Overview of Electrolytic treatment: An alternative technology for purification of wastewater | Abstract
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Overview of Electrolytic treatment: An alternative technology for purification of wastewater

Author(s): A. K. Chopra, Arun Kumar Sharma, Vinod Kumar

The rapidly growing world population with increasing level of pollution and continuous need for energy and food is forcing the exploration of the wastewater recycling and resource recovery. Due to the fact that water is a limited and vital resource, it should not be wasted after having been used in industrial processes. One of the main tasks among the emerging technologies is to get high quality water in sufficient quantity at an affordable price from the unused ravage water. In the present scenario, the biological treatments are not sufficient for the reason that they have some disadvantages, such as they take a long time for treatment, require extensive land area for treatment, and the problem of how to get rid of sludge produced by the treatments, whereas the electrochemical remediation methods can be used as an alternative technology for the purification of wastewater contaminated with toxicants. Electrolytic wastewater treatment is rarely used in comparison to chemical treatment. However, this treatment is convenient and may be more efficient to produce high quality water. Electrodes with Aluminum (Al), Iron (Fe), Steel (St) and graphite are generally the best suited to electrochemical water treatment. In the present review, the applications of electrochemical treatment as well as electro-coagulation (EC), electro-flotation (EF) and electro-coagulation/flotation (ECF) to the treatment of wastewater and their operating parameters (reactor design, current density, time and electrode type and arrangement) affecting these processes have been discussed. Among the electrochemical processes, EC process should be the best choice, not only because it can achieve more satisfactory removal but also due to the fact that the process is cost-effective and simple in technological aspect. The major research efforts in the future could be focused on physicochemical and/or biological treated wastewater for the optimization of electrolytic technology in order to meet the requirement of the desirable/permissible limits of discharged wastewater for its reuse.