Modeling of Electrochemical Process for the Treatment of Wastewater Containing Organic Pollutants

  • Manuel A. Rodrigo
  • Pablo Cañizares
  • Justo Lobato
  • Cristina Sáez


Electrocoagulation and electrooxidation are promising electrochemical technologies that can be used to remove organic pollutants contained in wastewaters. To make these technologies competitive with the conventional technologies that are in use today, a better understanding of the processes involved must be achieved. In this context, the development of mathematical models that are consistent with the processes occurring in a physical system is a relevant advance, because such models can help to understand what is happening in the treatment process. In turn, a more detailed knowledge of the physical system can be obtained, and tools for a proper design of the processes, or for the analysis of operating problems, are attained. The modeling of these technologies can be carried out using single-variable or multivariable models. Likewise, the position dependence of the model species can be described with different approaches. In this work, a review of the basics of the modeling of these processes and a description of several representative models for electrochemical oxidation and coagulation are carried out. Regarding electrooxidation, two models are described: one which summarizes the pollution of a wastewater in only one model species and that considers a macroscopic approach to formulate the mass balances and other that considers more detailed profile of concentration to describe the time course of pollutants and intermediates through a mixed maximum gradient/macroscopic approach. On the topic of electrochemical coagulation, two different approaches are also described in this work: one that considers the hydrodynamic conditions as the main factor responsible for the electrochemical coagulation processes and the other that considers the chemical interaction of the reagents and the pollutants as the more significant processes in the description of the electrochemical coagulation of organic compounds. In addition, in this work it is also described a multivariable model for the electrodissolution of anodes (first stage in electrocoagulation processes). This later model use a mixed macroscopic/maximum gradient approach to describe the chemical and electrochemical processes and it also assumes that the rates of all processes are very high, and that they can be successfully modeled using pseudoequilibrium approaches.


Chemical Oxygen Demand Electrochemical Cell Electrochemical Oxidation Position Dependence Applied Current Density 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Manuel A. Rodrigo
    • 1
  • Pablo Cañizares
  • Justo Lobato
  • Cristina Sáez
  1. 1.Department of Chemical EngineeringUniversity of Castilla La ManchaCiudad RealSpain

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