A study was undertaken to remove colour from a kraft mill's treated effluent in Kenya and determine the suitability of phosphate rock to replace wood ash during the electrochemical process. The electrochemical method alone, electrochemical combined with alum (ELCAL), wood ash leachate (ELCAS) and phosphate rock (ELPHOS) solutions at a rate of 165 to 1,000 g/m3 were tested. Effluent characteristics were determined after complete removal of colour. Same reduction rates of TS (85%) and TSS (89%) were recorded by ELCAS and ELPHOS. However, ELPHOS removed more COD (86 to 91%) and more BOD (85 to 92%) than ELCAS. Furthermore, the pH of ELPHOS treated solution was 9.3, within the Kenya Local Government's allowable limit. Power reduction with ELCAS and ELPHOS varied between 53 to 73% and 49 to 69% respectively but the difference was not statistically significant. Overnight aeration further improved the quality of ELCAS and ELPHOS treated effluent, reducing BOD and COD values to 0 mg/l. ELPHOS cost ($0.29/m3) was nevertheless three times higher than that of ELCAS ($0.10/m3), mainly because of free wood ash. ELPHOS did not also increase effluent phosphorus. It was therefore recommended that various ways be explored in making ELPHOS more economical to replace ELCAS.

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