A study of the anodic oxidation of 1,4-dioxane, a refractory water pollutant, by boron-doped diamond (BDD) electrodes was carried out under a range of major system variables: initial concentration, current density, temperature, pH, and electrolyte concentration. The 1,4-dioxane removal behavior was monitored by chemical oxygen demand (COD), and the results were compared with theoretical models for the electrochemical incineration of organic compounds. The removal efficiency of COD was shown to be greater than 95% in most cases, and no electrode fouling was observed during the reaction. Experimental degradation behavior agreed well with the theoretical models, implying that system variables can be predicted, even when the process is applied at pilot scale. Processes conducted at lower initial concentrations and higher temperatures yielded better energy consumption efficiency. Conditions of higher current density yielded faster degradation but need greater quantities of charge loading into the system. Therefore, a compromise between treatment time and energy consumption is required to achieve the desired efficiency. Meanwhile, pH and electrolyte concentrations did not affect reaction efficiency, suggesting that pH adjustment prior to wastewater treatment is not necessary. Thus, anodic oxidation of 1,4-dioxane by BDD electrodes promises to be both an economical and an efficient in wastewater treatment process. (C) 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.