Hierarchical MoS2 nanosheets on flexible carbon felt as an efficient flow-through electrode for dechlorination

Lizhi Huang, Steen Uttrup Pedersen, Emil Bjerglund, Paolo Lamagni, Marianne Glasius, Hans Christian Bruun Hansen, Kim Daasbjerg

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review


MoS 2, a layered transition metal dichalcogenide, is well-known as an efficient catalyst for the hydrogen evolution reaction. For the first time, we show that MoS 2 is also a promising electrocatalyst for reductive dehalogenation of chloro-substituted carboxylic acids in water. MoS 2 nanosheets were grown directly on flexible/soft carbon felt using a facile hydrothermal method. The MoS 2 nanosheet loaded carbon felt was used as flow-through electrode for reductive dechlorination of trichloroacetic acid under environmentally relevant conditions resulting in a much more efficient process than using metal electrodes. Atomic hydrogen produced from water reduction at the MoS 2 surface can be exploited to accomplish a complete dehalogenation, yet with a dramatic drop in the Faradaic efficiency due to the concomitant dihydrogen evolution. Doping of the MoS 2 catalyst with transition metals resulted in an increase in the Faradaic efficiency as well as the complete dechlorination of trichloroacetic acid to acetic acid. The edge sites of MoS 2 are believed to be responsible for the indirect dechlorination involving atomic hydrogen. With the cobalt doped MoS 2 catalyst, 100% full dechlorination was accomplished at an applied potential of -1.1 V vs. Ag/AgCl using a flow rate of 1 mL min -1. The catalyst synthesis, electrode preparation, and setup of the electrochemical flow cell are straightforward and readily up-scaled, demonstrating the potential of this methodology in practical applications.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEnvironmental Science: Nano
Pages (from-to)2286-2296
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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