, Volume 10, Issue 1, pp 95–111 | Cite as

Electrodes Based on Zeolites Modified with Cobalt and/or Molybdenum for Pesticide Degradation. Part I: Physicochemical Characterization and Efficiency of the Electrodes for O2 Reduction and H2O2 Production

  • Ana María Méndez-Torres
  • Jorge Castro
  • Francisco Fernández
  • Elizabeth Garrido-Ramírez
  • Néstor Escalona
  • Claudio Gutiérrez
  • José F. Marco
  • M. Soledad Ureta-ZañartuEmail author
Original Research


With the purpose of obtaining inexpensive electrodes for the degradation of organic pesticides by the electro-Fenton reaction, the required H2O2 being obtained by the 2-electron reduction of dissolved O2, we have prepared glassy carbon electrodes coated with a mixture of graphite with Mo- and/or Co-modified zeolites. Three zeolites were used, Linde type A (ZA), Faujasite (ZY), and MFI (ZSM5), whose maximum possible cation exchange, directly given by the Al/Si ratio, and their hydrophilicity increases in the order ZSM5 < ZY < ZA. The zeolites were modified with Mo and/or Co by the wet impregnation method and characterized by different techniques. The outer surfaces of the three Mo-modified zeolites showed Mo-containing grains (in ZA) or needles (in ZY and ZSM5), which could be largely washed away with hot water. Electrodes were made by depositing on a disc of glassy carbon (GC) a mixture of graphite, zeolite, and a binder. Quite unexpectedly, the cyclic voltammograms (CVs) of the three Mo-modified zeolites showed at least five pairs of anodic–cathodic peaks, which we assume are due to the presence of the Mo7O246− isopolyoxomolybdate anion, proceeding from the impregnating solution, and anchored on the zeolites’ surface. With a rotating ring-disc electrode, the highest efficiency for H2O2 production at − 0.2 VRHE, namely, 12.7%, was obtained with the GC/graphite-(CoMo-exchanged ZA) electrode, but this efficiency decreased with time. On the contrary, the three zeolites modified only with Mo were stable in 4-h electrolyses at − 0.2 VRHE and yielded the highest H2O2 concentrations, which we attribute to the Mo7O246− isopolyoxomolybdate anchored on the zeolites. The H2O2 yield was the same for the three Mo-modified zeolites, irrespective of their exchange capacity and hydrophobic/hydrophilic character.

Graphical Abstract

Glassy carbon electrodes coated with a mixture of graphite with Mo- and/or Co-modified zeolites have been prepared in order to obtain H2O2 by the 2-electron reduction of dissolved O2. The voltammograms of the Mo-modified zeolites showed five pairs of anodic–cathodic peaks, which we attribute to the presence of the Mo7O246− anion.


Oxygen reduction Hydrogen peroxide Mo- and/or Co-modified zeolites Graphite-modified zeolite electrodes Electrolysis 


Funding Information

This work was supported by CONICYT Chile under Grant FONDECYT-1140207 and FONDEQUIP-EQM 160070 and DICYT-USACH grant 021841UZ. FF acknowledges a MECESUP USA 1555 Grant.

Supplementary material

12678_2018_500_MOESM1_ESM.docx (34 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 34 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ana María Méndez-Torres
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jorge Castro
    • 2
    • 3
  • Francisco Fernández
    • 2
  • Elizabeth Garrido-Ramírez
    • 4
    • 5
  • Néstor Escalona
    • 6
    • 7
  • Claudio Gutiérrez
    • 8
  • José F. Marco
    • 8
  • M. Soledad Ureta-Zañartu
    • 2
  1. 1.Facultad de Ciencias Químicas y FarmacéuticasUniversidad de ChileSantiagoChile
  2. 2.Departamento de Ciencias del Ambiente, Facultad de Química y BiologíaUniversidad de Santiago de ChileSantiagoChile
  3. 3.Facultad de CienciasUniversidad de ChileSantiagoChile
  4. 4.Departamento de Ecología y BiodiversidadUniversidad Andres BelloSantiagoChile
  5. 5.Centro de Investigación para la Sustentabilidad, Facultad de Ciencias de la VidaUniversidad Andres BelloSantiagoChile
  6. 6.Departamento de Ingeniería Química y Bíoprocesos, Escuela de IngenieríaPontificia Universidad Católica de ChileSantiagoChile
  7. 7.Departamento de Química Física, Facultad de QuímicasPontificia Universidad Católica de ChileSantiagoChile
  8. 8.Instituto de Química Física “Rocasolano”, CSICMadridSpain

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