Phenolic wastewaters depuration by electrochemical oxidation process using Ti/IrO2 anodes.

Research paper by Ana S AS Fajardo, Helga F HF Seca, Rui C RC Martins, Vanessa N VN Corceiro, João P JP Vieira, M Emília ME Quinta-Ferreira, Rosa M RM Quinta-Ferreira

Indexed on: 25 Jan '17Published on: 25 Jan '17Published in: Environmental Science and Pollution Research


The electrochemical oxidation (EO) of phenolic wastewaters mimicking olive oil mill effluents was carried out in a batch stirring reactor using Ti/IrO2 anodes, varying the nature (NaCl and Na2SO4) and electrolyte concentration (1.8-20 g L(-1)), current density (57-119 mA cm(-2)) and initial pH (3.4-9). Phenolic content (TPh) and chemical oxygen demand (COD) removals were monitored as a function of applied charge and over time. The nature of the electrolyte greatly affected the efficiency of the system, followed by the influence of the current density. The NaCl concentration and the initial pH influenced the process in a lesser extent. The best operating conditions achieved were 10 g L(-1) of NaCl, current density of 119 mA cm(-2) and initial pH of 3.4. These parameters led to 100 and 84.8% of TPh and COD removal, respectively. Under these conditions, some morphological differences were observed by SEM on the surface of the anode after treatment. To study the potential toxicity of the synthetic effluent in neuronal activity, this mixture was applied to rat brain slices prior to and after EO. The results indicate that although the treated effluent causes a smaller depression of the neuronal reactive oxygen species (ROS) signal than the untreated one, it leads to a potentiation instead of recovery, upon washout. Furthermore, the purification of a real olive mill wastewater (OMW), with the organic load of the synthetic effluent, using the same optimised operating conditions, achieved total phenolic compounds abatement and 62.8% of COD removal.This study demonstrates the applicability of this EO as a pre-treatment process of a real effluent, in order to achieve the legal limit values to be discharged into natural streams regarding its organic load.