Iron Phosphide Precatalyst for Electrocatalytic Degradation of Rhodamine B Dye and Removal of Escherichia coli from Simulated Wastewater

Takwa Chouki, Manel Machreki, Jelena Topić, Lorena Butinar, Plamen Stefanov, Erika Jez, Jack S. Summers, Matjaz Valant, Aaron Fait, Saim Emin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Electrocatalysis using low-cost materials is a promising, economical strategy for remediation of water contaminated with organic chemicals and microorganisms. Here, we report the use of iron phosphide (Fe2 P) precatalyst for electrocatalytic water oxidation; degradation of a representative aromatic hydrocarbon, the dye rhodamine B (RhB); and inactivation of Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacteria. It was found that during anodic oxidation, the Fe2 P phase was converted to iron phosphate phase (Fe2 P-iron phosphate). This is the first report that Fe2 P precatalyst can efficiently catalyze elec-trooxidation of an organic molecule and inactivate microorganisms in aqueous media. Using a thin film of Fe2 P precatalyst, we achieved 98% RhB degradation efficiency and 100% E. coli inactivation under an applied bias of 2.0 V vs. reversible hydrogen electrode in the presence of in situ generated reactive chlorine species. Recycling test revealed that Fe2 P precatalyst exhibits excellent activity and reproducibility during degradation of RhB. High-performance liquid chromatography with UV-Vis detection further confirmed the electrocatalytic (EC) degradation of the dye. Finally, in tests using Lepidium sativum L., EC-treated RhB solutions showed significantly diminished phytotoxicity when compared to untreated RhB. These findings suggest that Fe2 P-iron phosphate electrocatalyst could be an effective water remediation agent.

Original languageEnglish
Article number269
JournalCatalysts
Volume12
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2022

Keywords

  • Electrocatalysis
  • Escherichia coli
  • Fe P-iron phosphate
  • Reactive chlorine species
  • Rhodamine B

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry

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