Tom Wessels, MA
Department of Environmental Studies
Research and patent literature suggests that oil-in-water emulsions may be broken by the simultaneous application of ultrasound and electrolysis. At the same time, conflicting reports exist in the literature concerning the likely influences of pH, temperature, and conductivity on the effectiveness of ultrasound and electrolysis mediated coagulation. The objective of this study was to examine the relative importance of these factors in the sonoelectrocoagulation of grease from wool scouring effluent. Results indicate that conductivity is the most important factor in treatment effectiveness, however conductivity appears to act indirectly by increasing the efficacy of electrolysis or ultrasound. In the presence of ultrasound and electrolysis, a conductivity level of 120 mS removed 99% of grease, achieving compliance with regulatory limits. Temperature and pH were not found to be significant factors.