Date of Award

6-2014

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Engineering (ME)

Department

Environmental Engineering

First Advisor

Prof. Muftah EI- Naas

Second Advisor

Dr. Mohammad Mozumder

Third Advisor

Prof J. Paul Chen

Abstract

The aim of this thesis was to evaluate the potential use of electrocoagulation in the treatment of carbide slurry, which is wastewater generated during the production of acetylene. Several experiments using an electrochemical batch reactor were carried out at different current densities, ranging between 140-290 A/m2. Pure air (EA system) and 10% of carbon dioxide in air (CA system) were supplied to ensure good mixing and solution homogeneity. Aluminum plates were used as electrodes, spaced apart and connected to a DC power supply. After 3 hours, samples from treated effluent and waste slurry were collected and analyzed for total dissolved solids (TDS), total hardness (TH), and chemical oxygen demand (COD), in addition to electrical conductivity (EC).

Response surface methodology (RSM) was used to design a matrix of experiments in order to optimize the conditions for the treatment process and improve product quality over that achieved by current conditions. Box-Behnken design (BBD) is a tool for multivariable optimization. It could be concluded that the quality of the treated wastewater as well as the generated by-products could be enhanced through controlling the operations in the electrochemical reactor. The highest reduction efficiencies for the EA system were 47.5%, 47.8%, 69.7%, 36.1%, 71.4% and 53% for COD, TH, EC, pH, TDS and salinity, respectively under specific conditions and the overall optimum conditions for the highest % reduction is under 12, 27.5 and 284 A/m2 as pH, temperature and current density, respectively. On the other hand, for the CA system, the highest reduction efficiencies were 42%, 75%, 73%, 46, 73 and 74% for COD, TH, EC, pH, TDS and salinity, respectively under specific conditions and the overall optimum conditions for the highest % reduction is under 12, 35 and 213.5 A/m2 as pH, temperature and current density, respectively. The highest CO2 capture efficiency was 84%.

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