Ammonium as the major reduction intermediate has always been the limitation of nitrate reduction by cathodic reduction or nano zero-valent iron (nZVI). In this work, we report the electrochemical nitrate removal by magnetically immobilized nZVI anode on RuO2–IrO2/Ti plate with ammonia-oxidizing function. This system shows maximum nitrate removal efficiency of 94.6% and nitrogen selectivity up to 72.8% at pH of 3.0, and it has also high nitrate removal efficiency (90.2%) and nitrogen selectivity (70.6%) near neutral medium (pH = 6). As the increase of the applied anodic potentials, both nitrate removal efficiency (from 27.2% to 94.6%) and nitrogen selectivity (70.4%–72.8%) increase. The incorpration of RuO2–IrO2/Ti plate with ammonia-oxidizing function on the nZVI anode enhances the nitrate reduction. The dosage of nZVI on RuO2–IrO2/Ti plate (from 0.2 g to 0.6 g) has a slight effect (the variance is no more than 10.0%) on the removal performance. Cyclic voltammetry, Tafel analysis and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) were further used to investigate the reaction mechanisms occurring on the nZVI surfaces in terms of CV curve area, corrosion voltage, corrosion current density and charge-transfer resistance. In conclusion, high nitrate removal performance of magnetically immobilized nZVI anode coupled with RuO2–IrO2/Ti plate may guide the design of improved electrochemical reduction by nZVI-based anode for practical nitrate remediation.
- Electrochemical removal
- N selectivity
- Nanoscale zero-valent iron (nZVI)