Optimization of copper and nickel removal by electrocoagulation through a recirculation flow bipolar reactor: statistical modeling

T. Benderrah, M. Djedid, M. Benalia


Abstract: Heavy metals have a detrimental effect on human health and environment if not managed efficiently. For this reason, industrial wastewaters are strictly regulated and have to be treated before being discharged. The efficiency of bipolar reactor with recirculation flow mode and aluminum electrode in removing copper and nickel from high concentrated solution by electrocoagulation was examined. The experimental design (Box-Behnken) was employed to investigate the effects of different operating conditions and their interactions on the removal: electrolysis time (t, min), current density (i, A/m2), pH, and initial concentration (Ci, mg/L). The results showed a high removal rate (97.42% for copper, and 100% for nickel), and also a good correlation between the values measured and those predicted by the Box–Behnken experimental design, for the removal of copper (R2 = 0.94, P value = 0.0003) as well as of nickel (R2 = 0.95, P value = 0.0001).

Full Text:



Jiwan, S.; Ajay, S.K. Effects of Heavy Metals on Soil, Plants, Human Health and Aquatic Life. International Journal of Research in Chemistry and Environment (2011) 15-21.

Fenglian, F.Q.W. Removal of heavy metal ions from wastewaters: A review. Journal of Environmental Management 209 (2010) 325–333.

Fei, J.; Chaolin, L.; Bo, T.; Jianhui, X.; Gang, L.; Peng, L. Preparation of cellulose acetate/zeolite composite fiber and its adsorption behavior for heavy metal ions in aqueous solution. Chemical Engineering Journal 209 (2012) 325–333.

Mehmet, E.A.; Sukru, D. A new approach to modification of natural adsorbent for heavy metal adsorption. Bioresource Technology 99 (2008) 2516–2527.

Thomas, A.; Davis, B.V.; Alfonso, M. A review of the biochemistry of heavy metal biosorption by brown algae. Water Research 37 (2003) 4311–4330

Akrama,M.; Andrew, F.A.H. An evaluation of a hybrid ion exchange electrodialysis process in the recovery of heavy metals from simulated dilute industrial wastewater. Water Research 46 (2012) 3364-3376.

Anne, J.P.; Lisbeth, M.; Ottosen, A.V. Electrodialytic removal of heavy metals from different fly ashes Influence of heavy metal speciation in the ashes. Journal of Hazardous Materials B100 (2003) 65–78.

Adrian, O.; Rita, V.; Javier, L.; Joana, F.; Susana S.; Maria, A.M.; Reis Joao, G.; Crespo, S.V. Arsenic removal from drinking water through a hybrid ion exchange membrane-Coagulation process. Separation and Purification Technology 83 (2011) 137–143.

Revathi Reddy, T.; Jayshree, R.; Chandramouleeswaran, S.; Reddy,A.V.R. Selective transport of copper across a bulk liquid membrane using 8-hydroxy quinoline as carrier. Journal of Membrane Science 351 (2010) 11–15.

Claudio, E. ; Soto-Salazarb, C.; Toral, I. Optimization of the electrocoagulation process for the removal of copper, lead and cadmium in natural waters and simulated wastewater. Journal of Environmental Management 81 (2006) 384–391.

Zaroual, Z.; Chaair, H.; Essadki, A.H.; El Ass, K.; Azzi, M. Optimizing the removal of trivalent chromium by electrocoagulation using experimental design. Chemical Engineering Journal 148 (2009) 488–495.

Hansen, H.K. ; Ottosen, L.M. Removal of Arsenic from Wastewaters by Airlift Electrocoagulation: Part 3: Copper Smelter Wastewater Treatment. Separation Science and Technology (2010) 1326-1330.

Akbal, F.; Selva, C. Copper, chromium and nickel removal from metal plating wastewater by electrocoagulation. Desalination 269 (2011) 214–222.

Ahmed Basha, C.; Bhadrinarayana, N.S.; Anantharaman, N.K.M.; Begum, M.S. Heavy metal removal from copper smelting effluent using electrochemical cylindrical flow reactor. Journal of Hazardous Materials 152 (2008) 71–78.

