Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Environmental Engineering


Civil and Environmental Engineering

Major Professor

La Motta, Enrique J.

Second Advisor

McCorquodale, J. Alex

Third Advisor

Kura, Bhaskar


The purpose of this research was to observe the removal efficiency for copper (Cu), nickel (Ni), and zinc (Zn) using Electrocoagulation (EC) technique in a continuous flow reactor with a synthetic bilge water emulsion; and additionally, to discuss the operation cost of the treatment. The optimal configuration for EC treatment used combined electrodes, aluminum and carbon steel; flow rate of 1 L/min; effluent recycling and 7.5 amps; this optimal configuration achieved 99% of zinc removal efficiency, 70% of both, copper and nickel removal efficiency, and low operation costs. The current intensity did not have significance incidence on the removal efficiency. The analysis of cost per gram of removed contaminant indicated that nickel had an average cost of $1.95 per gram removed, zinc and copper had $0.60 and $0.88 per gram removed, respectively. To develop additional experiments with the EC reactor are required in order to optimize metal removal efficiency.


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