BACKGROUND: In this study electrochemical treatment of dairy industry wastewater (DW) was investigated using a combined electrode system consisting of iron and aluminum as sacrificial electrodes. The dairy industry generates strong wastewaters characterized by high biological oxygen demand and chemical oxygen demand concentrations. Dairy industry waste effluents are concentrated in nature, and the main contributors of organic load to these effluents are carbohydrates, proteins and fats originating from the milk. Since dairy waste streams contain high concentrations of organic matter, these effluents may cause serious environmental problems.
RESULTS: A pole changer device was employed to change polarization in given time intervals to generate iron and aluminum based coagulants respectively. The effects of current density, initial pH, sodium sulfate (Na2SO4) and H2O2 concentrations on the removal efficiency were investigated. The best experimental conditions obtained in electrochemical studies were as follows: current density = 15 mA cm−2, natural pH, without supporting electrolyte addition, H2O2 concentration = 3 × 1000 mg L−1. Under these conditions, 79.2% COD removal from DW was achieved.
CONCLUSION: According to the results, 20 min electrolysis is enough, since insignificant variations in COD removal were observed after this time. These methods were found to be successful for the treatment of DW. Copyright © 2011 Society of Chemical Industry