Chemical Engineering and Science
ISSN (Print): 2328-7381 ISSN (Online): 2328-7373 Website: Editor-in-chief: Apply for this position
Open Access
Journal Browser
Chemical Engineering and Science. 2021, 6(1), 1-10
DOI: 10.12691/ces-6-1-1
Open AccessArticle

Residence Time Distribution as a Tool for Hydrodynamic Study of Electrocoagulation Reactors Design and Scaling up

Maryam Khadim Mbacké1, Cheikhou Kane1, , Amintata Paye1, Mouhamed Ndoye1 and Codou G. M. Diop1

1Laboratoire d'Electrochimie et des Procédés Membranaires (LEPM), Ecole Supérieure Polytechnique, Université Cheikh Anta Diop de Dakar, B.P.5085 Dakar-Fann – SENEGAL

Pub. Date: October 09, 2021

Cite this paper:
Maryam Khadim Mbacké, Cheikhou Kane, Amintata Paye, Mouhamed Ndoye and Codou G. M. Diop. Residence Time Distribution as a Tool for Hydrodynamic Study of Electrocoagulation Reactors Design and Scaling up. Chemical Engineering and Science. 2021; 6(1):1-10. doi: 10.12691/ces-6-1-1


An electrocoagulation reactor operating continuously is designed for the treatment of industrial effluents in Senegal. One of the main challenges for electrocoagulation reactors design is each reactor is specific for its domain. In this paper, a methodology using residence time distribution curve (RTD) is presented and can be used for any other examples. The optimization of the operating parameters such as the flow rate, the residence time, the conductivity and so on for the treatment of these effluents requires an understanding of the reactor hydrodynamics. Thus, this hydrodynamic study based on the residence time distribution curve (RTD) showed the presence of dead zone in the reactor with a theoretical residence time of 607.76 s for an average residence time obtained from the residence time distribution curve of 554.85 s. A comparison of the curve obtained experimentally with the curves for an ideal reactor of the piston type or of a perfectly stirred type, has shown that the electrocoagulation reactor behavior is like a cascade of two perfectly stirred reactors with a difference between them of 0.15%. The numerical simulation with COMSOL allowed to illustrate the velocity fields and to highlight the preferential zones during the flow in the reactor and thus to confirm the results obtained with the hydrodynamics with a relatively low absolute error of 4.6% obtained with the least squares method.

electrocoagulation hydrodynamic simulation Residence Time Distribution

Creative CommonsThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit


[1]  P. K. Holt, G. W. Barton and C. A. Mitchell, “The Future for Electrocoagulation as a Localised Water Treatment Technology,” Chemosphere, Vol. 59, No. 3, 2005 355-367.
[2]  I.Kadabsli, I. Arslan Alaton, T. Olmez Hanci, O. Tunay, Electrocoagulation applications for industrial wastewaters: a critical review, J. of environmental technology reviews 1, 3, 2012.
[3]  M.K. Mbacké, C. Kane, I. Diouf, C.G.M.Diop Removal of crystal violet by electrocoagulation: Optimization and reaction mechanisms involved, J. Soc. Ouest-Afr.Chim. 39; 64-76 (2015)
[4]  D. Sievers, E. Kuhn, M. Tucker, J. Stickel, and E. Wolfrum Residence Time Distribution Measurement and Analysis of Pilot-Scale Pretreatment Reactors for Biofuels To be presented at the 2013 AIChE Annual Meeting San Francisco, California November 3-8, 2013.
[5]  P.V. Danckwerts. "Continuous flow systems. Distribution of residence times". Chemical Engineering Science. 2: 1-13 (1953).
[6]  Wen C.Y., Fan L.T. , M. Dekker. Models for flow systems and chemical reactors. New York, p. 570, (1975).
[7]  Levenspiel O. New York London p. 600, (1972).
[8]  Villermaux J. Génie de la réaction chimique: conception et fonctionnement des réacteurs. 2e édition. Paris: Lavoisier, Tec & Doc, p. 448, (1993).
[9]  COMSOL MULTIPHYSICS 3.5 “Tutorial Guide”, 2008.