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Characteristics of Suspended Solids Removal by Electrocoagulation

Authors: C. Phalakornkule, W. Worachai, T. Satitayut


The electrochemical coagulation of a kaolin suspension was investigated at the currents of 0.06, 0.12, 0.22, 0.44, 0.85 A (corresponding to 0.68, 1.36, 2.50, 5.00, 9.66 mA·cm-2, respectively) for the contact time of 5, 10, 20, 30, and 50 min. The TSS removal efficiency at currents of 0.06 A, 0.12 A and 0.22 A increased with the amount of iron generated by the sacrificial anode, while the removal efficiencies did not increase proportionally with the amount of iron generated at the currents of 0.44 and 0.85 A, where electroflotation was clearly observed. Zeta potential measurement illustrated the presence of the highly positive charged particles created by sorption of highly charged polymeric metal hydroxyl species onto the negative surface charged kaolin particles at both low and high applied currents. The disappearance of the individual peaks after certain contact times indicated the attraction between these positive and negative charged particles causing agglomeration. It was concluded that charge neutralization of the individual species was not the only mechanism operating in the electrocoagulation process at any current level, but electrostatic attraction was likely to co-operate or mainly operate.

Keywords: Coagulation, Electrocoagulation, Electrostatics, Suspended solids, Zeta potential

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