Removal of indigo carmine dye by electrocoagulation using magnesium anodes with polarity change

  • Dayana Donneys-VictoriaEmail author
  • David Bermúdez-Rubio
  • Brian Torralba-Ramírez
  • Nilson Marriaga-Cabrales
  • Fiderman Machuca-Martínez
Research Article


The aim of this study was to evaluate the performance of high purity magnesium and the magnesium-aluminum-zinc alloy AZ31 as sacrificial anodes in an electrocoagulation process with polarity change for the treatment of synthetic indigo carmine solution. It was studied the effect of the main parameters such as temperature, anodic material, current density, initial dye concentration, and agitation speed on the diminishing of indigo carmine concentration and non-purgeable organic carbon. Also, image analysis was used in conjunction with zeta potential measurements to understand the mechanism of flocs formation. The best results were 80% and 96% removal for non-purgeable organic carbon and dye content respectively at room temperature, by using turbulent regime, initial dye concentration of 100 mg L−1 and 50 A m−2 as current density with AZ31 alloy as electrodes. Particularly, high purity magnesium reached 75% in non-purgeable organic carbon removal and 86% in dye removal at the conditions described above. Finally, an additional improvement of 43% in the diminishing of the organic carbon content was observed when polarity change was used, a phenomenon that was attributed to the distribution of the oxidation reaction between electrodes, avoiding the saturation of the surface with oxide and hydroxide layers. Major areas and major fractal dimension were obtained by using a polarity change.


Indigo carmine AZ31 alloy Zeta potential Polarity change 



The authors would like to acknowledge Universidad del Valle (Cali, Colombia) for supporting the study under Grant No. 2863: Electrocoagulation of textile industrial effluents using magnesium. Case study of indigo carmine solutions and Departamento Administrativo de Ciencia, Tecnología e Innovación-Colciencias (Colombia) for the National Doctorate Scholarship of one of the authors. Additionally, the contribution of Augusto Gómez and Maria Patricia Trujillo from Systems Engineering and Computational Sciences Department from Universidad del Valle for image analysis software and the contribution of the research group Procesos Avanzados para Tratamientos Biológicos y Químicos (GAOX) from same university is recognized.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Grupo de Investigación en Procesos Avanzados para Tratamientos Químicos y Biológicos (GAOX) - Escuela de Ingeniería Química, Facultad de IngenieríaUniversidad del ValleCaliColombia

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