Stormwater herbicides removal with a solar-driven advanced oxidation process: a feasibility investigation

Zhaozhi Zheng, Kefeng Zhang, Cui Ying Toe, Rose Amal, Xiwang Zhang, David T. McCarthy, Ana Deletic

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8 Citations (Scopus)


The solar driven advanced oxidation process (AOP) has the potential to be developed as a passive stormwater post-treatment method. Despite its widespread studies in wastewater treatment, the applicability of the process for micropollutant removal in stormwater (which has very different chemical properties from wastewater) is still unknown. This paper investigated the feasibility of three different AOP processes for the degradation of two herbicides (diuron and atrazine) in pre-treated stormwater: (i) photoelectrochemical oxidation (PECO), (ii) electrochemical oxidation (ECO), and (iii) photocatalytic oxidation (PCO). The durability of different anode materials, the effects of catalyst loading, and solar photo- and thermal impacts under different applied voltages were studied. Boron-doped diamond (BDD) was found to be the most durable anode material compared to carbon fiber and titanium foil for long-term operation. Due to the very low electroconductivity of stormwater, a high voltage was required, causing severe oxidation of the carbon fiber material. PECO achieved the best degradation results compared to ECO and PCO, with over 90% degradation of both herbicides in 2 h under 5 V, following a first-order decay process (with a half-life value of 0.40 h for diuron and 0.58 h for atrazine). The voltage increase had a positive impact on the oxidation processes, with 5 V found to be the optimal applied voltage, while catalyst loading had a negligible effect. Interestingly, the solar thermal effect plays a dominant role in enhancing the performance of the PECO process, which indicates the potential of integrating a photovoltaic chamber with a PECO system to harness both the light and heat of solar energy for stormwater treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number116783
Number of pages9
JournalWater Research
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2021


  • Electrochemical oxidation (ECO)
  • Micropollutants removal
  • Photocatalytic oxidation (PCO)
  • Photoelectrochemical oxidation (PECO)
  • Stormwater treatment

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