Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Cho, Kyu Taek

Degree Name

M.S. (Master of Science)

Legacy Department

Department of Mechanical Engineering


Effective treatment of wastewater from households, communities, and industries is vital to preserve our environment. Chemical treatment to add coagulants into the wastewater is the most popular treatment method, but due to the high operating cost and secondary contamination issue, a novel method to solve those issues is required. In this study, we revisited the electro-coagulation (EC) system which has promising features of low system/operating cost and environment friendly process. EC was actively developed once, but due to the low efficiency and scaling-up issues, it could not be fully utilized. In this study, physics-based mathematical model was developed to elucidate the underlying physics of the EC process and to define key control parameters which enables to resolve those issues fundamentally. Multi-physics coupled with electrochemical reactions at electrodes, chemical reactions in bulk solution, diffusive and convective transport of ionic species were implemented to develop a two-dimensional unsteady mathematical model supported by Langmuir isotherm theory for the first time. The developed model was utilized to analyze the effect of geometry parameters of the EC reactor (i.e., distance between electrodes) and operating conditions (i.e., applied current intensity, flow rate and pollutant concentration in wastewater) on distribution of intermediate ionic species generated from each electrode, and adsorption behavior between generated coagulants and arsenic/phosphorus pollutants in the wastewater. It is expected that results from this extensive research will be utilized as key information for EC reactor developers to develop their systems effectively.


73 pages




Northern Illinois University

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