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International Journal of Photoenergy
Volume 2018, Article ID 2146751, 7 pages
Research Article

Pretreatment of Real Wastewater from the Chocolate Manufacturing Industry through an Integrated Process of Electrocoagulation and Sand Filtration

1Instituto Nacional de México, Instituto Tecnológico de Toluca, Av. Tecnológico s/n, Col. Agrícola Buenavista, 52149 Toluca, MEX, Mexico
2Facultad de Química, Paseo Colón s/n, Residencial Colón, Universidad Autónoma del Estado de Mexico (UAEMéx), 50120 Toluca de Lerdo, MEX, Mexico
3Universidad del Mar, Campus Puerto Angel, Ciudad Universitaria s/n, 70902 Puerto Angel, OAX, Mexico
4Instituto de Química, Carretera Toluca-Atlacomulco Km 14.5, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México and Centro Conjunto de Investigación en Química Sustentable UAEM-UNAM, 50200 Toluca, MEX, Mexico

Correspondence should be addressed to Marco A. García-Morales; moc.liamtoh@4090mgam

Received 20 June 2017; Revised 20 December 2017; Accepted 7 March 2018; Published 3 April 2018

Academic Editor: Mark van Der Auweraer

Copyright © 2018 Marco A. García-Morales et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficiency of removal of suspended solids in terms of turbidity, color, and chemical oxygen demand (COD) when integrating the electrocoagulation process using aluminum sacrificial anodes and the sand filtration process as a pretreatment of wastewater from the chocolate manufacturing plant in Toluca, México. Wastewater from the chocolate manufacturing industry used in this study is classified as nontoxic, but is characterized as having a high content of color (5952 ± 76 Pt-Co), turbidity (1648 ± 49 FAU), and COD (3608 ± 250 mg/L). Therefore, enhanced performance could be achieved by combining pretreatment techniques to increase the efficiencies of the physical, chemical, and biological treatments. In the integrated process, there was a turbidity reduction of 96.1 ± 0.2% and an increase in dissolved oxygen from 3.8 ± 0.05 mg/L (inlet sand filtration) to 6.05 ± 0.03 mg/L (outlet sand filtration) after 120 min of treatment. These results indicate good water quality necessary for all forms of elemental life. Color and COD removals were 98.2 ± 0.2% and 39.02 ± 2.2%, respectively, during the electrocoagulation process (0.2915 mA/cm2 current density and 120 min of treatment). The proposed integrated process could be an attractive alternative of pretreatment of real wastewater to increase water quality of conventional treatments.