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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract - Waste Management

Electrocoagulation of Palm Oil Mill Effluent as Wastewater Treatment and Hydrogen Production Using Electrode Aluminum


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 40 No. 4, p. 1332-1339
    Received: Jan 3, 2011

    * Corresponding author(s): ihsnali@yahoo.com
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  1. M. Ansori Nasution,
  2. Z. Yaakob,
  3. Ehsan Ali *,
  4. S. M. Tasirin and
  5. S.R.S Abdullah
  1. Dep. of Chemical and Process Engineering. Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment, University of Kebangsaan, Malaysia, Selangor Darul Ehsan Bangi 43600, Malaysia. Assigned to Associate Editor Lakhwinder Hundal


Palm oil mill effluent (POME) is highly polluting wastewater generated from the palm oil milling process. Palm oil mill effluent was used as an electrolyte without any additive or pretreatment to perform electrocoagulation (EC) using electricity (direct current) ranging from 2 to 4 volts in the presence of aluminum electrodes with a reactor volume of 20 L. The production of hydrogen gas, removal of chemical oxygen demand (COD), and turbidity as a result of electrocoagulation of POME were determined. The results show that EC can reduce the COD and turbidity of POME by 57 and 62%, respectively, in addition to the 42% hydrogen production. Hydrogen production was also helpful to remove the lighter suspended solids toward the surface. The production of Al(OH)3XH2O at the aluminum electrode (anode) was responsible for the flocculation-coagulation process of suspended solids followed by sedimentation under gravity. The production of hydrogen gas from POME during EC was also compared with hydrogen gas production by electrolysis of tap water at pH 4 and tap water without pH adjustment under the same conditions. The main advantage of this study is to produce hydrogen gas while treating POME with EC to reduce COD and turbidity effectively.

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