Electrical coagulation technology is a physiochemical treatment for the treatment of water: waste water, process water, mine water, etc., to remove suspended solids, emulsified hydrocarbons and heavy metal ions (including radionuclides). It also removes/destroys most pathogens present at the same time. The technology was originally developed in 1906 to treat bilge water from ships to remove oils, but was abandoned at the time due to the absence of international agreement regulating discharges at sea.
Electrical coagulation cells consist of multiple pairs of metal parallel plate electrodes separated by a few millimetres and arranged so that the water to be treated flows through the plates at a moderate rate, a direct current voltage is applied across the plates. Provided that this current density is sufficiently high to cause electrolysis of the water a number of processes take place simultaneously and may be summarised as:
The electrical coagulation process has been proven to produce smaller amounts of denser, less hydrated flocs than conventional chemical flocculation and also to successfully treat waste water containing pollutants where conventional techniques have failed.
Benefits of electrical coagulation water treatment include:
Applications for electrical coagulation include:
Brownfiled and its partners have developed electrical coagulation cells and control systems which incorporate a number of innovations that combine to give improved performance over conventional designs:
Brownfiled and its partners have developed a modified electrical coagulation process, which will oxidise and substantially reduce concentrations of soluble organic compounds such as surfactants, organic acids and alcohols, sulphides, ammoniacal compounds, etc. These are responsible for the BOD and COD in waste water and process discharges.
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