Self-powered Redox Fuel Cell as Feasible Permeable Reactive Barrier for the Removal of Phenol

  • Binbin Yu
  • Wei Xu
  • Xu Yang
  • Huimin Zhang
  • Zheng Fan
  • Zucheng WuEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Environmental Science and Engineering book series (ESE)


The development of convenient and effective permeable reactive barriers (PRBs) for groundwater remediation is of highly interest. Self-powered removal of phenol using a redox fuel cell as a feasible PRB reactor system was presented in this work. This system can employ Fe species in water with a high oxidation state Fe(III) acting as an oxidant in the cell, and Fe(III) can be easily regenerated by the oxidation of Fe(II) by oxygen. The results showed that the open circuit potential (OCP) was 0.39 V, and the maximum power density of the cell is 312 mW m−2 with the current density of 1669 mA m−2 in phenol-Fe(III) cell. Meanwhile, the degradation of phenol was observed. Furthermore, in order to test cell’s performance conveniently, phenol-Cr(VI) cell was assembled due to much toxic and highly oxidizing Cr(VI). The absolute removal amounts of Cr(VI) and phenol were 298 mg L−1 and 528 mg L−1, after ca. 60 h running, respectively. It is expected that the self-powered pollutants removal system could be a promising candidate for the application of PRBs in groundwater remediation.


Self-powered process Fuel cell reactor Anodic oxidation of phenol 


  1. 1.
    Yang Y (2010) Study on the risk classification methodology of groundwater pollution near landfill sites. Ecol Environ Sci 19(7):1704–1709Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Obiri-Nyarko F (2014) An overview of permeable reactive barriers for in situ sustainable groundwater remediation. Chemosphere 111:243–259CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Virkutyte J (2002) Electrokinetic soil remediation - critical overview. Sci Total Environ 289:97–121CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Yeung AT (2006) Contaminant extractability by electrokinetics. Environ Eng Sci 23(1):202–224CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Cong YQ (2005) Electrokinetic behaviour of chlorinated phenols in soil and their electrochemical degradation. Process Saf Environ Prot 83(B2):178–183CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Zhang H (2017) Simultaneous removal of phenol and dichromate from aqueous solution through a phenol-Cr(VI) coupled redox fuel cell reactor. Sep Purif Technol 172:152–157CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Fan Z (2016) Nano-nickel catalyst for the oxidation of bisphenol A to generate electricity via a fuel cell. Biointerface Res Appl Chem 6(6):1837–1841Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Han ZY (2015) Pollutant identification and quality assessment of groundwater near municipal solid waste landfills in China. China Environ Sci 35(9):2843–2852Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Binbin Yu
    • 1
  • Wei Xu
    • 2
  • Xu Yang
    • 2
  • Huimin Zhang
    • 3
  • Zheng Fan
    • 2
  • Zucheng Wu
    • 2
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.College of Pharmaceutical and Chemical EngineeringTaizhou UniversityTaizhouChina
  2. 2.Department of Environmental EngineeringZhejiang UniversityHangzhouChina
  3. 3.Department of Environmental EngineeringEast China Jiaotong UniversityNanchangChina
  4. 4.MOE Key Laboratory of Soft Soils and Geoenvironmental EngineeringZhejiang UniversityHangzhouChina

Personalised recommendations