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Direct Electrochemical Oxidation of Organic Pollutants


            Biological treatment of polluted water is the most economical process used for the elimination of "readily degradable" organic pollutants present in wastewater. The situation is completely different when the wastewater contains toxic and refractory (i.e., resistant to biological treatment) organic pollutants. One interesting possibility is to use a coupled process: partial oxidation–biological treatment. The goal is to decrease the toxicity and to increase the biodegradability of the wastewater before biological treatment. The optimization of this coupled process is complex, however, and complete mineralization of the organic pollutants is usually preferred.

            The electrochemical method for mineralization of organic pollutants is a new technology and has attracted a great deal of attention recently. The technology is interesting for the treatment of dilute wastewater (COD<5 g/l), and it is in