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Electrocatalytic Reduction of Nitrate Ions from Water Using Polyaniline Nanofibers Modified Gold Electrode

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Polyaniline (PANI) nanofibers were electrochemically synthesized on gold electrode using ethanol as soft template by the cyclic voltammetry technique. The PANI nanofibers were characterized by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, UV-visible spectroscopy, and scanning electron microscopy. Linear sweep voltammetry was used to investigate electrocatalytic activity of the PANI nanofibers modified electrode toward the reduction of nitrate ions. Results showed that the electroreduction process strongly depends on the applied potential. At the potential value of about −0.8 V vs Ag/AgCl, the electroreduction of nitrate anions to nitrite anions was identified as the rate-determining step of the electroreduction process. In the potential range of −0.8 to −1.0 V, reduction of nitrite to hydroxylamine occurs, followed by the reduction to ammonia. At potentials more negative than −1.0 V, nitrite is directly reduced to ammonia. This study demonstrates the effectiveness of PANI nanofibers modified electrode in the electroreduction of nitrate ions compared to traditional reduction methods.

Keywords: conducting polymers; electrocatalytic reduction; nanofiber; nitrate; polyaniline

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Polymer Composites Research Laboratory, Department of Applied Chemistry, Faculty of Chemistry, University of Tabriz, Tabriz, Iran. Email:, 2: Polymer Composites Research Laboratory, Department of Applied Chemistry, Faculty of Chemistry, University of Tabriz, Tabriz, Iran. Email:,

Publication date: February 1, 2012

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  • Water Environment Research® (WER®) publishes peer-reviewed research papers, research notes, state-of-the-art and critical reviews on original, fundamental and applied research in all scientific and technical areas related to water quality, pollution control, and management. An annual Literature Review provides a review of published books and articles on water quality topics from the previous year.

    Published as: Sewage Works Journal, 1928 - 1949; Sewage and Industrial Wastes, 1950 - 1959; Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, 1959 - Oct 1989; Research Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, Nov 1989 - 1991; Water Environment Research, 1992 - present.
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