Boron Removal from Shat Al-Arab River Water Using Electrocoagulation

Abstract

Shat Al-Arab is a river located at the south of Iraq. Boron concentration hasincreased significantly recently due to the drought season which makes water fromthe Arabian Gulf pour into Shat Al-Arab. Boron concentration, as high as 5 mg/l,was detected in this river. This is 10 times the allowable drinking water concentrationfor boron according toWHO and the Iraqi drinking water guidelines, i.e. 0.5 mg/l.Experiments were conducted to determine the ability of electrocoagulationtechnique to reduce boron concentrations in synthetic water of 5 mg Boron/l andconductivity of 2000 μS/cm to the required level in drinking water. Experimentalsetup was prepared to determine the effects of several operating parameters on theoptimum operation for the electrocoagulation. In addition, the technique wascompared with chemical coagulation, using Poly-Aluminum-Chloride, AluminumSulphate, and Ferric Chloride.The experiments revealed that chemical coagulation has a very low efficiency(about 12%) that renders it unsuitable as a pretreatment for existing (or for the future)desalination units. On the other hand, electrocoagulation experiments showed amaximum boron removal efficiency of 40% at a current density of 5 mA/cm2,operating time of 30 minutes, and pH of 8.