Recovery of Hexavalent Chromium from Metal Finishing Wastewaters using Electrochemical Ion Exchange

IJEP 42(2): 186-193 : Vol. 42 Issue. 2 (February 2022)

M. Revathi*

Vels Institute of Science, Technology and Advanced Studies (VISTAS), Chennai – 600 117, Tamil Nadu,


This investigation aims at the removal and reclamation of hexavalent chromium from metal finishing industrial wastewater by an advanced ion exchange process, namely electrochemical ion exchange (EIX). An electrochemical ion exchange reactor of desired dimensions was fabricated with the help of ion-permeable membranes, stainless steel cathode and RuO2 coated Ti expanded mesh anode. The performance of the reactor was studied in batch recirculation mode, continuous flow mode at different experimental conditions. The influence of various experimental parameters, such as initial concentration of the test solution (20, 300, 1000 mg/L of Cr (VI)), applied voltages (2.5V, 5V, 7.5V, 10V) and flow rates of the process stream (2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12 and 14 mL/min) on removal/reclamation efficiency was also studied. The results obtained were compared with the electrodialys is process conducted at the same optimal conditions. It was found that the EIX process with three compartments has more removal efficiency at optimum experimental conditions than the electrodialysis process. The continuous flow process of the reactor with 300 mg/L of Cr(VI) as inlet concentration has been studied to predict the breakeven point of the reactor. It was noted, the presence of Cr(VI) in the treated wastewater is almost zero up- to the discharge of 19 L of treated rinse water.


Metal finishing effluents, Cr(VI) ions, Ion exchange, electrochemical ion exchange, ion-permeable membranes


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