Electrochemical Reduction of Hexavalent Chromium in the Tannery Effluents in the Quindío Department, Colombia
Considering the essential participation of Colombia in leather production, it is necessary to consider new alternatives for wastewater degradation as a factor for its development. This industry is recognized worldwide as one of the most polluting water due to the chemical processes. The effluents of the leather industry constitute one of the most complex residues for their treatment due to the characteristics of their contaminant load. Thus, an adequate treatment of such wastewater is essential from an environmental and health viewpoint. This study aims to reduce hexavalent chromium in the tannery effluents of the Quindío Department. This study applied different electrochemical methods to simulated wastewater with hexavalent chromium concentrations similar to those of tannery effluents in the Quindío Department, such as cyclic voltammetry, linear sweep voltammetry, and chronoamperometry, using graphite rod and carbon cloth as working electrodes. Obtaining a chromium reduction of around 99.45% is a very satisfactory result considering that the tanning industries in Colombia do not comply with the legislation for eliminating chromium in their effluents. Finally, the electrochemical techniques employed proved to be very efficient and reliable for remediating industrial wastewater, specifically with the effluents treated in this study, since they have economically sustainable characteristics in terms of operating costs, in addition to being environmentally friendly.
Keywords: tanneries, electrochemical methods, carbon cloth, hexavalent chromium, wastewater.
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