Electrocoagulation is a cost-effective method to treat and purify many kinds of waters and wastewaters. It can remove up to 95% of pollutants with minimal operational costs.
How does an electrocoagulation system work? What are the most typical applications?
Continue reading this article to find out.
What is Electrocoagulation (EC)?
Electrocoagulation (EC) is an electrochemical water treatment process used in a variety of industries.
The process destabilizes and coagulates the contaminant particles, ions such as heavy metals, and colloids, using metal electrodes and an external electrical charge.
How Does Electrocoagulation Work?
Electrocoagulation technology adopts the principle of electrochemistry. Alloy metals such as aluminium and iron are used as the main electrodes. With the help of an external power supply, an electrochemical reaction is generated in the water and electrical energy is converted into chemical energy.
Electrocoagulation process effects cause the removal, reduction and oxidative decomposition of pollutants and separates them from the water body. The sludge settles at the bottom of the electrocoagulation reactor, while the flocs float at the top, as described in the picture above.
The electrode plates used in an electrocoagulation system can be made of different materials. According to the different substances to be removed from the wastewater to produce strong flocculation, oxidation, reduction, and air flotation effects. In a standard electrocoagulation process the electrodes are made of iron or aluminium.
Factors Affecting Electrocoagulation System Treatment Effect
The factors influencing the electrocoagulation process are the electrodes configuration, current intensity, treatment time, and pH.
Electrocoagulation Reactor Electrodes Configuration
In an electrocoagulation system the electrodes can be arranged in monopolar or bipolar configurations.
A monopolar configuration consists of anode–cathode pairs that are strung in parallel with each other; for example, if there are four electrodes in total, two would be anodes, two would be cathodes, and each electrode would be directly connected to one of the terminals of the power source of the electrocoagulation equipment.
However, in the case of a bipolar configuration, one electrode would be an anode, two would be bipolar (becoming both negatively and positively charged), and one would be a cathode. Only the cathode would be connected to the positive terminal of a power source, and only the anode would be connected to the negative terminal, creating a one series circuit in the electrocoagulation reactor.
In an electrocoagulation system the bipolar configurations tend to be more energy intensive than monopolar ones, as there is greater resistance in a series circuit. It logically follows that bipolar configuration would function more efficiently in high conductivity wastewaters, and that monopolar configuration would be better suited to low conductivity water systems
Electrocoagulation Treatment Time and Current Intensity
Other factors influencing Electrocoagulation treatment process are the current intensity and treatment time. At YASA ET we extensively tested and researched about electrocoagulation for water treatment. For example, in the lab test for the treatment of domestic wastewater, the electrocoagulation system only requires 5 A and 10 min to exceed 80% of COD removal rate. While these effect increased to 90% with a treatment time of 20 mins. An increase in the retention time causes an increase in the consumption of energy, as well as in the consumption of the electrodes; that is why this parameter is important and must be considered since it is directly related to the economic applicability of the electrocoagulation system as reported by Ascon.
Other studies indicated that the elimination efficiency of COD increases the time for electrolysis by up to 15 min, after which the efficiency of elimination was observed to be almost constant. Additionally, the amount of eliminated contaminant also increased with the time of electrolysis until an optimal time was reached. The optimal time is dependent on the density of the current and presents itself when the efficiency of the elimination of contaminants becomes constant by electrocoagulation (Karichappan).
Electrocoagulation has been tested and used in many applications:
Surface water for potable use
Synthetic brackish water with silica
Synthetic solution of NOM in potable water
Petroleum refinery wastewater
Olive oil mill wastewater
Hardness in drinking water
Vegetable oil refinery wastewater
Synthetic solution of arsenic in potable water
Synthetic laundry wastewater
Paper industry black liquor
Synthetic fresh water with viruses
In all of these applications, electrocoagulation pollutants removal rate was more than 90%. Especially in textile wastewater treatment the electrocoagulation technology is one of the most effective, compare to all the other treatment methods.
As YASA ET we help clients from all over the world to treat their water or wastewaters by using our electrocoagulation systems.
For more info about our CE certified electrocoagulation equipment, kindly click here to get in touch with YASA ET.
For water and wastewater treatment, the electrocoagulation cost can be calculated based on the electricity consumption and the replacement frequency of the electrodes. The costs related to chemicals, such as PAM or PAC, have a minimal impact on operation costs of electrocoagulation systems.
Depending on the water that needs to be treated and what process needs to be used to treat it, the cost of treatment can vary. The electrocoagulation treatment has the lowest costs compared to other treatment technologies and their contaminant removal capability.
An electrocoagulation system is very simple, with no moving parts. Electrodes are usually metals that can be purchased at reasonable cost, such as iron and aluminium. Any chemicals used to adjust pH and enhance the coagulation effect are cheap and easy found. Sometimes, these chemicals are not even be needed for the EC treatment.
Since these systems are easy to use and utilize system automation the operator intervention and labour costs are also minimal.
An electrocoagulation system operational costs can be estimated between 0.016~0.037 $ / ton of wastewater.
Electrocoagulation Test Equipment
In most cases, testing the electrocoagulation effect on water or wastewater is the most effective method for an accurate solution design. Such test equipment requires a custom size tank, electrodes, cables and power supply to be reliable.
For this reason, at YASA ET we offer the electrocoagulation test equipment to help our clients assess the treatment effect on their waters and wastewaters.
Our electrocoagulation test equipment comes in different sizes and configurations and is currently used by water treatment companies, private individuals, as well as universities to test the benefits of this technology.
For more information about our testing solutions kindly click here to get in touch with our team.
Are you looking for an Electrocoagulation Equipment?
YASA ET supplies Electrocoagulation treatment systems for many, different industries. Our team also offers lab test equipment and customized solutions for all our clients. For a personalized solution you can get in touch with us at:
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