Degreasing waste effluents issued from a surface treatment plant were treated by electrochemical techniques in an attempt to reduce COD so that clean water can be returned to the rinse bath. Electrocoagulation, both with iron and aluminium anodes, and anodic oxidation with boron doped diamond (BDD) anodes were tested. In the electrocoagulation tests, the nature of the anodes did not impact significantly the reduction of COD. Electrocoagulation showed good COD removal rates, superior to 80%, but it was not able to reduce COD down to low levels. Anodic oxidation was able to reduce COD down to discharge limits; the oxidation efficiency was superior to 50%. Economical calculations show that anodic oxidation is best used as a polishing step after electrocoagulation. The bulk of the COD would be reduced by electrocoagulation and, then, anodic oxidation would reduce COD below discharge limits. The maximum treatable flow is somewhat hindered by the small sizes of current BDD installation but it would reach 600 m3/year if anodic oxidation is coupled with electrocoagulation, the operational cost being 2.90 €/m3.

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