Applicability of the electrocoagulation process in treating real municipal wastewater containing pharmaceutical active compounds

J Hazard Mater. 2019 Jan 5;361:367-373. doi: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2018.07.093. Epub 2018 Aug 3.


In this study, the viability of using electrocoagulation process as a method for pharmaceuticals removal from real municipal wastewater was demonstrated. Batch experimental runs were performed using a simple laboratory scale electrochemical reactor with aluminium and stainless steel as anode and cathode, respectively. Diclofenac (DCF), carbamazepine (CBZ) and amoxicillin (AMX) were selected as representative of pharmaceuticals frequently detected in the aquatic environment. The effects of varying experimental parameters namely current density (0.3, 0.5 1.15 and 1.8 mA cm-2), initial pharmaceutical concentration (0.01, 4 and 10 mg L-1), electrolysis duration (3, 6 and 19 h) and application mode (continuous vs. intermittent) on pharmaceutical removal efficiencies were evaluated. High pharmaceutical abatement was recorded at elevated current density and prolonged electrolysis duration due to additional electro-generated coagulant species in solution.

Keywords: Amoxicillin; Carbamazepine; Diclofenac; Electrochemical processes; Emerging contaminants.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Electrolysis / methods*
  • Flocculation
  • Models, Theoretical*
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations / analysis*
  • Wastewater / chemistry*
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical / analysis*
  • Water Purification / methods*


  • Pharmaceutical Preparations
  • Waste Water
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical