The aim of the present study was to investigate the electrochemical formation of active chlorine and its subsequent use for the degradation of the pesticide fenobucarb. Initially, the process of electrochemical active chlorine production was investigated using an electrochemical flow-cell with a Ti/RuO2
plate electrode. The contribution of four main factors (chloride concentration, current density, the retention time of chloride in the cell (flow rate), and initial pH of inlet solution) to form active chlorine was determined by a central composite design (CCD). The influence of the four variables was statistically significant, and the contributions of flow rate, chloride concentration, pH, and current density were found to be 37.2%, 33.59%, 18.28%, and 10.93%, respectively. A mathematical model was established to predict and optimize the operating conditions for fenobucarb removal in the NaCl electrolysis process. The main transformation products (seven compound structures) were detected by liquid chromatography coupled with high-resolution mass spectrometry (LC–HRMS). The results of the model and transformation products indicated that fenobucarb was degraded due to direct oxidation on the electrode surface, and indirectly by active chlorine and other radicals present during the NaCl electrolysis process.
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