What is ElectroCoagulation?
ElectroCoagulation or “EC” is a technology which has only just recently proved itself in the industrial space. As a concept, it has been around since the early 20th century but wasn’t sufficiently commercialized for industrial or municipal applications until the early part of the 21st century – specifically 2002.
However, with the successful address of three key issues (low flow rates, plugging issues, high electrical consumption) that had held back earlier attempts at large-scale commercialization, EC has securely come into its own and represents one of the more vibrant and profound evolutions for water & wastewater treatment to arrive in the last three decades.
TOC, Heavy Metals, Biological, Pesticides and Hallogens, Silt, Silica...even Radioactive Isotopes…it is indiscriminate in its remediation of problematic constituents – with rates in the 90th percentile or higher for most of the above. One system to remove multiple contaminants all in one space and at the same time…
The question becomes “…what can’t EC handle?”
The answer….Short-Carbon Chains (under 6 in length), Starches, Short-Chain Sugars, Nitrites, Potassium, Salts other soluble like Sulfates. There are a few.
Well we have now developed comprehensive solutions that cover any shortcomings and more.
Technical platforms consisting of synergistic technologies which when paired together operate with an efficiency and elegance that is rarely seen in this industry.
We’ve been there just about from the beginning. We’ve lived EC some years now and we’ve married it with emerging modalities such that we can handle the most tortured waters in a more ecologically and economically viable manner than could even have begun to be considered a few short years before.
Welcome to our site. Please direct any queries you may have so we may put a face to the confidence expressed in claims above. We look forward to raising the bar and making your relationship with water that much less complex, that much simpler yet expansive, to presenting a much gentler and circumspect proposition for both industry and ecology.
SOLVING THE “WATER-FACTOR” FOR OIL & GAS EXTRACTION--
The Oil and Gas industry uses a tremendous amount of water. Most oil and gas wells take between 1-3 million gallons just to establish and the waste streams that result are exceedingly difficult to treat.
This can present quite a problem. Drillers are experiencing increasing political pressure to lessen their ‘water footprint’ or water usage in their operations, even undergoing moratoriums on drilling in certain regions or municipalities that are particularly struck with water shortages and droughts.
In addition, environmental regulations are getting increasingly stringent as the public demands more and more socially and environmentally responsible practices.
The overall contention is that produced and flowback waters regularly contain all manner of toxic or problematic constituents. This can include hydrocarbons, heavy metals (including radium and other naturally-occurring radioactive elements,) and the chemical formulas used in the drilling process, all mixed in with various salts and sulfates which are quite difficult and expensive to extricate from a given waste stream.
This means the conventional solutions available to treat these waters are very complex (involving many treatment modalities working together, each to address a component of the waste stream,) and are quite expensive in materials and energy demand.
As such, these drillers resort to open pits which are increasingly coming under attack or alternatives such as deep-well injection - both of which carry long-term indefinite liability should the regulated elements seep into water tables or contaminate a given area in one way or another at some uncertain time into the future.
Or they treat the water onsite and discharge the brine or pay expensive fees for companies to take it off their hands, where treatment quality isn’t guaranteed and legal liability can still revert back to the producer/driller.
The problem is well-understood by those who live it day to day.
We have the solution.
Introducing our hybrid VIA™ System. We have put together a breakthrough technological platform - a proprietary, turn-key solution that will remediate all contaminants in produced or flowback wastestreams and return distilled-quality water in the process.
A more in-depth description of the process can be requested here but the essential elements are the heavy metals (including radioactive metals) are converted into an stable, oxide form, the hydrocarbons and other chemical additives are destroyed, sequestered or recovered and any biological elements are sufficiently disinfected to enable the sludge produced, to be classified as “non-toxic” (in accordance with EPA leachability standards) and thus qualified to be disposed of in a standard landfill.
This can be accomplished in high salt-content waters with TDS (Total Dissolved Solids) of up to 300,000ppm (parts per million.)
Depending upon the salt and solids content, as much as 70% distilled-quality water (blended as needed to meet technical specs) is produced in the process, lessening the expense and bottleneck of your water acquisitions while limiting your exposure to regulatory threats.
This water is often of higher quality than that sourced from the public works as it is missing the hardness factors which serve to scale-up wellsite pipelines – with fewer biological elements lessening the demand for biocides prior to downhole injection.
We’ll also break the oil and water emulsions formed in the extraction process, whereupon any oil content over 500ppm (we char any content under 500ppm) can be returned as a value-added byproduct.
We deliver the preceding under standard, per-barrel, performance-based, service contracts, no capital outlay required, so as to demonstrate the confidence you need that we can deliver and deliver effectively.
Our service model not only eliminates any liabilities relating to your water needs but serves to fulfill the beneficial use goals of the industry.
In fact, over the life of well, we will deliver a net gain of water to the region:
A “positive water footprint” claim which, politically, can be worth its weight in gold.
Our value proposition is simple: We deliver a more economic and comprehensive treatment solution than anything out there while returning the oil – and the water – to you in the process.
Contact us here to improve your relationship with water.
The mining process typically uses cyanide or other toxic chemicals to extract precious or base metals which are “locked up” within large chunks of rock and stone. Once the targeted metal is extracted and processed, a liquid slurry byproduct (waste) is deposited in a large pond or lagoon for the purpose of settling.
The remaining extractive elements (cyanide, etc) are usually “tied up” or emulsified within the clay, or colloid. This bond does not allow these elements to completely settle out and the result is a very large toxic mud pond.
ElectroCoagulation Is The Solution
The process of ElectroCoagulation uses electricity and an iron metal ion to replace the typical chemical precipitation process. The action of the electricity and the metal ion, breaks the clay colloid from the water molecule (effectively neutralizing the cyanide and other heavy metals through oxidation) and makes the metal separable from the water molecule. It breaks the emulsion.
The treated waters are then be sent to a settling system, a clarifier, or our proprietary, continuous-flow, separation module and the water is subsequently separated from the clay.
The cyanide and other heavy metals are converted into a stable, oxide form and removed with the resulting (up to 25-34% solids content) sludge.
The minerals in the water are also removed, conditioning the effluent with “soft water” properties, (eliminating the further scaling and calcium deposits typical of hard water,) allowing it to be to be reused in the mining process - and in extreme cases, eliminating the need for trucking in water over long distances.
When sulfates or sodium chloride are present, elements that our EC does treat on its own, our hybrid VIA™ System remove them quite readily – leaving 80% pure distilled water, crystallized salt and a environmentally-stable sludge as the only byproducts.
These solutions, performed with the consistency and efficiency we can deliver are new news to the mining industry. The benefits they bring to operations, in addressing environmental regulations, reusing water resources and streamlining processes are hard to understate.
In addition, they can aid in the development of newly discovered reserves by providing solutions to the objections and opposition presented by environmental groups or government mandates.
The VIA™ Systems are fully scalable and can address the heavy volumes required for the mining sector. In addition, they are modular in nature and as such can be moved to remote areas and operated from a typical genset.
We stand behind our solutions and deliver complete treatment systems on a per gallon/m3, contract basis. We treat your water for a lower cost than you currently pay for remediation and water resources, with a higher standards and quality than you currently entertain…or you don’t pay.
Contact us here to learn what we can do to improve your relationship with water.
Water costs, water treatment and environmental concerns are major preoccupations for the management of an electrical generation plant.
The concerns are twofold:
1. Maintaining sufficiently high quality raw water influent so that the boilers can function properly, and
2. Ensuring the blowdown waters are successfully treated so as to not violate regulations and present hazards into the public water system.
The Qi system addresses both ends and can even provide a closed-loop, zero-discharge system to optimize operations and preserve valuable water resources.
Although specific concerns will vary with each plant and the nature of the source water, the removal of silica is a concern that is common to all and essential to ensuring high-quality, raw water influent for the boilers.
Hardness (calcium + magnesium) is also a concern so as to prevent scaling of the boilers and/or any membrane systems that might be employed to remove these elements.
Lime and Soda Ash and other additives are often used to precipitate these from the stream; however they tend to be expensive, limited in their removal rates and tend to create a large volume of sludge that then needs to be handled and disposed of properly with significant expense.
All in all, it tends to be a complex, expensive and involved process.
Fortunately the Qi System has been shown to be a cost-efficient and environmentally beneficial method to solve the silica and hardness problem along with other contaminants (organics, bacteria, heavy metals and other constituents) allowing for simplified operations and an influent of superior quality.
Our advanced ElectroCoagulation system treats the water, coagulating the contaminants before sending the treated effluent on to our proprietary Ultra Filtration (UF) membrane, which follows as secondary separation.
If necessary, the EC and UF can act as a pretreatment for RO (Reverse Osmosis), greatly increases the lifespan of the delicate membranes and dramatically reducing membrane fouling and the resultant downtime and maintenance costs associated with those common difficulties.
Using this kind of train, the blowdown waters can be treated well enough to be used for raw water influent, creating a Zero-Discharge system, saving on escalating water costs and eliminating any potential for discharge violations either now or in the future.
All while presenting a net savings on current operating costs.
Contact us here to see how we can improve your relationship with water.
ZERO-DISCHARGE SOLUTIONS FOR THE SEMICONDUCTOR INDUSTRY:
"Ultrapure water" is needed for the semi-conductor industry. There is no room for error as the manufacturing protocols require exceptionally pure water to operate effectively.
The treatment trains used to accomplish this "ultrapure water" are quite rigorous and complex, involving many stages. Generally multi-membrane systems are used (UF followed by RO,) Water Softeners, EDI (Electrodeionization Systems) along with Micro-Filtration, Ion-Exchange if needed, among others.
Although achieving "ultrapure water" on a consistent basis is the primary concern, the discharge from these plants often contain problematic elements such as copper or silicon.
Since these plants require large volumes of water for their operations, the plants in turn discharge large quantities of this problematic effluent into the environment, often at standards that are not high enough for the public good.
These discharges are under heavier and heavier scrutiny from regulatory agencies who not only demand that water consumption be reduced but also that discharged wastewater have sufficient quality so as not to pose a threat to the surrounding environment.
Further, expansion can be restricted by conservation mandates concerned with the plants tax or strain on local fresh water resources. Add to this the growing expense of raw water intake, which is only increasing as water resources becomes more and more precious, and you have a scene that is ripe for innovation.
The essential question: How can we make ends meet?
The Qi system addresses both ends by providing a closed-loop, zero-discharge system to optimize operations, preserve valuable water resources and eliminate any environmental fallout.
Quantum ionics has put together a technological platform, a proprietary, turn-key solution that will remediate all contaminants in a wastewater stream and return distilled-quality water to the driller in the process.
Heavy metals are converted into an oxide, earth-metal form, while biological elements are sufficiently disinfected to enable the sludge produced, to be classified as "non-toxic" (in accordance with EPA leachability standards) and thus qualified to be disposed of in a standard landfill.
These solids are then removed by our proprietary UF (Ultra-Filtration) membrane, brought to 25-30% solids through our VC (Vacuum Clarifier) and the water stream sent on to our advanced Multi-Stage Flash Distiller, the most energy-efficient in the industry.
This results in as much as 80% of the resulting flow being converted to distilled-quality water, lessening the expense and bottleneck of water acquisitions while limiting exposure to regulatory restrictions on their activities.
Make-up water is mixed in with the discharge water and treated to the same standards allowing for the high-quality raw water treatment needed for plant operations.
If necessary, in the interests of utilizing existing equipment, our EC unit can act as a pretreatment for UF and RO, greatly increasing the lifespan of the delicate membranes and dramatically reducing membrane fouling and the resultant downtime and maintenance costs associated with those common difficulties.
A large factor in this is that silica and silicon are removed in the range of 98-99.5% and hardness (calcium + magnesium) can be reduced by 90%+.
Using this kind of train, the semiconductor plant discharge waters can be treated well enough to be used for raw water influent, creating a Zero-Discharge System, saving on escalating water costs and eliminating any potential for discharge violations either now or in the future.
All while presenting a net savings on current operating costs.
Contact us here to see how we can improve your relationship with water.
This water also represents a higher quality water than drillers would get if they were to source the city from the public works (less added chemicals and minerals such as calcium and magnesium which tend to scale-up on-site piping and less need for biocides before flooding the well.)
We accomplish the preceding while installing these systems on a JV service model which addresses the needs of the industry and affords them quicker implementation of needed technological advances.
Our value proposition is that we deliver a streamlined pretreatment solution using process waters produced onsite – not only handling the effluent and the environmental concerns relating to that discharge but returning the water, a increasingly valuable commodity, to the plant for reuse.
Please contact us for specific inquiries.
Whether it’s expanding an existing sewage treatment system or implementing an entirely new sewage treatment facility our advanced technologies produce outstanding results. The following information should provide an understanding of how using ElectroCoagulation can expand the capacity of an existing wastewater treatment plant.
EXISTING SEWERAGE PLANTS
It is not too uncommon for sewerage plants to find themselves “pushed” beyond capacity, increasingly overloaded as environmental demand expands. Discharge quality begins to suffer and eventually municipalities are forced into building new plants. The use of ElectroCoagulation changes that.
The use of ElectroCoagulation (EC) and Vacuum Clarification (VC) units can help by increasing capacity and increasing quality. There are actually three different places in an existing system where EC can be used effectively.
Using EC at the front end of the treatment system:
The first place is at the front end of the plant so as to maximize the expansion of plant capacity. This is the point in the system where the influent is heaviest in BOD and TSS. Once it is screened down to 1/32nd of an inch and directed through the EC/VC system, the BOD/TSS load will be reduced by about 75% before entering the primary clarifier.
If the plant’s clarifier (lagoon or bio-digester) is spec’d to handle 100 gallons of influent per minute, then by removing 75% of the BOD/TSS load prior to the plant’s primary clarifier or bio-digester, we would now be able to process 400-gpm (as the size of the clarifier or bio-digester is not based upon gallonage, but on how much BOD and TSS can be handled in a given period of time.)
In this way, 400 gallons (containing the same amount of BOD/TSS as the initial 100) can now go through a system that was sized for only 100 gallons, with the coordinated ancillary equipment, pumps, piping, etc to handle the expanded, incoming flow.
Our front of the plant EC system will also kill and remove a large number of pathogens from the influent and if a VC unit is also utilized it will directly produce a much more solid sludge, one that is about 25% by weight, helping to eliminate a drying step.
Use of EC after aeration:
The second place an EC system can be of benefit is in the middle of the system. By placing the EC units after the aeration and before the secondary separation you can double the plant capacity and also improve the quality of effluent to be discharged. This is accomplished because the bugs (bacteria) can more easily consume small particles, leaving the larger particles for removal by the EC unit. Translated, this means that they can more easily digest simple short-chains such as sugars.
Use of EC at the back end of the treatment system:
The third and final place an EC system can be of benefit is at the back end of the system after aeration and the secondary clarifier.
The primary purpose of positioning one of the EC units at back end of the sewerage plant system is to improve discharge quality.
This can be particularly of interest to plants concerned with meeting discharge standards mandated by international accords, and national and/or local regulatory requirements.
Since the bacteria will have eaten most of the simple sugars (which EC does not treat) the EC system will remove about 96% of the remaining BOD and about 99% of the bacteria. The process is effective in removing BOD, TSS, Phosphates, Bacteria, etc, from the water before discharge.
When used in this position, the EC system will also electrocute or implode most of the bacteria thus increasing the amount of free water, while also lessening the disinfection required and lessening the sludge load by about 83%.
Some sort of secondary separation would need to be added after the EC unit if it is utilized in this position in the treatment train. Our Vacuum Clarification (VC) system is recommended for this job. Viruses are handled very well with an EC/VC combination due to its effectiveness with the removal of very fine particles.
ElectroCoagulation will also allow sewage sludge to be processed on a belt press without the addition of polymers. Treated in this way the Coliform is reduced sufficiently to produce “Class B” sludge without the addition of lime or heat.
Combined front and back end systems:
If one of the EC/VC systems is utilized on the front-end of the system it will increase the capacity by about 400%. In this case, the existing end system (the final clarifier, the concentration tank and the belt press or filter press) may not large enough to accommodate the increased volume of the system.
If this is the case, it could be more economical to insert another of our combination EC/VC units instead of investing in a new clarifier, concentration tank and filter press.
This EC/VC combination will remove about 96%+ of the BOD, about 99% of the bacteria, 95%+ heavy metals and will produce a dewatered, “Class B” sludge at 25% solids and 83% less volume by mass. Additionally, since the VC system automatically pumps out the sludge it eliminates the need for scraping.
The “Qi” (Quantum-ionics) EC system can be used as a cost-effective, chemical-free, pre-treatment system for reverse osmosis desalination efforts.
There are three main problems associated with RO: scaling, fouling, and degradation of the RO membrane. These problems significantly increase the costs of any RO desalination effort.
These problems can be successfully addressed by the new “Qi” EC being used in a pretreatment capacity.
The “Qi” system used as a pretreatment step removes the vast majority of the problematic contaminants, outside the salt, that the RO unit usually has to contend with, such as: silica, silt, bacteria and other biological elements, organics, hardness factors such as calcium and magnesium and other contaminants.
1. Removing the silica: By removing silica you can dramatically extend the life of the membranes. Silica (the basis of glass) is very sharp and is slightly larger than a water molecule which makes it prone to getting lodged in the openings of the membrane, causing significant degradation to the integrity of the RO system. All of this pushing and cutting can decrease the membrane’s useful life by as much as 50%. To prevent this from occurring expensive chelators are added to the flow in an attempt to aggregate the silica and prevent it from doing too much damage. The “Qi” system extends the useful life of the membrane by eliminating up to 98% of the silica before it can impact the membrane.
2. Removing silt: Silt can present major clogging and fouling problems for RO membranes. Due to the unique design of its atmospheric chamber, the “Qi” system easily removes silt without compromising high flow rates, saving on maintenance and excess energy needs to push the water through silt-related congestion.
3. Removing biological elements: Biological elements like bacteria or algae tend to collect on the face of the membrane where they then breed, and in doing, produce a “slime” that coats the RO membrane. As this “slime” collects, it begins clogging the membrane and slowing the RO process with the potentiality of completely halting the flow – a factor that wastes much energy from forcing the pump to work harder and eventually resulting in the further expense factors of downtime and maintenance. To prevent this, biocides or other additives are introduced as a pretreatment which only add to the operating expense. The “Qi” water treatment system eliminates these expenses by removing the source of the slime before it comes into contact with the RO unit.
4. Removal of organics: It doesn’t take too much for organics, such as hydrocarbons, to foul RO membranes, requiring substantial downtime to clean and refresh the delicate membranes if they haven’t been irreparably harmed in the process. If organics are present in the incoming stream, they must be treated beforehand with additional equipment, adding to the overall cost of treatment. The “Qi” system eliminates any organics on the outset so this is no longer an issue.
5. Removal of hardness: Calcium and magnesium along with a few other particular elements (such as barium and strontium) are notorious in their ability to scale up an RO membrane, compromising flow-rates and requiring expensive downtime for the removal of the build-up. To prevent this from occurring expensive anti-scalants are introduced into the system, which do much to add to the overall expense and, as with the silica, often do not address the problem well enough requiring pretreatment such as water softening and ion-exchange to aid in the effort. By bringing the incoming stream to a pH of “9”, 90% of the calcium and magnesium can be effectively removed.
