Iron phosphomolybdate complexes in electrocatalytic reduction of aqueous disinfection byproducts

Lev Bromberg, Nil Ozbek, Kai Jher Tan, Xiao Su, Lokesh P. Padhye, T. Alan Hatton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The crystalline iron phosphomolybdate-bipyridylpropane complex (FePM-BPP) synthesized by hydrothermal method in water possesses two [P4Mo6VO31]12− subunits bridged by one Fe center. We discovered that the FePM-BPP complex is an electrocatalyst active at close-to-neutral pH in aqueous electrolytes, catalyzing reduction of a variety of carcinogenic disinfection byproducts (DBPs) such as chloroform, N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), and bromate. Deposition of FePM-BPP onto the surface of carbon electrodes led to accelerated chloroform electroreduction at near-neutral pH, at potentials in the −0.52 to −0.27 V vs standard hydrogen electrode (SHE) range, with surface-normalized rate constant of chloroform reduction at ca. 140 L m-2h−1, and over 40% of chloroform reduced at −0.27 V vs SHE after 1 h. The surface-normalized first-order rate constants of the NDMA and bromate electroreduction at − 0.77 V vs SHE and pH 5.5 or 6.4 were estimated to be 250 and 150 L m-2h−1, respectively. The simple synthetic route with low-cost, earth-abundant components, and versatility indicate that FePM-BPP can be considered for incorporation into DBP reduction processes as a heterogeneous catalyst.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number127354
JournalChemical Engineering Journal
StatePublished - Mar 15 2021


  • Aqueous disinfection byproducts
  • Crystalline iron phosphomolybdate-bipyridylpropane complex
  • Electrocatalyst
  • Electroreduction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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