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Influences of operational parameters on phosphorus removal in batch and continuous electrocoagulation process performance

Nguyen, Dinh Duc, Yoon, Yong Soo, Bui, Xuan Thanh, Kim, Sung Su, Chang, Soon Woong, Guo, Wenshan, Ngo, Huu Hao
Environmental science and pollution research international 2017 v.24 no.32 pp. 25441-25451
electrocoagulation, electrodes, electrolysis, energy requirements, iron, phosphorus, prediction, response surface methodology, statistical models, wastewater
Performance of an electrocoagulation (EC) process in batch and continuous operating modes was thoroughly investigated and evaluated for enhancing wastewater phosphorus removal under various operating conditions, individually or combined with initial phosphorus concentration, wastewater conductivity, current density, and electrolysis times. The results revealed excellent phosphorus removal (72.7–100%) for both processes within 3–6 min of electrolysis, with relatively low energy requirements, i.e., less than 0.5 kWh/m³ for treated wastewater. However, the removal efficiency of phosphorus in the continuous EC operation mode was better than that in batch mode within the scope of the study. Additionally, the rate and efficiency of phosphorus removal strongly depended on operational parameters, including wastewater conductivity, initial phosphorus concentration, current density, and electrolysis time. Based on experimental data, statistical model verification of the response surface methodology (RSM) (multiple factor optimization) was also established to provide further insights and accurately describe the interactive relationship between the process variables, thus optimizing the EC process performance. The EC process using iron electrodes is promising for improving wastewater phosphorus removal efficiency, and RSM can be a sustainable tool for predicting the performance of the EC process and explaining the influence of the process variables.