Fenton reactions are widely applied when degrading recalcitrant pollutants, but reusing the resulting ferric sludge remains a challenge. A novel concept for regenerating Fe(II) solution at pH 6 based on ferric sludge from neutral Fenton was herein proposed. The microbial fuel cell (MFC) with biocathode and citric acid was used for the first time to promote the regenerated rate of Fe(II) from ferric sludge. The concentration of dissolved Fe(II) reached 120 mg/L in biocathode, which was much higher than that obtained in abiotic cathode (<1 mg/L). The main chemical cost of regenerating Fe(II) was only 3.3% of the commercial Fe(II). Subsequently, the regenerated Fe(II) solution was used to activate H2O2, to remove pharmaceuticals from the municipal wastewater effluent. A wide range of pharmaceuticals was successfully removed at neutral pH in 60 min, and the efficiency of the treatment was similar to when the same dosage of commercial Fe(II) was applied.
- Ferric sludge
- Iron-reducing bacteria