Water Res 2019 Jun 9;157:610-620. Epub 2019 Apr 9.
Department of Environmental Technology, Faculty of Chemistry, University of Gdansk, 80-308, Gdansk, Poland. Electronic address:
The efficient and safe degradation of drugs present in wastewater requires the design of a new material possessing high activity for that process. In addition to other methods, photoelectrocatalysis (PEC) merges the strengths of both photocatalytic and electrochemical methods, and the efficiency could be enhanced by the type of photoelectrode material. To address this challenge, three Ti/TiO nanotube-based photoelectrodes, differing in their tube morphology, were prepared by anodic oxidation and employed for the degradation of the 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) drug by the PEC process. The highest efficiency for 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) degradation by PEC was observed for the photoelectrode with a 1.7 μm length, 65 nm diameter and 8 nm wall thickness of TiO nanotubes, which were prepared by Ti foil anodization at 30 V. The effects of applied potential, irradiation intensity, initial pH and 5-FU concentration on PEC were investigated. Furthermore, our findings showed that the mechanism of photoelectrocatalysis in the presence of TiO nanotubes is based on ∙OH and h activity. To determine the 5-FU degradation pathway, the organic byproducts were identified by LC-MS analysis. Furthermore, the ecotoxicity evaluated during PEC dropped with decreasing 5-FU concentration.