This paper attempts to compare electrocoagulation using aluminum anodes and stainless steel cathodes with conventional coagulation by aluminum sulfate dosing on aqueous suspensions of ultrafine quartz. Several key parameters affecting the efficiency of electrocoagulation and coagulation were investigated with laboratory scale experiments in search of optimal parameter values. Optimal values of the parameters were determined on the basis of the efficiency of turbidity removal from ultrafine quartz suspensions. The parameters investigated in the study were suspension pH, electrical potential, current density, electrocoagulation time, and aluminum dosage. A comparison between electrocoagulation and coagulation was made on the basis of total dissolved aluminum, revealing that electrocoagulation and coagulation were equally effective at the same aluminum dosage for the removal of quartz particles from suspensions. Coagulation, however, was more effective in a wider pH range (pH 6-9) than electrocoagulation which yielded optimum effectiveness in a relatively narrower pH range around 9. where, in both methods, these pH values corresponded to near-zero zeta potentials of quartz particles. Furthermore, experimental results confirmed that electrocoagulation could display some pH buffering capacity. The kinetics of electrocoagulation was very fast (<10 min) in approaching a residual turbidity, which could be modeled with a second-order rate equation. (C) 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.