The effect of initial pH and retention time on boron removal by continuous electrocoagulation process

Massara, T. M. and Yilmaz, A. E. and Cengiz, I. and Malamis, S. and Yilmaz, M. T. and Komesli, O. T. and Stanchev, P. and Inglezakis, V. J. and Katsoua, E. (2018) The effect of initial pH and retention time on boron removal by continuous electrocoagulation process. Desalination and Water Treatment, 112. pp. 1-9. ISSN 1944-3986 (

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In this study, factors influencing boron removal via the continuous electrocoagulation process were investigated at lab-scale. Different influent pH values (4, 5, 6, 7.45 and 9) and contact times (10, 25, 50 and 100 min) were examined as variable parameters. Plate-type aluminium electrodes with 5 mm distance between them were used. All the experiments were conducted in continuous mode and the current density was kept constant at 5 A throughout the whole experimental period. The initial boron concentration was selected to be 1000 mg L-1. The first set of experiments concerning the influence of the influent pH showed that the highest boron removal (67%) was obtained at pH=6 since it was the optimal pH for boron precipitation through aluminium borate formation. Under the constant current density of the study and with the initial pH adjusted to 6, increasing the duration of the electrocoagulation process from 10 to 100 min resulted in raising the boron removal from 45 to 79% during the second set of experiments. The greater duration of the electrocagulation process enabled higher aluminium dissolution, thus allowing the existence of a higher number of coagulants within the reactor. Moreover, it enhanced boron precipitation because of the longer contact time between the boron ions and the coagulants. After optimizing significant parameters such as the influent pH and the electrocagulation duration, the continuous electrocoagulation process was found to constitute an effective alternative for boron removal.