El-Ashtoukhy, E.S.Z.; Zewail, T.M.; Amin, N.K. Removal of heavy metal ions from aqueous solution by electrocoagulation using a horizontal expanded Al anode. Desalination and Water Treatment (2010) 72-79.

Kobya, M.; Demirbas, E.; Gebologlu, U. ; Oncel, M.S.; Yildirim, Y. Optimization of arsenic removal from drinking water by electrocoagulation batch process using response surface methodology. Desalination and Water Treatment (2013) 34–36.

Rajwant, K.; Pooja, V. Electrocoagulation technique for removing metal impurities from wastewater. International Journal of Recent Engineering Research and Development (2019)48–50.

Selmane, E.; BelHadj, H.; Abderrazak, H.; Ounissi, T.; Djebali, K. Experimental Design and Response Surface Methodologies Use for the Treatment of Leachates by Electrocoagulation Process. Chemistry Africa 3 (2020)821–829.

Tir, M.; Moulai-Mostefa, N. Electrochemical treatment of metal working emulsions using Box-Behnken design. Desalination and Water Treatment 7 (2009) 214–219.

Wenjuan, Y.; Juan C.; Hexiang, H.; Xiong, S.; Jingqi, G.; Zhang, J.; Feng, S. Optimization of cadmium biosorption by Shewanella putrefaciens using a Box-Behnken design. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety 175 (2019) 138-147.

Ferreira, S.L.C.; Bruns, R.E.; Ferreira, H.S.; Matos, G.D.; David, J.M.; Brandáo, G.C.; Da Silva, E.G.P.; Portugal, L.A.; Dos Reis, P.S.A.; Souza, S.; DosSantos, W.N.L. Box-Behnken design: An alternative for the optimization of analytical methods. Analytica Chimica Acta 597 (2007) 179–186.

Phadke, M.S. Quality Engineering Using Robust Design. Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs.(1989).

Kumarasinghe, D.; Pettigrew, L.; NghiemLong, D. Removal of heavy metals from mining impacted water by an electrocoagulation-ultrafiltration hybrid process. Desalination and Water Treatment (2009) 66-72.

Tchamango, S.R.; Wandji Ngayo, K.; Belibi P.; Nkouam, F.; Ngassoum, M.B.Treatment of a dairy effluent by classical electrocoagulation and indirect electrocoagulation with aluminum electrodes. Separation Science and Technology (2020) 1128–1139.

Aityoub, A.; Abouelfida, A.; Benyaich, A.; Romane, A.; Elmeray, M.; Idouhli, R.;Koumya, Y.; Khadiri, Y. Optimization of Physicochemical Parameters during the Electrocoagulation Cadmium Elimination. Journal of Chemistry (2020)1-12.

Chen, G. Electrochemical technologies in wastewater treatment. Separation and. Purification Technology 38 (2004) 11–41.

Merzouk, B.; Gourich, B.; Sekkic, A.Madani, K.; Chibane, M. Removal turbidity and separation of heavy metals using electrocoagulation-electroflotation technique A case study. Journal of Hazardous Materials 164 (2009) 215–222.

Konstantinos, D.; Stergiopoulos, D.; Giannakoudakis, P.; Moumtzakis, A. Removal of copper and COD from electroplating effluents by photovoltaic electrocoagulation/electrooxidation process. Water Utility Journal 14(2016) 55–62.

Al-Shannag, M.; Al-Qodah, Z.; Bani-Melhem, K.; RasoolQtaishat, M.; Alkasrawi, M. Heavy metal ions removal from metal plating wastewaterusing electrocoagulation: Kinetic study and process performance. Chemical Engineering Journal 260 (2015) 749–756.

Joseph, T.; Chinenye, N.; Igwegbe Samson, O.O. Removal of Copper, Nickel, and Chromium from Simulated Wastewater using Electrocoagulation Technique. International conference proceedings, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Faculty of Engineering (2018) 448-1135.


  • There are currently no refbacks.