Electrochemical reduction of nitrate in weakly alkaline solutions
ABSTRACT The electrocatalytic activity of several materials for the nitrate reduction reaction was studied by cyclic voltammetry on a rotating ring disc electrode in solutions with different concentrations of sodium bicarbonate. Copper exhibited highest catalytic activity among the materials studied. Nitrate reduction on copper was characterized by two cathodic shoulders on the polarization curve in the potential region of the commencement of hydrogen evolution. In this potential range an anodic current response was observed on the Pt ring electrode identified as nitrite to nitrate oxidation. This indicates that nitrite is an intermediate product during nitrate reduction. These conclusions were verified by batch electrolysis using a plate electrode electrochemical cell. Copper and nickel, materials representing the opposite ends of the electrocatalytic activity spectra, were used in batch electrolysis testing.
- SourceAvailable from: Rawa AbdallahJournal of Electroanalytical Chemistry 06/2014; · 2.58 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The effect of the nature of six metal electrodes (Sn, Bi, Pb, Al, Zn, In) on the rate and the distribution of the products of the electrochemical reduction of nitrate was studied. The product distribution depends on the nature of the metal only quantitatively, while the rate of the reduction was found to be about the same on all metals when the electrolysis was performed at the same rational potential (Er), which is the difference between the applied potential and the potential of zero charge of each metal. Based on these results it was concluded that the mechanism of nitrate reduction is the same for all cathodes studied. Additionally, the influence of the initial pH on the rate of the reduction of nitrate and the selectivity of the products on a tin cathode was studied. The rate of the reduction increases linearly with the concentration of hydronium ion in the pH range 0–4, whereas it is not dependent on the pH at higher pH values. The main products at pH > 4 were nitrogen, nitrous oxide, ammonia and nitrite, while at pH 0–4 ammonia and hydroxylamine were mainly formed.Environmental Technology 01/2013; 34(3):373-381. · 1.61 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The storage of renewable electrical energy within chemical bonds of biofuels and other chemicals is a route to decreasing petroleum usage. A critical challenge is the efficient transfer of electrons into a biological host that can covert this energy into high energy organic compounds. In this paper, we describe an approach whereby biomass is grown using energy obtained from a soluble mediator that is regenerated electrochemically. The net result is a separate-stage reverse microbial fuel cell (rMFC) that fixes CO(2) into biomass using electrical energy. We selected ammonia as a low cost, abundant, safe, and soluble redox mediator that facilitated energy transfer to biomass. Nitrosomonas europaea, a chemolithoautotroph, was used as the biocatalyst due to its inherent capability to utilize ammonia as its sole energy source for growth. An electrochemical reactor was designed for the regeneration of ammonia from nitrite, and current efficiencies of 100% were achieved. Calculations indicated that overall bioproduction efficiency could approach 2.7±0.2% under optimal electrolysis conditions. The application of chemolithoautotrophy for industrial bioproduction has been largely unexplored, and results suggest that this and related rMFC platforms may enable biofuel and related biochemical production.PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(9):e44846. · 3.73 Impact Factor