Ife Journal of Science

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Effect of selected factors on the current flow and voltage loss at electrodes during electrochemical treatment of a laterite

A. L. Ayodele, I. A. Oke, O. A. Agbede


In this paper, laboratory scale study was conducted to investigate the current flow and voltage loss at the electrodes in the electrochemical treatment of a tropical laterite. Three different tests using calcium chloride
(CC) as anolyte and sodium chloride (SC) as catholyte (NC); SC as anolyte and Phosphoric acid (PA) as catholyte (NP) and CC as anolyte and PA as catholyte (CP) were conducted at two different voltage gradients of 1 and 2 V/cm. Perforated Titanium sheet were used as the electrodes. Current flow and voltage at the electrodes were measured using standard methods. Effects of selected factors on the current flow and voltage losses were onitored. Energy consumption analysis was provided. The study revealed that the highest currents were consistently generated in CP tests while the lowest current was generated in NC tests. The highest voltage losses of about 75% were recorded in 40NC and 40CP tests, although, the conductivity of CC and SC kept increasing during the test. It was revealed that the applied voltage and the type of electrolyte were significant factors
affecting the current generated in the system at 95% confidence level. Electrolyte used was found to be a significant factor affecting the voltage loss at the electrodes at 95% confident level. Energy analysis revealed that CP was not economical. It was concluded that the PA was a better electrolyte that could sustain current generation and minimize voltage loss at the electrodes.

Keywords: Electrochemical Treatment, Soil Improvement, Anolyte, Catholyte, Voltage Drop

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