Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Cho, Kyu Taek

Degree Name

M.S. (Master of Science)

Legacy Department

Department of Mechanical Engineering


Wastewater treatment is a process that is used to remove significant amount of contaminant concentration from wastewater, which prevents harm to the environment. Chemical coagulation (CC) is one of the most influential processes used to remove contaminants, and it is the addition of chemicals called coagulants, which causes particles to stick together forming bigger flocs. However, as effective as CC is, it requires bench scale testing for determining the appropriate dosing rate for specific raw water properties, which makes the process time consuming. To eliminate these issues, the introduction of the Electrocoagulation (EC) process is considered. The EC process is an emerging technology in wastewater treatment as it combines the applications of coagulation, electrochemistry, and flotation. The coagulants are generated by the electrolytic oxidation of an appropriate anode material (sacrificial anode). The electro-generated coagulant will undergo hydrolysis reactions to form various monomeric and polymeric species, part of which generate hydroxide flocs. Larger surface area flocs are beneficial in EC for rapid adsorption of pollutants. Although the EC process has existed for many years, more time has been devoted in the past decade because of its high efficiency in treating pollutants that are not easily removed. Currently, multiple mathematical models have been developed using EC process to determine the removal rates of contaminants. However, more research needs to be conducted to fully understand the effects and optimum operating conditions of EC to remove any contaminants. The introduction of mass transfer of ionic species is crucial in modeling of EC process because it considers the effect of convection, electro-migration, and diffusion, which are influential factors in EC. By controlling key design parameters such as current density, pH, and pollutant concentration using mathematical modeling and considering effect of mass transfer, the optimum operating conditions for a high efficiency EC process can be determined.


62 pages




Northern Illinois University

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