Electroprecipitation of Phosphate from Sewage

by E. I. Onstott, Staff Member; Los Alamos Sci. Lab., Los Alamos, NM,
William S. Gregory, (A.M.ASCE), Staff Member; Los Alamos Sci. Lab., Los Alamos, NM,
Edward F. Thode, Prof. and Head; Dept. of Chem. Engrg., New Mexico State Univ., Las Cruces, NM,
Kermit L. Holman, Assoc. Prof. of Chem. Engrg.; New Mexico State Univ., Las Cruces, NM,

Serial Information: Journal of the Environmental Engineering Division, 1973, Vol. 99, Issue 6, Pg. 897-907

Document Type: Journal Paper


A study of phosphate removal from secondary sewage effluent was conducted using a two-step method of electroprecipitation followed by lanthanum chloride precipitation. In the first step, a sacrificial low-carbon steel anode and a stainless steel cathode were used. This step removed 80% of the orthophosphate, reduced chemical oxygen demand by 23%, and lowered total dissolved solids by 9%. In the second step, colloids persisting from the first step were flocculated by addition of lanthanum chloride, which also removed additional phosphate. Two-stage removal of soluble orthophosphate was 99.4%, and chemical oxygen demand was diminished by 50%. No increase in total dissolved solids occurred in the second step.

Subject Headings: Dissolved solids | Phosphate | Sewage | Chloride | Stainless steel | Oxygen demand | Effluents | Precipitation

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