Recovery of alum from Surabaya water treatment sludge using electrolysis with carbon-silver electrodes

Rizkiy Amaliyah Barakwan, Tyta Try Hardina, Yulinah Trihadiningrum*, Arseto Yekti Bagastyo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Untreated alum sludge from Surabaya water treatment plant (WTP), which contained high concentration of alum was directly discharged into Surabaya River. It might cause problems because of the accumulation of aluminum in the lower part of the river. Alum could be recovered from the drinking water sludge using the electrolysis method. Aims of this study were to determine the optimum pH and electrical current for electrolysis using carbon-silver electrodes to recover aluminum coagulant from the sludge, and to determine the amount of the recovered alum. The sludge was acidified prior to electrolysis. Acidification was done by adding sulfuric acid at pH 3 and 4. Polarization test was conducted at 100, 200, and 300 mA, in order to determine the optimum electrical current. The electrolysis was performed in one compartment batch recirculation reactor, using silver as cathode and carbon as anode for 10 hours. Values of pH were measured every hour. The precipitated matter in the cathode was weighed, and analysed by means of Inductively Coupled Plasma. The optimum conditions of the electrolysis were achieved at initial pH 3 and electrical current 300 mA. The electrolysis resulted in the highest precipitate of 2.6112 g in the cathode.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)126-133
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Ecological Engineering
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Alum
  • Drinking water
  • Electrolysis
  • Recovery
  • Sludge


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