Abstract

Electrochemical oxidation of an emerging pollutant, 2-(4-methylphenoxy)ethanol (MPET), from water has been studied by cyclic voltammetry (CV). Multiwall carbon nanotubes glassy carbon electrodes (MWCNT-GCE) were used as working electrode due to their extraordinary properties. The oxidation process is irreversible, since no reduction peaks were observed in the reverse scan. The electrocatalytic effect of MWCNT was confirmed as the oxidation peak intensity increases in comparison to bare-GCE. The effect of functional groups on MWCNT was also studied by MWCNT functionalized with NH2 (MWCNT-NH2) and COOH (MWCNT-COOH) groups. The oxidation peak current decreases in the following order: MWCNT > MWCNT-NH2 > MWCNT-COOH. Taking into account the normalized peak current, MWCNT-NH2 exhibits the best results due to its strong interaction with MPET. Under optimal conditions (pH = 5.0 and volume of MWCNT = 10 μL), degradation was studied for MWCNT-GCE and MWCNT-NH2-GCE. A complete MPET removal was observed using MWCNT-GCE after four CV cycles, for a volume/area (V/A) ratio equal to 19. In the case of MWCNT-NH2-GCE, the maximum MPET removal was close to 90% for V/A = 37, higher than that obtained for MWCNT-GCE at the same conditions (≈80%). In both cases, no organic by-products were detected.

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