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J Hazard Mater. 2007 Sep 5;148(1-2):311-8. Epub 2007 Feb 17.

Techno-economical evaluation of electrocoagulation for the textile wastewater using different electrode connections.

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  • 1Department of Environmental Engineering, Gebze Institute of Technology, Gebze, Turkey.


The bench scale of an electrocoagulation (EC) unit requires a detailed study discerning the effects of continuous variables such as pH, current density and operating time, and type variables such as electrode material and connection mode. This paper presents the results of the treatment of a textile wastewater by EC process. Two electrode materials, aluminum and iron, were connected in three modes namely, monopolar-parallel (MP-P), monopolar-serial (MP-S), and bipolar-serial (BP-S). COD and turbidity removals were selected as performance criteria. For a high COD removal, acidic medium is preferable for both electrode materials. For a high turbidity removal, acidic medium is preferable for aluminum, and neutral medium for iron. High current density is favorable for both removals in the case of iron. In the aluminum case, the current density exhibits a pronounced effect on COD removal, depending strongly on the connection mode, but it has a negligible effect on the turbidity removal. MP-P with iron or MP-S with aluminum electrode are suitable configurations in regard with the overall process performance. Moreover, process economy is as important as removal efficiencies during the process evaluation task. Various direct and indirect cost items including electrical, sacrificial electrodes, labor, sludge handling, maintenance and depreciation costs have been considered in the calculation of the total cost. The results show that MP-P mode is the most cost-effective for both electrode types. Both electrodes show similar results in reducing COD and turbidity, but iron is preferred as a low cost material. Finally, a comparative study showed that EC was faster and more economic; consumed less material and produced less sludge, and pH of the medium was more stabilized than chemical coagulation (CC) for similar COD and turbidity removal levels. For CC, FeCl(3) was the preferable salt in view of its techno-economic performance. On the other hand, iron was the preferred electrode material in EC with MP-P system in experimental conditions such as, 30 Am(-2) of current density and 15 min of time, the treatment cost was $ 0.245 m(-3). Consequently, the operating cost of CC was 3.2 times as high as the operating cost of EC.

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