Evaluation of direct and alternating current on nitrate removal using a continuous electrocoagulation process: Economical and environmental approaches through RSM.


Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, Amirkabir University of Technology (AUT), Hafez Ave., Tehran, 15875-4413, Iran. Electronic address: [Email]


This study aims to investigate the effects of alternating current (AC) and direct current (DC) for nitrate removal and its operating costs by using a continuous electrocoagulation (CEC) process. For this purpose, two series of 31 experiments, which were designed by response surface method (RSM), were carried out in both cases of the AC and the DC modes. In each series, the effect of selected parameters, namely, initial nitrate concentration, inlet flow rate, current density and initial pH along with their interactions on the nitrate removal efficiency as well as its operating costs, as responses, were investigated separately. According to the analysis of variance (ANOVA), there is a reasonable agreement between achieving results and the experimental data for both responses. The nitrate removal in the AC mode was slightly more efficient than that of the DC mode. In addition, the average operating costs of the DC mode, including the energy and the electrode consumption for the CEC process were achieved 54 US$/(kg nitrate removed); whereas this amount was calculated 29 US$/(kg nitrate removed) for the AC mode. Therefore, the average of the operating costs was improved more than 40% using the AC mode, which was mainly related to reduction of aluminum electrode consumption.


Alternating current,Direct current,Nitrate removal,Operating cost,Response surface method,