In this work, Mn–Co/GAC particle electrode was prepared by loading Mn and Co as catalysts on granular activated carbon (GAC) and used in a three-dimensional (3D) electrochemical system for mineralization of amoxicillin wastewater. Observation results by SEM, EDS and XRD confirmed that Mn and Co catalysts were successfully loaded onto GAC. The electrochemical properties were measured using an electrochemical workstation. Mn–Co/GAC had a much higher oxygen evolution potential (1.46V) than GAC (1.1V), which demonstrated that it could effectively reduce the oxygen evolution side reaction. In addition, Mn–Co/GAC had an electrochemically active surface area 1.34 times that of GAC and a much smaller mass transfer resistance than GAC, which could provide favorable conditions for the degradation of pollutants. The investigation of the influences of single operating parameters on total organic carbon (TOC) removal rate and electrical energy consumption (EEC) indicated that current density and treatment time had the greatest effect. In order to maximize TOC removal rate and minimize EEC, optimization of operating parameters was also carried out using response surface method in combination with central composite design. The optimal operating parameters were determined as current density of 5.68 mA/cm2, electrolyte concentration of 0.127M, particle electrode dosage of 31.14g and treatment time of 120min. Under this optimum operating condition, TOC removal rate of 85.24% and amoxicillin removal rate of 100% could be achieved with a low EEC of 0.073 kWh/g TOC. In addition, TOC removal rate and EEC were significantly improved compared to the use of bare GAC as particle electrode under the same operating conditions, demonstrating the excellent electrocatalytic ability of the new particle electrode Mn–Co/GAC. A possible mechanism of enhanced amoxicillin and TOC removal was also recommended. In summary, the 3D electrochemical method using Mn–Co/GAC particle electrodes is a suitable choice for amoxicillin wastewater treatment.

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