Author: Aneke Ozioma Onyinye
Department: Chemical Engineering
Affiliation: Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka

The aim of this work was to study the treatment of Palm Oil Mill Effluent (POME) and Paint Wastewater (PW) by coagulation and electrocoagulation processes. Coagulation was carried out using Mucuna shell coagulant and electrocoagulation was carried out using two Iron electrodes. The coagulant was characterized using Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) for the determination of functional groups, Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy (AAS) for the mineral composition. Proximate analysis of the coagulant was also performed. The wastewaters were also characterized before and after the treatment to determine their physical, chemical and microbiological characteristics. The coagulation experiment was carried out based on bench scale jar test and electrocoagulation treatment was also carried out using the iron-iron electrodes both for the removal of Total Dissolved and Suspended Particles (TDSP) from the wastewaters. The influence of pH, coagulant dosages, settling time and temperature on coagulation and the influence of pH, current density settling time and temperature on electrocoagulation were investigated. The coagulation reaction rate constant k, the order of reaction α, the theoretical and experimental particle distribution were also determined. The range of reaction order and rate constants recorded for POME were about 2 to 5 and 6.4 x 10-18lgmin-1 to 1.2 x 10-7lgmin-1 respectively, while that of PW were 3 to 5 and 6.01 x 10-13 to 1.0 x 10-7 respectively. The plot for particles distribution shows decrease in number of total particles, singlet, doublets and triplets. The coagulation performance of Mucuna shell on PW was better than that of POME while the performance of electrocoagulation process on POME was better than that of PW. Kinetics study on coagulation of POME and PW revealed that POME followed first and second order kinetic model while PW followed only the second order kinetic model. In electrocoagulation, POME and PW followed only the first order kinetics model. The optimization of the process using RSM for coagulation of PW gave the optimum value removal efficiency of 96.9% at pH 4, dosage of 4.7g, time of 11mins and temperature of 48.8oC. For the electrocoagulation of POME, 93.5% removal efficiency at pH 4, current density of 2A, 10mins and 50oC were recorded. Optimization of electrocoagulation of PW gave 91.8% removal efficiency at pH 5, current density of 1.9A, 21mins and 49oC.

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