Journal of Applied Electrochemistry

, Volume 32, Issue 5, pp 561–567 | Cite as

Removal of nonylphenol ethoxylates by electrochemically-generated coagulants

  • G.A. Ciorba
  • C. Radovan
  • I. Vlaicu
  • S. Masu


This study investigated the behaviour of aluminium and carbon steel electrodes in the presence and absence of nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPnEO, where n is the number of ethoxylate groups in the molecule) and NPnEO removal by electrochemically-generated coagulants. The electrode processes were studied by potentiodynamic polarization measurements to determine the influence of surfactant addition (ethylene oxide units and organic load), inorganic composition and pH. The polarization curves showed the extent of the involvement of NPnEO in the electrode processes. Their influence appeared clearly in the range of anodic activation, depending on the number of ethoxylate groups. Removal of NPnEO from simulated wastewaters was carried out in two electrocoagulation cells with vertical and horizontal electrodes, respectively. The removal efficiencies calculated from the chemical oxygen demand before and after treatment were 30–50% for NP16EO and NP40EO, and 40–80% for NP4EO. The hydrophilic-lipophilic balance number for NP4EO indicated a relative ratio of polar and non-polar groups lower than for the other two surfactants, which was in favour of better NP4EO removal. The experiments showed the processes in the bulk (bridging of electrochemically-generated polymeric species and adsorption of surfactants) were predominant over the involvement of NPnEO in the electrode processes, which were only responsible for the electrogeneration of coagulants.

aluminium coagulant electrocoagulation iron nonylphenol ethoxylates 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Environmental Engineering“Politehnica” UniversityTimisoaraRomania
  2. 2.TimisoaraRomania
  3. 3.AQUATIM-Water and Sewerage CompanyTimisoaraRomania

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