Perchlorate reduction using electrochemically induced pitting corrosion of zero-valent titanium
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Perchlorate is a threat to public health through water but also food. However, there is no effective chemical treatment process which can destroy perchlorate found in groundwater and surface water. Thus, there is growing interest in developing effective technologies, especially chemical treatments, to completely destroy trace levels of perchlorate present in drinking and groundwater. The research on perchlorate reduction by zero-valent titanium (Ti(0)) showed that perchlorate was effectively reduced to chloride using electrochemically developed pitting corrosion on Ti(0). Perchlorate reduction was believed to be caused by an active reductant (dissolved Ti(II)) during the pitting corrosion of Ti(0). The rate of perchlorate reduction was independent on the imposed potential as long as the potential was maintained above the pitting potential of Ti(0), but it was proportional to the applied current. The perchlorate reduction on the pitting developed Ti(0) was inhibited by the presence of chloride and bromide. Inhibition mechanism of perchlorate reduction inhibition was believed to be caused either by competitive adsorption of aggressive anions on bare Ti(0) surface or Ti(II) consumption by electrochemically produced chlorine. Kinetic models were developed based surface coverage of aggressive anions on bare Ti(0) and Ti(II) oxidation by chlorine. These kinetic models supported the perchlorate concentration change in the solution, but Ti(II) consumption model was not able to predict chloride concentration due to insufficient information describing complex nature of pitting on Ti(0). These results shown in this research demonstrate that pitting corrosion developed Ti(0) has the capability to chemically reduce perchlorate present in natural water and engineered systems as well as possible problems associated with electric input. This research may be a starting point for development of a new treatment process that applies titanium or titanium metal ions as a chemical reductant to abate contaminants present in natural and engineering systems. Further developments can be achieved by alloying titanium metal with other metals such as iron and aluminum, and finding a methodology producing stable Ti(II) in ambient conditions.
Lee, Chun Woo (2007). Perchlorate reduction using electrochemically induced pitting corrosion of zero-valent titanium. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from