A new three-electrode electrocoagulation reactor was investigated to increase the rate of removal of phosphate from domestic wastewater. Initially, two electrodes (graphite plate and air cathode) were connected with 0.5 V of voltage applied for a short charging time (∼10 s). The direction of the electric field was then reversed, by switching the power supply lead from the anode to the cathode, and connecting the other lead to a sacrificial aluminum mesh anode for removal of phosphate by electrocoagulation. The performance of this process, called a reverse-electric field, air cathode electrocoagulation (REAEC) reactor, was tested using domestic wastewater as a function of charging time and electrocoagulation time. REAEC wastewater treatment removed up to 98% of phosphate in 15 min (inert electrode working time of 10 s, current density of 1 mA/cm2, and 15 min total electrocoagulation time), which was 6% higher than that of the control (no inert electrode). The energy demand varied from 0.05 kWh/m3 for 85% removal in 5 min, to 0.14 kwh/m3 for 98% removal in 15 min. These results indicate that the REAEC can reduce the energy demands and treatment times compared to conventional electrocoagulation processes for phosphate removal from wastewater.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Environmental Chemistry
- Chemical Engineering(all)
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment