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ELECTROCOAGULATION: WATER REUSE and RECYCLING
The Powell EC system is an extremely effective wastewater treatment system, reclaiming water for reuse and the harvesting of valuable by-products. Examples of possible water reuse come from treating waste streams generated from steam cleaners, pressure washers, textile manufacturing, metal platters, meat and poultry processors, commercial laundry, mining operations and municipal sewage system plants. The following examples document the positive effects of electrocoagulation in a wide variety of industrial and municipal applications:
Steam cleaners are used in many industrial applications to clean parts and equipment. Some major users of steam cleaning equipment include truck and bus washing, engine cleaning, and all types of repair facilities. Treating the waste streams generated from steam cleaner units operating in California has proven effective in separating the oil and water and removing metals and dirt from the water so the water can be reused.
One example is the wastewater from a steam cleaner used to clean oil field service equipment which contains 8 ppm of chrome, lead, and zinc with lesser amounts of the other 17 metals on the states standard test along with a few ppm of oil and grease. At these concentrations the water is considered a hazardous waste with disposal costs ranging from $0.60 to $2.30 per gallon.
After treatment by electrocoagulation, the clear water met all federal secondary drinking water standards with the exception of surfactants. This was not a concern because the water was recycled through the steam cleaner and the recycled surfactants reduced the need to add soap to the steam cleaner system. It should be noted that charcoal could be used in conjunction with the EC process to make the water meet secondary drinking water standards. The sludge from the EC process contained 90 mg/kg oil and grease. The heavy metals were converted into oxides and the sludge passed the states TTLC and STLC as required by CAC title 22. As a result the State Health Board approved the EC processed sludge as a non hazardous waste.
Pressure washers are used for cleaning operations such as cleaning floors, parking lots, equipment, and parts. The wash water contains heavy metals, oil, grease, and suspended solids. The EC unit separates and removes the metals, oil, grease, and suspended solids from the wash water. The water can then be returned directly to the pressure washer to be reused. The removed metals, oil, grease, and suspended solids can be disposed of in traditional landfills.
Textile dye water can be cost effectively treated using EC to separate the die from the water. By removing the color, suspended solids and silica, the water is of sufficient quality for reus
Metal platers use electrocoagulation to remove metals from the plating rinse water tank, enabling them to reuse the remediated water as process water. With no water discharge, they avoid potential liability, save on sewer cost, monitoring, and testing fees, as well as the cost of make-up water. The removal of 90%± metals is sufficient reduction to achieve quality plating result
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Electrocoagulation is the process of destabilizing suspended, emulsified or dissolved contaminants in an aqueous medium by introducing an electrical current into the medium. Untreated water is introduced into the bottom of the EC chamber and is dispersed evenly as it moves upward through the blades. Direct current (DC) is applied to the first and last blade. The liquid then becomes a conductor, allowing the current to pass freely throughout the chamber. This results in a flood of electrons into the water, neutralizing charged particles, causing them to precipitate out of solution. In addition, the metal blades react to the current by releasing charged metal ions that act similarly to chemical coagulants. Salinity levels have a major impact on the power required to remove targeted constituents. The higher salinity in the wastewater results in higher conductivity (lower resistance) so lower voltage is required for given amperage that is needed to drive the electro-chemical reactions.
The EC system has proven to be able to cope with a variety of wastewaters such as:
The EC process has been successfully used to:
The electrocoagulation process is based on valid scientific principles involving responses of water contaminants to strong electric fields, such as seeding, emulsion breaking, halogen complexing, bleaching by oxygen ions, electron flooding, electrically induced oxidation and reduction reactions, and EC induced pH swings. Depending on what is in the water, these electrochemical reactions will occur independently during one pass through the reaction chamber. These observed reactions may be explained as:
Our EC systems uses a unique patented electrocoagulation chamber that directly converts incoming AC line voltage to DC voltage. The voltage is uniquely set in the electrocoagulation chamber, saving 96% of the electrical costs as compared to other systems. The flow, direct line voltage, and chamber design will accommodate 20 times larger flow rates as compared to other systems. The blades of our electrocoagulation chamber accounts for half the dry weight of the system whereas transformers account for most of the weight in other systems.
Meat And Poultry Processing:
Meat and poultry processors use electrocoagulation to harvest protein and fat previously discharged into municipal sewage systems. In one case, the recovered protein and fat had an animal feed value of $0.13 per pound and saved the sewage surcharge of $0.25 per pound of BOD and $0.20 per pound of TSS, a combined savings of over $0.58 per pound..
Recycling brine chiller water is another major application. The electrocoagulation process destroys the fecal Coliform by 99.9999%, and separates the fat, protein, and suspended solids, thus enabling the brine chiller water to be reused as opposed to being discharged. There is an economic benefit from the recovery of the fat and protein, and a major savings in disposal costs, since the brine water is very difficult to deal with in a sewage treatment facility.
Commercial laundries are able to facilitate the reuse of their wash water using electrocoagulation. The EC process effectively removes both suspended solids and complex organics. An additional benefit is that the water will retain the heat during the EC process, thereby saving energy
Mining operators use electrocoagulation to remove suspended particles of clay and coal finds from mine process water. The untreated water could not be used to cool mine equipment, nor could it be discharged into the local watershed due to environmental regulations. The EC water removed 99%+ of the particles allowing the water to be reused in the mining operation, which saved trucking in fresh water.
High moisture (30% moisture) coal was heated to drive off the moisture. The moisture condensate was then Electrocoagulated and separated into burnable solids and clear liquid usable to inject into the oil field strata to facilitate crude oil recovery.
After electrocoagulation, treated domestic sewage water will, in most cases,” be better than the raw water from which it had originated.” 1
(1) United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Agricultural Research Service: 12/18/95
1,000 gpm silica removal
Canada Partner Using Electrocoagulation
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