Electrochemical oxidation of organic compounds using boron-doped diamond electrodes
Boron-doped diamond (BDD) electrodes prepared by chemical vapor deposition were used to determine if phenol could be oxidized to CO2 and if biofilms could be oxidized and "cleaned" from a surface. Cyclic voltammetry showed that phenol and biofilms were electrolyzed by the BDD electrodes and that the oxidation products did not foul the electrodes. Experiments were also run with a flow cell in which a liter of 10 mM phenol in 0.1M H2SO4 was circulated through the cell and the total organic carbon (TOC) was monitored as a function of time and cell current. The total carbon in solution was reduced from ~1% to <0.1% with no observable decrease in decomposition rate. This low, total organic carbon content supports that the reacted phenol was converted completely to CO2.