6. Smaller water chains: There is an additional benefit that relates to a molecular change that occurs when EC is exerted on a particular water stream. Water exists in chains and these chains come in a vast variety of different shapes and sizes. Flexible magnetic bonds hold the individual water molecules together into these chained structures. The “Qi” system breaks the magnetic bonds resulting in water molecules that are much smaller and as such pass through the RO membrane much quicker and with greater ease. From field experience, we’ve seen this phenomenon allow an RO membrane to process up to 50% more water per unit of time. Instead of one liter, 1.5 liters now pass through the membrane. This also reduces the amount of pressure needed to push a molecule through the membrane, which in turn results in less pump wear and lower electrical costs.
Conventional water treatment systems are plagued with problems when dealing with water that becomes contaminated during floods, fires, earthquakes, tornados, hurricanes, oil spills and sewage overflows.
Muddy and silt or soot filled waters, oily waters and waters with other heavy concentrations of suspended solids quickly plug up reverse osmosis systems, carbon and charcoal systems and ordinary ceramic filter systems.
These types of systems may be fine for clear water, where the main concern is the removal of bacteria, but their workability is severely limited in emergency situations.
As shown in the Test Results here P.E.T.S.™ units can remove pesticides, heavy metals, suspended solids (like mud and silt,) oil, grease and bacteria in one simple operation.
"P.E.T.S.™ units can handle a broad range of contaminants even under adverse conditions."
If desired, due to salt contamination, an optional advanced desalination unit, available from Quantum-ionics, Inc. can be used in conjunction with the basic P.E.T.S.™ system.
This enhanced P.E.T.S.™ system can be counted on to deliver fresh water from brackish or seawater by eliminating most if not all of the fouling problems normally associated with reverse osmosis when operated under adverse conditions.
The senior purpose of the P.E.T.S.™ units is to be available and on call to service the populace with potable water during any emergencies which may come about as a result of:
The secondary purpose of the P.E.T.S.™ units is to provide practical, cost-saving services to the Municipalities during those periods when the P.E.T.S.™ emergency use capability is not needed. Some of the units' many uses could include:
P.E.T.S.™ are available in several different sizes and configurations to fit the needs of any Municipality.
For more information on how easy it can be for your community can have a P.E.T.S.™ unit, please contact us here.
Because of the open atmospheric chamber and the VIA™ vertical blade design, VIA™ Systems have been used in food processing industry for treating wastewater for discharge or for recycling while also being able to easily harvest oils, proteins, fats and at times sugars that can be sold for use in other food products. The open atmospheric chamber design allows the fats and oils to rise to the surface easily where they then can be skimmed or otherwise harvested. The vertical plates, being 1/8 inch apart allows for the easy passage of these particles and others, which might cause problems in other systems.
he VIA™ system is often accompanied by one of our Vacuum Clarification units that are capable of processing the already electrocoagulated water and wastewater and separating out the coagulated waste from the water at very high flow rates while producing from 30% to 50% solids. This high-speed dewatering process provides for the easy and less expensive disposal of sludge. In some cases this sludge can also be transformed (recycled) into a sellable product.
In addition, if chlorides (NaCl) are present and aren’t of any process value, the brine can be successfully and economically remediated with our proprietary desalination systems. In doing so, sugars can often be harvested as another value-added byproduct.
Which brings it back to water: After treatment very little is generally needed to successfully reuse these waters in plant operations. Not only does this decrease costs on a vital commodity, such a ‘zero-discharge’ system can also hedge on future regulatory and utility rates while more or less eliminating inspections with regards to wastewater compliance.
For more information and a complete report please click here.
Please contact us for specific inquiries.
Please contact us for specific inquiries.
Please contact us for specific inquiries.