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International Journal of Chemical Reactor Engineering

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Optimization of a Treatment System of Wastewater Streams for Electrochemical Cr(VI) Reduction: Selective versus Centralized Treatment

Adrián López-Yañez
  • Departamento de Energía, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana-Azcapotzalco, Av. San Pablo 180, Col. Reynosa Tamaulipas, Azcapotzalco, 02200, México
  • Other articles by this author:
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/ Jorge Ramirez-Muñoz
  • Corresponding author
  • Departamento de Energía, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana-Azcapotzalco, Av. San Pablo 180, Col. Reynosa Tamaulipas, Azcapotzalco, 02200, México
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/ Alejandro Alonso
  • CONACYT, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana-Azcapotzalco, Av. San Pablo 180, Col. Reynosa, Tamaulipas, Azcapotzalco, 02200, México
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/ Luis G. Cota
  • Departamento de Química, Centro de Investigación y de Estudios Avanzados del Instituto Politécnico Nacional, Av. Instituto Politécnico Nacional 2508, Gustavo A. Madero, San Pedro Zacatenco, 07360, México
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/ Jhonny Pérez Montiel
  • Grupo de Investigación GISA, Facultad de Ingeniería, Universidad de La Guajira, Km 5 Vía a Maicao, Riohacha-Colombia
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Published Online: 2018-09-18 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ijcre-2018-0076


The problem of the optimization of selective treatment systems of wastewater streams contaminated with hexavalent chromium [Cr(VI)] is investigated. In order to comply with the Mexican environmental norm of Cr(VI) for treated wastewater streams at minimum cost, a nonlinear programming (NLP) model for the electrochemical reduction of hexavalent chromium to trivalent chromium was developed. The model incorporates a variable reaction rate, which is a function of the Cr(VI) concentration and the electrical current density of the electrochemical process. For this purpose, a basic superstructure of the effluent treatment is proposed. The superstructure is composed of three continuous electrochemical reactors without recirculation, and it may produce either a series and/or parallel design topology. The NLP model was used to minimize the objective function, defined as the total annual cost (TAC), which includes the capital cost of each electrochemical reactor, the electrical energy cost and the cost of the treatment of the wastewater streams. In order to investigate the solution set of the proposed NLP model, i. e., to improve the possibilities of obtaining optimum solutions based on economic criteria, a multi-start algorithm was implemented. Two example problems are used to show the versatility of the model and different local optimal solutions were obtained for each case study. The results show that a selective treatment of wastewater streams based on the search of local optimal solutions yields significant savings with respect to a centralized treatment design.

Keywords: optimum treatment design; nonlinear programming model; selective treatment; wastewater treatment; electrochemical reactor


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About the article

Received: 2018-03-27

Accepted: 2018-06-26

Revised: 2018-06-06

Published Online: 2018-09-18

Citation Information: International Journal of Chemical Reactor Engineering, 20180076, ISSN (Online) 1542-6580, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ijcre-2018-0076.

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