan
When the levels of human waste exceed an ecosystem’s native purification capacity, pollution causes large, long-term damage. Therefore, to prevent wastewater spillage from damaging the environment and raising external cost to the society, industries are required to degrade pollutants in wastewater to an acceptable level according to local regulations before emission. This investigation uses an electrochemical system to degrade isopropanol—a common pollutant found in wastewater—and find the optimal pH level at which the highest degradation of isopropanol takes place. We hypothesized that by decreasing the pH value due to an increase in the amount of HClO (a strong oxidant) in the solution, the degradation of isopropanol (IPA) into acetone should increase. The result supports the hypothesis and shows the electrochemical system under acidic conditions has a higher efficiency than alkaline conditions. Under pH 5–6, NaCl concentration of 2%, initial IPA concentration of 500 ppm total organic carbon, and a current of 1 ampere, the electrochemical system degrades 98.6% of IPA into acetone and other intermediate compounds in under 180 minutes. Furthermore, with such a high transfer rate, the system demonstrates its potential to degrade isopropanol to generate acetone, which is a commonly-used agent found in a variety of products ranging from lab cleaning products to nail varnish.
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