A conventional fuel cell was used as a catalytic reactor to treat soil vapor extraction (SVE) gases contaminated with trichloroethylene (TCE). The SVE gases are fed to the cathode side of the fuel cell, where TCE is reduced to ethane and hydrochloric acid. The results obtained suggest that TCE reduction occurs by a catalytic reaction with hydrogen that is re-formed on the cathode's surface beyond a certain applied cell potential. Substantial conversion of TCE is obtained, even when competing oxygen reduction occurs in the cathode. The process has been modeled successfully by conceptualizing the flow passage in the fuel cell as a plug flow reactor.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Environmental Chemistry