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Water 2017, 9(2), 85; doi:10.3390/w9020085

Removal of Pharmaceuticals from Wastewater by Intermittent Electrocoagulation

1
Environmental Engineering Program, National Graduate School of Engineering, University of the Philippines, Diliman, 1101 Quezon City, Philippines
2
Sanitary and Environmental Engineering Division (SEED), Department of Civil Engineering, University of Salerno, 84084 Fisciano (SA), Italy
3
Department of Chemical Engineering, University of the Philippines, Diliman, 1101 Quezon City, Philippines
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 17 October 2016 / Accepted: 24 January 2017 / Published: 31 January 2017
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Abstract

The continuous release of emerging contaminants (ECs) in the aquatic environment, as a result of the inadequate removal by conventional treatment methods, has prompted research to explore viable solutions to this rising global problem. One promising alternative is the use of electrochemical processes since they represent a simple and highly efficient technology with less footprint. In this paper, the feasibility of treating ECs (i.e., pharmaceuticals) using an intermittent electrocoagulation process, a known electrochemical technology, has been investigated. Diclofenac (DCF), carbamazepine (CBZ) and amoxicillin (AMX) were chosen as being representative of highly consumed drugs that are frequently detected in our water resources and were added in synthetic municipal wastewater. The removal efficiencies of both individual and combined pharmaceuticals were determined under different experimental conditions: hydraulic retention time (HRT) (6, 19 and 38 h), initial concentration (0.01, 4 and 10 mg/L) and intermittent application (5 min ON/20 min OFF) of current density (0.5, 1.15 and 1.8 mA/cm2). Results have shown that these parameters have significant effects on pharmaceutical degradation. Maximum removals (DCF = 90%, CBZ = 70% and AMX = 77%) were obtained at a current density of 0.5 mA/cm2, an initial concentration of 10 mg/L and HRT of 38 h. View Full-Text
Keywords: diclofenac (DCF); carbamazepine (CBZ); amoxicillin (AMX); emerging contaminants (ECs); electrochemical processes; current density; electric field diclofenac (DCF); carbamazepine (CBZ); amoxicillin (AMX); emerging contaminants (ECs); electrochemical processes; current density; electric field
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Ensano, B.M.B.; Borea, L.; Naddeo, V.; Belgiorno, V.; de Luna, M.D.G.; Ballesteros, F.C. Removal of Pharmaceuticals from Wastewater by Intermittent Electrocoagulation. Water 2017, 9, 85.

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