Arsenic Removal from Groundwater Using Iron Electrocoagulation: Effect of Charge Dosage Rate
We demonstrate that electrocoagulation (EC) using iron electrodes can reduce arsenic below 10 μg/L in synthetic Bangladesh groundwater and in real groundwater from Bangladesh and Cambodia while investigating the effect of operating parameters that are often overlooked, such as charge dosage rate. We measure arsenic removal performance over a larger range of current density than in any other single previous EC study (5000 fold: 0.02 - 100 mA/cm2) and over a wide range of charge dosage rates (0.060- 18 Coulombs/L/min). We find that charge dosage rate has significant effects on both removal capacity (μg-As removed/coulomb) and treatment time and is the appropriate parameter to maintain performance when scaling to different active areas and volumes. We estimate the operating costs of EC treatment in Bangladesh groundwater to be $0.22/m3. Waste sludge (~ 80 - 120 mg/L), when tested with the Toxic Characteristic Leachate Protocol (TCLP), is characterized as non-hazardous. While our focus is on developing a practical device, our results suggest that As[III] is mostly oxidized via a chemical pathway and does not rely on processes occurring at the anode.