Electrocoagulation (EC) – New Electrode Material and Surfactants remove Boron, Selenium and other Heavy Metals from City Sewage Discharge Water

By Dr. Abe Beagles
January 2009

The Author is the President of Cal-Neva Water Quality Research Institute, Inc. in Newcastle, California. → See also:


In January of 2000 we introduced a new technology to the water treatment world in the form of the Haivala Targeted Water Fusion Technology and over the years much research has been done in our facility to improve on this technology. One problem with EC is that air bubbles forms on the Electrodes and will eventually reduce the effectiviness of the removal of contaminants from the water being processed.

Today, we bring news of a way to make those same bubbles work for us in a way never before used in the EC system. When DC electricity is pushed through an Electrode into water it destroys some of the metal in the Electrode. These particles come off of the Electrode as microsopic particles that are charged with either a negative or positive charge and they attach themselves to the particles of the contaminants in the water, in this case we are talking about metals that are disolved in the water and are atomic in size. In most EC units a solid piece of Aluminum is used as the primary electrode to start the process of coagulation in the water. Until recently it was thought that only one type of metal was needed to remove contaminants. Tests recently completed, show this to be untrue, because the size of the (Flock) created by the Electrode when it disintegrates and captures an atom of contamination, determines how well a specific contaminante will be removed from the water.

The Technology

EC is difficult enough to understand because you have the water, which may have many different contaminants in it and all of them will not be removed with the same electric charge or the same metallurgical makeup of Electrodes. Many scientists have wondered why all of some metals have been removed with EC while other metals have only been particially removed with the same EC. This can be explained in the electron makeup and polarity of the metals which make up the contaminants in a given water. Tests have shown that is the water is first subjected to the Aluminum and then the waste stream carries the AlOH of the contaminate on to the next metal, such as Iron, then when the AlOH gets to the Iron electron it will gather up not only the contaminate but the Al ion that it is attached to and will make a much larger particle (flock) that will attract other particles of the same makeup and these will be transported much easier by the bubbles of O² & H². These particles will float to the surface much faster once outside the chamber of the EC unit and can either be skimmed off the surface, such as in a floatation tank or will precipitate to the bottom once the bubbles that is supporting them has a chance to escape.

Recent tests have shown that if the Electordes are not solid and the water is forced to move through a tube, such as a iron pipe, and the iron pipe is the positive Electrode of the system then the Anode can be made of a material that allows water to flow through it without restriction and thus the water will be in constant contact with the electric field of current all of the way throught the system and more bubbles will be formed within the Anode and these bubbles will carry the flock out of the EC chamber without impeding the flow of the water through the EC unit. If a flow of 100 GPM is desired in the EC unit then a six inch pipe can be used with the corresponding Anode on the inside being a diameter of five and one half inches with insulators placed around the outside of the Anode to keep it from contacting the Cathode and creating a short in the system. The density of the material that the Anode is made of can be varied so as to be very flexible as to GPM through the system.

Our test have shown tht we can combine all three materials needed into one Anode and in doing so we can remove the Boron and the Selenium at the same time while still removing other contaminants that will react with the iron by itself. By changing the diameter of the outside pipe we have been able to flow up to 500 GPM through a single EC system with multipe barrels (pipes) and to obtain the necessary residence time of the water in the electric current you can simply add multiple pieces of pipe with matching Anodes in them and you will maintain removal of the unwanted contaminants while elongating the live of the Anode, which after all is designed to disintergrate. We have found that this procedure also makes changing out the Anode much easier and by using our non-solid Anode we have lengthened the life of the Anodes. The expected life of these Anodes is around three million gallons (depending on the contaminates to be removed) and thses Anodes are much cheaper than solid ones. With our testing of very contaminated water we have determined that a mid-range cost per 1,000 gallons is $00.027 or a cost of Approximately $2.43 per hour for a waste water facility flowing 1,500 GPM on a 24 hour daily basis.

For an analysis of your proplem contact may be made by email at gerrybeagles@aol.com or 916-434-7880.


Copyright © 2009, ECO Services International