Optimization of paper mill industry wastewater treatment by electrocoagulation and electro-Fenton processes using response surface methodology

Water Sci Technol. 2017 Oct;76(7-8):2015-2031. doi: 10.2166/wst.2017.327.


This study deals with chemical oxygen demand (COD), phenol and Ca+2 removal from paper mill industry wastewater by electrocoagulation (EC) and electro-Fenton (EF) processes. A response surface methodology (RSM) approach was employed to evaluate the effects and interactions of the process variables and to optimize the performance of both processes. Significant quadratic polynomial models were obtained (R2 = 0.959, R2 = 0.993 and R2 = 0.969 for COD, phenol and Ca+2 removal, respectively, for EC and R2 = 0.936, R2 = 0.934 and R2 = 0.890 for COD, phenol and Ca+2 removal, respectively). Numerical optimization based on desirability function was employed; in a 27.55 min trial, 34.7% of COD removal was achieved at pH 9 and current density 96 mA/cm2 for EC, whereas in a 30 min trial, 74.31% of COD removal was achieved at pH 2 and current density 96 mA/cm2 and H2O2/COD molar ratio 2.0 for EF. The operating costs were calculated to be 6.44 €/m3 for EC and 7.02 €/m3 for EF depending on energy and electrode consumption at optimum conditions. The results indicate that the RSM is suitable for the design and optimization of both of the processes. However, EF process was a more effective technology for paper mill industry wastewater treatment as compared with EC.

MeSH terms

  • Biological Oxygen Demand Analysis
  • Electrochemical Techniques*
  • Electrodes
  • Environmental Restoration and Remediation
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Industrial Waste / analysis*
  • Paper
  • Phenol
  • Phenols
  • Wastewater / chemistry*
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical / chemistry*
  • Water Purification / methods


  • Industrial Waste
  • Phenols
  • Waste Water
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical
  • Phenol
  • Hydrogen Peroxide