Conducting polypyrrole films as a potential tool for electrochemical treatment of azo dyes in textile wastewaters

Md Mominul Haque, Warren T. Smith, Danny K Y Wong*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

37 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper, we demonstrate conducting polypyrrole films as a potential green technology for electrochemical treatment of azo dyes in wastewaters using Acid Red 1 as a model analyte. These films were synthesised by anodically polymerising pyrrole in the presence of Acid Red 1 as a supporting electrolyte. In this way, the anionic Acid Red 1 is electrostatically attracted to the cationic polypyrrole backbone formed to maintain electroneutrality, and is thus entrapped in the film. These Acid Red 1-entrapped polypyrrole films were characterised by electrochemical, microscopic and spectroscopic techniques. Based on a two-level factorial design, the solution pH, Acid Red 1 concentration and polymerisation duration were identified as significant parameters affecting the entrapment efficiency. The entrapment process will potentially aid in decolourising Acid Red 1-containing wastewaters. Similarly, in a cathodic process, electrons are supplied to neutralise the polypyrrole backbone, liberating Acid Red 1 into a solution. In this work, following an entrapment duration of 480min in 2000mgL-1 Acid Red 1, we estimated 21% of the dye was liberated after a reduction period of 240min. This allows the recovery of Acid Red 1 for recycling purposes. A distinctive advantage of this electrochemical Acid Red 1 treatment, compared to many other techniques, is that no known toxic by-products are generated in the treatment. Therefore, conducting polypyrrole films can potentially be applied as an environmentally friendly treatment method for textile effluents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)164-170
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Hazardous Materials
Publication statusPublished - 11 Feb 2015


  • Acid Red 1
  • Dye entrapment-liberation
  • Electrochemical treatment
  • Environmentally friendly treatment
  • Polypyrrole films

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