Discoloration and organic matter removal from coffee wastewater by electrochemical advanced oxidation processes

Periodo de realización: 2014/06/01 al 2014/01/01

Tipo: Artículo científico

Resumen: "The coffee agro-industry generates a large volume of wastewater that is notable for its high organic strength as well as its color content. Due to the seasonal nature of the harvest (3–4months per year), this particular industrial waste needs a treatment method that is both reliable and fast (in terms of start-up time). As part of investigating a system capable of treating a coffee wastewater, this research evaluated four electrochemical advanced oxidation processes (EAOPs) using boron-doped diamond (BDD) electrodes. The processes were anodic oxidation (AO), anodic oxidation with electrogenerated H2O2 (AO-H2O2), electro-Fenton (EF), and photoelectro-Fenton (PEF). Experimental conditions were as follows: 40 mA cm-2 current density (all EAOPs), 0.3 mmol Fe2+ L-1 (Fenton systems), 300 mL air min-1 (AO-H2O2, EF, PEF), and 500 µW cm-2 UV irradiation (photo-Fenton systems). The performance of the four EAOP treatment methods (in terms of color and organic carbon removal) was compared against two conventional chemical oxidation methods, namely, Fenton and photo-Fenton. The research indicated that the four EAOPs were better at removing color (89–93 %) and total organic carbon (TOC) (73–84 %) than the respective chemical Fenton (58 and 4.8 %) and photo-Fenton (61 and 7 %) methods. The trend in performance was as follows: AO-H2O2>AO>PEF˜EF. It appeared that the ferrous iron reagent formed a dark-colored complex with some coffee components, diminishing the effect of Fenton reactions. In addition, the dark color of the wastewater limited the effect of light in the UV-Fenton processes. Analysis showed that acceptable levels of Fe2+ (0.3 mmol L-1) and energy (0.082–0.098 kWh g-1 TOC) were required by the EAOPs after 4-h treatment time. In conclusion, the use of electrochemical methods (equipped with BDD electrodes) seems a promising method for the effective treatment of coffee wastewaters."

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