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- Meet Discharge Requirements
- Reduce Sludge Volume
- Coagulation can be achieved by chemical or electrical means. Chemical coagulation is becoming less acceptable today because of the higher costs associated with chemical treatments (e. g. the large volumes of sludge generated, and the hazardous waste categorization of metal hydroxides, to say nothing of the costs of the chemicals required to effect coagulation).
- “Chemical coagulation has been used for decades to destabilize suspensions and to effect precipitation of soluble metal species, as well as other inorganic species from aqueous streams, thereby permitting their removal through sedimentation or filtration. Alum, lime, and/or polymers have been the chemical coagulants used. These processes, however, tend to generate large volumes of sludge with high bound water content that can be slow to filter and difficult to dewater. These treatment processes also tend to increase the total dissolved solids content of the effluent, making it unacceptable for reuse within industrial applications.”1
1. Benefield, L. D., Judkins J. F. and Weand, B. L. 1982. Process Chemistry for Water and Wastewater Treatment. Prentice - Hall Inc., p. 212.
- Chemical usage for electrocoagulation is limited to pH control and/or system cleaning.
- Process multiple contaminants in one pass
- Process waste streams with up to 5% solids
- Harvest proteins, oils, and metals
- Low operations and maintenance costs (O & M)
- The EC system requires a very small footprint.
- Because of the simplicity of the EC system, there is a significant savings both in man hours and minimal chemical costs.
- The sacrificial blades of the EC are periodically cleaned with a diluted aid solution; when the acid solution loses its potency, it is recycled through the system. Since the EC works best between a pH of 5 and 12, chemicals can be used to obtain a favorable pH operating range in very low pH mining water.
- High-temperature water such as silica-laden water from geothermal water (Canada Tar Sands) or boiler blow down water can be treated and re-used. EC chambers can be specified to withstand very hot water which allows for a continual and complete treatment process without the added expense of cooling the water as is needed before using membrane or chemical coagulation technologies.
- Even the largest systems can be operated with only 1 or 2 operators per shift, again resulting in significant savings in manpower expenses. Operator training is straightforward.
- EC has no moving parts, and the simple design ensures the system is very reliable and cannot be damaged by operator error or process upset.
- Besides manpower, the only operating costs are power, clean in place (CIP) for the blades, and periodic metal blade replacement.
- Metal blade maintenance is limited to periodic replacement of the generic flat blade/plate that can be purchased locally, saving the costs of custom manufacturing and shipping. The metal blade consumption is about 0.44 kg/3,800 L treated.
- Most contaminants are precipitated as oxides that render them non-hazardous and able to pass the toxicity characteristic leaching procedure (TCLP) test.
- In addition, EC results in less sludge that is more readily filterable through a secondary separation system such as settling ponds. Since no additional lime, polymers, flocculants or other chemical agents are added; the waste volume is minimal and can typically be discharged into dumpsters for haul-off to a non-hazardous landfill, significantly saving the transportation costs and the very high hazardous waste disposal fees.
- EC protects and prolongs the life of filtration membranes by virtually eliminating suspended solids before the filtration process.
- Typical power consumption is only 4 kWh/3,800 L