In situ anodic induction of low-valence copper in electro-Fenton system for effective nitrobenzene degradation

  • Yunting Wang
  • Gong Zhang
  • Yudong XueEmail author
  • Jiawei Tang
  • Xuelu Shi
  • Chunhui ZhangEmail author
Research Article


To achieve superior advanced oxidation processes (AOPs), transitional state activators are of great significance for the production of active radicals by H2O2, while instability limits their activation efficiency. In this study, density functional theory calculation (DFT) results showed that Cu+ exhibits excellent H2O2 activation performance, with Gibbs free energy change (ΔG) of 33.66 kcal/mol, two times less than that of Cu2+ (77.83 kcal/mol). Meanwhile, an electro-Fenton system using Cu plate as an anode was proposed for in situ generation of Cu+. The released Cu with low-valence state can be well-confined on the surface of the exciting electrode, which was confirmed by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), Raman, and UV-vis spectroscopy. The hydroxyl radicals in this Cu-based electro-Fenton system were determined by the electron spin resonance (ESR). The nitrobenzene degradation ratio was greatly increased by 43.90% with the introduction of the proposed in situ electrochemical Cu+ generation process. Various characterization results indicated that the production of Cu+ was the key factor in the highly efficient Cu-based electro-Fenton reaction.


Electrochemical advanced oxidation processes Transitional state Copper Electro-Fenton Nitrobenzene 


Funding information

This research was financially supported by the Research Fund of Major Science and Technology Program for Water Pollution Control and Treatment (2017ZX07402001).

Supplementary material

11356_2019_6387_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (373 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 372 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Chemical and Environmental EngineeringChina University of Mining and Technology of BeijingBeijingPR China
  2. 2.Center for Water and Ecology, State Key Joint Laboratory of Environment Simulation and Pollution Control, School of EnvironmentTsinghua UniversityBeijingPR China
  3. 3.National Engineering Laboratory for Hydrometallurgical Cleaner Production Technology, CAS Key Laboratory of Green Process and Engineering, Institute of Process EngineeringChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingPR China

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