Electrochemical treatment of spent tan bath solution for reuse
A spent tanning bath contains high concentration of salts, chromium and protein. The treatment system for removal of chlorides or chromium from this effluent is expensive. In this context this waste has to be reused. Our study focuses on the application of advanced oxidation processes for protein removal present in a tanning bath. To improve the quality of the chromium tanning bath, two electrochemical processes (electrooxidation and peroxi-electrocoagulation process, PEP) are investigated in a batch reactor. The effects of operational parameters such as reactor configuration, current density and electrolysis time on chemical oxygen demand (COD) and protein removal efficiency are examined. Results indicated that under the optimum operating range for process, the COD and protein removal efficiency reached 53 and 100%, respectively. The optimum values are determined for the hybrid process (PEP) under 0.13 A·cm−2 over 2 h. The treated tanning bath is used as a tanning solution in leather processing. The influence of chromium salt dose, pH solution, stirring time and contact time on the leather characteristic is evaluated. The hides tanned after the addition of 0.25% of commercial chromium salt, at pH solution, leaving them stirring for 4 h with a contact time of 2 days, and showed good hydrothermal stability and physical characteristics of leather.