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Electrochemical degradation of methyl tert-butyl ether

Aleksandr B. Velichenko, Larisa V. Dmitrikova, Svetlana D. Kopteva, Gregory V. Korshin, Natalia O. Chuvasova


In this paper, we have examined the performance of PbO2 anodes in the EC degradation of MTBE. It was shown that electrochemical oxidation of MTBE at lead dioxide anodes is effective method of anodic conversion of the organic pollutant to acetic acid as untoxic product. Proposed method is formally reagent treatment of water at the same time it does not need addition of any reagent in reaction media. All needed reagents formed directly from the solvent (water) thanks to electrochemical reactions. According to obtained data the main electrochemical stages of the process of anodic conversion of MTBE are formation of hydroxyl-radicals and molecular oxygen. Then formed compounds take part in stages of chemical MTBE oxidation and intermediate species that led to deeper oxidation to form acetic acid as the result. Proposed mechanism of MTBE electrochemical oxidation is in satisfactory agreement with experimental data. Dependence of MTBE conversion rate from the nature of micro-doped and composite lead dioxide anodes is explained by difference in hydroxyl-radical bond strength with an electrode surface that determined it reaction ability in secondary chemical reactions of organic compounds oxidation.


methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE); electrochemical oxidation; lead dioxide anode; degradation mechanism

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