This article deals with treating actual xanthan gum wastewater with pyrolusite by Response Surface Methodology (RSM). The effects of solid-to-liquid ratio, sulfuric acid concentration, reaction time, and temperature on COD removal efficiency of xanthan gum wastewater were studied with laboratory bench-scale experiments. The results showed that the maximum removal rate of COD was 65.63% on the optimum treatment conditions (temperature of 87.3°C, sulfuric acid concentration of 88.15 g/L, solid-to-liquid ratio of 9.57%, and time of 3.49 h). Temperature, reaction time, sulfuric acid concentration and solid-to-liquid ratio were four important factors which should be well controlled to guarantee high COD removal rate. The activation energy was determined to be 36.08 kJ/mol and the reaction orders with respect to xanthan gum wastewater and H+ concentration was −2.020 and 1.097, respectively. The kinetics analysis showed that the reaction was controlled by both chemical reaction on particle surface and diffusion across the product layer. This study would offer a fundamental method for xanthan gum wastewater treatment with flexibility, simplicity, and high efficiency. © 2013 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Environ Prog, 33: 430–436, 2014
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