Investigation of titanium mesh as a cathode for the electro-Fenton process: Consideration of its practical application in wastewater treatment

Jiho Lee, Aseom Son, Young Jin Ko, Min Jung Shin, Woong Sub Kim, Jae Woo Choi, Jaesang Lee, Seok Won Hong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


This study investigated the performance of organic pollutant degradation using the electro-Fenton process and low-cost titanium (Ti) electrodes as cathodes. Three Ti electrodes with different morphologies, i.e., a plate and two meshes with large (MS-L) and small (MS-S) opening sizes, were evaluated using electrochemical characterization, as well as kinetic and energy studies based on the COD removal performance of the electro-Fenton process. The preliminary results indicated that the MS-S electrode, which has the largest electrochemically active surface area and lowest resistance amongst the three electrodes, could reduce Fe3+ to Fe2+ most effectively in the synthetic solution. However, when treating real wastewater, MS-L rather than MS-S exhibited 13.8% higher COD removal efficiency with a 1.5-fold higher rate constant (i.e., 0.0362 min-1) during the initial 30 min of the electro-Fenton process. This unexpected anomaly was due to excessive clogging by suspended solids (SS) present in the real wastewater that were easily captured by the narrow openings of MS-S. Consequently, a pilot-scale electro-Fenton system was operated using MS-L. The pilot experiment demonstrated stable degradation of organic pollutants for five consecutive months with an average COD removal efficiency of 86%, showing its feasibility in treating real wastewater. With its competitive regeneration of Fe2+, low manufacturing cost and energy consumption, the electro-Fenton process using Ti mesh with large opening sizes appears to be a viable and practical technology for wastewater treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1627-1637
Number of pages11
JournalEnvironmental Science: Water Research and Technology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Jun

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This subject was supported by the Korea Ministry of Environment as “Global Top Project” (Project No.: 2016002190003).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Water Science and Technology


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