Investigation of the Performance of Electrocoagulation Process in the Simultaneous Elimination of Nitrate and Phosphate from Water

Document Type : Research Paper


1 PhD Student in Environmental Engineering (Water and Wastewater), Faculty of Natural Resources and Environment, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran

2 Prof., Dept. of Environmental Engineering (Water and Wastewater), Faculty of Natural Resources and Environment, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran


Nitrate and phosphate are of specific importance among different water pollutants due to their effect on aquatic ecosystems and disrupting their balance. The electrocoagulation process has been recognized as a novel method that has recently been employed for the removal of nitrate and phosphate. Therefore, the present study was aimed at investigating the efficiency of simultaneous removal of nitrate and phosphate from water through an electrical coagulation process. This experimental study was performed with an experimental scale as a pilot. The pilot was made of Plexiglas with the volume of 5.4 liters associated with a DC power supply. Parameters of the reaction time (5-90 min), pH of water (3-9), the concentration of nitrate and phosphate (1-50 mg/l), electrode materials (iron, aluminum, and steel), the distance between electrodes (1-10 cm), and the current's voltage (5-40 V) have been investigated in this research. The effect of each parameter was also examined on the amount of nitrate and phosphate removal. Obtained results were then analyzed to determine the efficiency of nitrate and phosphate removal in the form of comparable diagrams. Results of current experiments represented the optimal parameters including the reaction time of 60 min, pH of 7, initial concentration of 10 mg/l, electrodes of iron-iron, with the distance of 5 cm, and input voltage of 30 V. The removal efficiency of nitrate and phosphate under optimal condition was reported 95 and 45%, respectively, as the maximum removal rates. The present study has introduced the electrocoagulation process as a reliable and flexible way to purify water resources from nitrate and phosphate.


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