One such technology option is electrocoagulation, commonly called "EC." This technology is a closed-loop process that uses electricity to drive chemical reactions in a solution, suspension or emulsion to remove contaminants with 99.9-percent effectiveness.
As wastewater contaminants pass by electro-rods, an electrical current is introduced into the wastewater stream. This electrical energy acts as the catalyst to initiate a chemical reaction, enabling contaminants to accept a positive and negative charge that causes tiny particles to bond together like miniature magnets. Contaminants are then automatically removed from the clear phase of water and transferred to a sludge dewatering system for easy management. Further, the oxidized metals can be removed from the sludge stream to be recycled as fertilizer, for example. Electrocoagulation will break oil emulsions and allow oil to float to the surface where it can be skimmed off with a vacuum and recovered if viable.
Chemical reactions occur within the wastewater, resulting in an uncontaminated product. The treatment process also overwhelms bacteria by pressure from excess electrons, causing the bacteria to be crushed. Likewise, small molds and algae are eliminated in the same manner. Materials such as sugar or salt that cannot be completely removed can be effectively treated with the addition of a polishing filter, such as reverse osmosis or membrane bioreactors (MBRs).
Used as stand-alone units or added to existing treatment facilities, EC units can treat up to an additional 15 million gallons per day of wastewater to then reuse for other purposes. This increases the capacity of traditional wastewater treatment facilities strained by increases in population and aging infrastructure.
The use of electrocoagulation technology can improve the overall efficiency of a treatment facility and reduce volume burdens placed on highly-populated and rural areas. EC systems have processing rates of up to 15 million gallons per day. Used in tandem, EC technology can increase productivity and capacity at existing facilities, shorten the treatment process by reintroducing cleaner, treated wastewater later in the process or bypass the entire plant as a standalone treatment system.
Compared to traditional treatment methods, EC systems reduce the number of required settling ponds, eliminate odor problems and reduce sludge production, which lessens disposal costs.
"The work carried out was of a very high standard and they were extremely flexible in their approach to the installation, often going able and beyond to ensure that all deadlines were hit"
- Chris Matthews, CMP Products