Electrochemical oxidation of phenol using boron-doped diamond electrodes
Boron-doped diamond electrodes prepared by chemical vapor deposition were used to determine if phenol could be oxidized to CO2. Cyclic voltammetry showed that phenol was oxidized by the diamond electrodes and remained electroactive after multiple cycles. Experiments were also run with a flow cell in which 1 L of 10 mM phenol in 0.1 M H2SO4 was circulated through the cell and the total organic carbon (TOC) was monitored as a function of time and cell current. The TOC in solution was reduced from ~1% to <0.1% with no observable decrease in decomposition rate. This means that the reacted phenol was converted completely to CO2.