Abstract

The efficiency of electrolysis (EC/Cl2) and photo-assisted electrolysis (EC/UV/Cl2) methods, in the presence of chloride, for the abatement of real dairy waste from a producer in the Triangulo Mineiro region of Brazil, was evaluated. A complete 23 factorial design was performed for the variables time, pH and current. After determining the ideal pH, a Central Compound Design (CCD) was performed, where the applied current (533.42 mA) and treatment time (60.45 minutes) were maximized. The effluent was subsequently submitted to prolonged EC/Cl2 and EC/UV/Cl2 treatment in order to evaluate the behaviour of specific environmental parameters over time. The EC/UV/Cl2 method was more efficient than simple EC/Cl2 treatment. The EC/UV/Cl2 method resulted in a reduction of all environmental parameters investigated to levels within legal standards for effluent discharge. A relatively low cost of treatment is obtained with Energy per Order (EEO) values of 0.89 and 1.22 kWh m−3 order−1 for the EC/UV/Cl2 and EC/Cl2 treatments, respectively. The electrochemical production of free chlorine species followed by subsequent photolysis and production of radical species can convert a simple electrochemical process into an advanced oxidation process (AOP).

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