What are the Best Applications for Electrocoagulation?
Electrocoagulation can be used to treat a wide variety of contaminants including heavy metals and oxides, suspended and colloidal solids, fats, oils, and grease, complex organic matter, as well as bacteria and viruses.
Coal-fired electricity plants generate a number of waste streams during operation, and the residue produced from coal combustion is one of the most problematic. Coal ash contains a mixture of harmful chemicals that have been demonstrated to cause cancer, reproductive problems, and development disorders in humans. Due to the fact that it is widely stored in aqueous surface impoundments, it has a remarkable potential to wreak havoc on natural ecosystems if it spills. Such events, like the 2014 Dan River spill, are extremely costly to operators, impacted residents, and the environment. The first-ever implementation of coal ash disposal standards by the EPA marks a new chapter in the life cycle of these byproducts. In order to conform with evolving federal regulations. Producers will be incentivised to use alternative means of storage of treatment in order to prevent leaching, spillage, and hefty fines
Electrocoagulation is an ideal solution for the treatment of coal ash surface impoundments through its ability to neutralize and remove harmful pollutants and metals from solution. Hexavalent chromium, a highly toxic byproduct of coal-fired electricity production, is reduced to trivalent chromium and may be removed from solution after treatment. Other metals, such as copper, lead, nickel, and zinc are oxidized through electrocoagulation treatment and able to be separated from solution. Treated coal ash may then be used or resold for a variety of other purposes such as an ingredient in concrete mixtures, and clean water can be discharged or reused while meeting federal effluent standards. Clean water may also be used for plume management, containment and cleaning or for blowdown water at energy plants.
Livestock / Manure Management
Around the world, industrial poultry and livestock operations are one of the largest producers of organic wastes. Given the volume of waste produced, its toxicity, and the relative costs of treatment, there are significant incentives to identify cost-effective solutions for this issue. Recently, anaerobic digestion of organic wastes has gained widespread popularity due to its dual benefits of neutralizing harmful organic waste as well as generating a useful byproduct: methane. Under this model, electrocoagulation proves to be a highly effective component by increasing efficiency in multiple stages of the process. In one study published October 2015, electrocoagulation was used to simultaneously reclaim water and purify biogas produced by anaerobic digestion1. This dual-purpose approach highlights a defining aspect of electrocoagulation systems: versatility. In another study published in 2015, electrocoagulation was shown to be useful as a pretreatment for nanofiltration of anaerobic digestion effluent by decreasing membrane fouling of the filtration system2. Overall, electrocoagulation serves as an effective waste treatment tool on its own and in tandem with other associated technologies, thereby solving many of the downstream issues associated with manure management.
Cooling Tower Makeup Water
Electrocoagulation is used to pre-treat water water entering towers as well as blow down water to remove algae, suspended solids, calcium, and magnesium buildup, thereby eliminating costly replacement water.