Electrocoagulation is a process that has been gaining in popularity over the past several decades. As the world becomes more aware of the impact us humans are having on the environment, more thought is being put into things like our water consumption. We need water to survive, but due to rising populations and climate change, the amount of safe, drinkable water is hard to come by. We use water for so many things, but we waste a lot of it. By introducing unnatural elements into the water through our use, we make this water unsafe for ourselves and our plants, and make it unusable. There are many procedures out there designed to make contaminated water safe again, but one of the most effective is Electrocoagulation. With this process we are able to take water that would be otherwise wasted, and recycle it into something usable.
In the process of electrocoagulation, an electric current is introduced to contaminated water. This water has elements such as metals and other organic materials that are being held together by their own electric charge. By adding another charge to the mix, the original charge is negated, and the material breaks up. The materials then coagulate to form a mass, which can be easily removed. What’s left over is clean water, free of any contaminants. To get the charge into the water, two metal plates are submerged into the water, and the current passes between the two. In the current form of this process, up to 20,000 gallons of water can be processed in just about a minute.
So why should we use electrocoagulation rather than some of the other methods out there? Well, electrocoagulation offers several benefits. First is that it does not require the introduction of any additional chemicals into the water. In stead of needing to buy chemicals constantly to treat the water, electrocoagulation allows you to just spend money once on the equipment. This makes it more cost effective compared to some other forms of water purification. In fact, over the years the equipment size has gotten smaller, and the amount of electricity needed lower, making it more cost effective than ever. Lastly, electrocoagulation is better for the environment. There are no harmful emissions created from treating the water, and it takes less energy than some water treatment facilities currently in existence. Much debate rages on right now on how best to control the climate, and electrocoagulation is a step in the right direction.
In the US, electrocoagulation is currently being used by a handful of companies, mainly to treat industrial waste water. However, as the technology advances and continues to become more popular, there are many different applications that it can be used for. Countries all over the world are starting to take note of this process and are working to introduce it into their own homes. We all need water to survive, and processes like electrocoagulation are going to allow us to have it for a long time to come, provided that more people get on board. Just like anything, there are some downsides, but when you take a look at the overall effectiveness of electrocoagulation, it is hard to argue that we should not be looking into it more.