Optimization of effluent treatment from healthcare waste incineration by electrocoagulation with iron electrodes
This study evaluated the efficiency of electrocoagulation in removing chemical oxygen demand (COD), turbidity, and apparent color from the incineration effluent generated in a gas cleaning system (GCS). Modeling and optimization of the variables electric current (I), hydraulic retention time (HRT), and electrode distance (ED) were also performed in a batch reactor using iron electrodes. A 23 rotatable central composite design CCRD was used, with a total of 19 trials, with electric currents ranging from 1A and 5A, a retention time of the effluent in the reactor from 15 to 40 minutes, and electrode distance of 1 and 3 centimeters. An algorithm with the desirability function was created to optimize simultaneously the parameters studied. The treatment of GCS by electrocoagulation was satisfactory in removing turbidity, apparent color, and COD, with maximum removal efficiencies above 70% for all parameters, using HRT of 27.5 minutes, ED of 2 centimeters, and electric current of 1 A. The statistical analysis showed a good fit of the model, with a coefficient of determination of R2 > 0.9. The optimum operating condition was observed at 1A electric current, 27 minutes HRT, and 2 centimeters of electrode distance, with removals of 82.07, 86.86, and 70.82% of COD, turbidity, and apparent color, respectively. The simulated trials showed that lower electrolysis times can be used without impairing the treatment efficiency. Therefore, electrocoagulation may be a potential tool in the treatment of GCS.
Keywords: coagulation, electrolysis, gas scrubber, incineration.
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