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International Journal of Photoenergy
Volume 2013, Article ID 841762, 9 pages
Research Article

Removal of Polyvinyl Alcohol Using Photoelectrochemical Oxidation Processes Based on Hydrogen Peroxide Electrogeneration

1Department of Safety Health and Environmental Engineering, National Yunlin University of Science and Technology, Yunlin 64002, Taiwan
2Department of Safety Health and Environmental Engineering, Chung Hwa University of Medical Technology, Tainan City 717, Taiwan
3Department of Safety, Health and Environmental Engineering, Hungkuang University, Shalu, Taichung 433, Taiwan

Received 25 June 2013; Revised 1 August 2013; Accepted 1 August 2013

Academic Editor: Mika Sillanpaa

Copyright © 2013 Kai-Yu Huang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This study investigates the removal efficiency of PVA from aqueous solutions using UV irradiation in combination with the production of electrogenerated hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) at a polyacrylonitrile-based activated carbon fiber (ACF) cathode. Three cathode materials (i.e., platinum, graphite, and ACF) were fed with oxygen and used for the electrogeneration of H2O2. The amount of electrogenerated H2O2 produced using the ACF cathode was five times greater than that generated using the graphite cathode and nearly 24 times greater than that from platinum cathode. Several parameters were evaluated to characterize the H2O2 electrogeneration, such as current density, oxygen flow rate, solution pH, and the supporting electrolyte used. The optimum current density, oxygen flow rate, solution pH, and supporting electrolyte composition were found to be 10 mA cm−2, 500 cm3 min−1, pH 3, and Na2SO4, respectively. The PVA removal efficiencies were achieved under these conditions 3%, 16%, and 86% using UV, H2O2 electrogeneration, and UV/H2O2 electrogeneration, respectively. A UV light intensity of 0.6 mW cm−2 was found to produce optimal PVA removal efficiency in the present study. A simple kinetic model was proposed which confirmed pseudo-first-order reaction. Reaction rate constant () was found to depend on the UV light intensity.