Adsorption by activated carbon is conventionally used for wastewater treatment but is inefficient for pharmaceutical wastewater purification. This study investigates a novel, low-cost electrochemical enhancement of activated carbon fibre (ACF). With 1.0V applied, ACF’s effectiveness in removing acetone, a common pollutant in pharmaceutical waste, was increased by 107%. Over three cycles of adsorption and regeneration, the original effectiveness of unenhanced ACF plunged by 39.2%, while that of electrochemically enhanced ACF remained over 90%, demonstrating its increased reusability. A self-constructed prototype integrated electro-sorption and regeneration into one central chamber, allowing wastewater to be continuously purified as part of a cyclic process.This is how I came up with the idea for this project:
Inspired by previous studies that investigated the use of capacitive deionization for the desalination of seawater, we adapted the process into a novel electrochemical enhancement of activated carbon fibres (ACF) for the treatment of toxic pharmaceutical effluents.