What is the Electrochlorination Process?

What is the Electrochlorination Process?

The electrochlorination process

What is the Electrochlorination process?

Electrochlorination is the process of applying an electrical current to salt water to produce dilute sodium hypochlorite (bleach) and hydrogen gas. The resultant sodium hypochlorite solution contains between 0.7%-1% chlorine. This low concentration is considered non-hazardous to humans yet still destroys viruses, bacteria, and other harmful microorganisms present in the water, making it safe to drink and preventing the spread of diseases. 

Unlike other chlorination methods, such as chlorine gas or commercial hypochlorite solutions, electrochlorination doesn’t generate any toxic by-products, nor does it require staff to handle hazardous chemicals, such as chlorine or sodium hypochlorite in high concentrations. The only by-product is hydrogen gas and there are processes to manage and disperse this safely.

Electrochlorination is therefore a highly effective and economical technique for disinfecting water. Unsurprisingly, it’s used all over the world, at all scales, from personal electrochlorination units carried by campers in remote locations to giant industrial plants treating potable water for an entire city. 

Electrochlorination produces sodium hypochlorite on site on an “as needed” basis. If required, electrochlorination can function as part of a responsive system that automatically generates a dosage of sodium hypochlorite depending on the existing levels of free chlorine or organic matter in the water. Here at ProDose, we install electrochlorination apparatus ranging in dosing capacity from 25 grams per hour right up to 10 kilograms per hour.

 

What’s involved in the Electrochlorination Process?

In very basic terms, electrochlorination is the electrolysis of salt water. This can be natural seawater or artificial brine produced by adding sodium chloride, or pure vacuum dried salt, to fresh water. In all brine based systems the incoming water (used to dilute the brine and dissolve the salt) is softened.This reduces calcium and magnesium salts dissolved within the water and prevents the build up of harmful scale deposits around the electrical components and within pipes. This improves the reliability of the system.

After cleaning, the filtered brine flows through a series of electrodes within an electrolytic cell. A low voltage DC current is passed through the solution. At the positive anode, chloride ions are oxidized to produce chlorine. At the negative cathode, the salt water is reduced to sodium hydroxide and hydrogen. The liberated chlorine reacts instantly with the sodium hydroxide to produce sodium hypochlorite, while the hydrogen gas is released. 

The chemical reaction is:

NaCl + H2O + ENERGY NaOCl + H2

The sodium hypochlorite solution flows onwards to a separate chamber or tank, where it is separated from the by-product, hydrogen gas.The sodium hypochlorite is typically low strength, with a moderate pH value. From here, it can be stored in the short term or immediately injected into the main water system where it goes to work, either as a continuous supply or a shock dose.

Would you like to find out more about our premium quality range of Electrochlorination systems?

Safe Dispersal of Hydrogen

The by-product hydrogen is highly flammable and has no smell. Therefore it should not be permitted to build up in significant quantities around the electrochlorination equipment as it could explode. Some kind of degassing system needs to be built into the process to make sure the hydrogen disperses safely. Prodose advocates the use of dual containment and force air ventilation of all hydrogen containing components within a plant room. This ultra safe method ensures that in the event of a leak of hydrogen (cracked pipe or leaking fitting) the hydrogen is immediately diluted with air to a concentration significantly below the 4% explosive threshold.

Choosing an Electrochlorination System

The ProDose team of experts has specified and installed more than 100 electrochlorination systems in the UK and worldwide. Our experience covers a variety of industries and applications, from food production to school swimming pools to drinking water treatment. We offer a range of AMPRO electrochlorinators to suit every operation, footprint, and budget, and we always include a full after-sale support package.

  • MPS Model – A simple wall mounted, lower capacity electrochlorination system, with self-cleaning electrode technology.
  • MP Models– Available in three capacities these electrochlorinators feature auto brine dilution, hydrogen degassing and force air ventilation, all in one compact wall mounted assembly. With an intelligent colour touchscreen control panel, operators can access running parameters, help screens and system diagnostics with ease.
  • MPI Models – Available in five larger capacities these floor mounted electrochlorinators are supplied fully assembled and ready for integration at site. These also feature auto brine dilution, hydrogen degassing, force air ventilation and intelligent touchscreen control panel as per the MP range.

Call us today to discuss your electrochlorination needs, whether you’re considering upgrading your existing system or installing an entirely new one.

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What is the Electrochlorination Process?

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Need help choosing the right system? Please get in touch with us at Prodose. We’d be very happy to talk to you confidentially and on a no-pressure basis.

Chlorine Dioxide and Legionella Control

Chlorine Dioxide and Legionella Control

Chlorine Dioxide and Legionella control

Chlorine Dioxide and Legionella Control

Legionella is a bacterium found in soil and water. When it occurs outdoors, it usually does so in low concentrations and doesn’t cause problems. However, when it grows inside artificial water systems, such as hot tubs, hot water tanks, swimming pools, decorative fountains, or cooling towers, it can multiply to dangerous levels and result in Legionnaires disease in humans. This is a serious form of pneumonia which can be fatal.

There are, in an average year, around 200-250 confirmed cases of Legionnaires disease in England and Wales. Approximately half these cases are the result of local contamination, while the rest can be traced to overseas travel. As it’s a major public health concern, the relevant local authorities must be notified of any Legionnaire’s disease diagnosis so the original source of infection can be investigated and eradicated.

As it’s such a serious health and safety issue, building owners and managers must stay on top of monitoring water supplies for the bacteria and administer treatments as necessary. In the UK, there are very specific health and safety regulations detailed in HSG274. Chlorine dioxide is one of the chemical treatments recommended for making water safe and protecting customers, staff, and residents from Legionnaires’ disease.

 

Why is Legionella so Dangerous?

Legionnaires disease is spread when people breathe the bacteria in via microscopic water droplets (aerosols), which then infects their lungs and/or respiratory system. It’s not passed from person to person, instead people moving through the same location are likely to become infected at the same time. 

Legionella outbreaks can occur in industrial, commercial, hospital, or even domestic settings, in fact anywhere where quantities of water are stored within the temperature range 30-42ºC. It becomes dormant at lower temperatures, but can revive as soon as the water warms up again. With the right nutrients, the Legionella population can double every 3-4 hours. It thrives in water systems where the usual flow (which disturbs colonies’ growth) is halted for a period of time, such as an office building that has been closed during a pandemic.

Cases of Legionnaires disease can be particularly dangerous in patients who are over 50, smokers, or have an underlying immunodeficiency disorder. Initial symptoms include cough and headache, but this can rapidly progress to chest pains, vomiting, and mental confusion. If left untreated, it may result in respiratory failure, septic shock, or acute kidney failure.

Looking for an efficient way to control the risk of Legionella in your premises?

How does Chlorine Dioxide Destroy Legionella?

Legionella bacteria develops inside a protective polysaccharide slime, or biofilm. This layer of microorganisms forms on surfaces that come into contact with water. At even a low concentration of 0.1 ppm, chlorine dioxide penetrates both the biofilm and the bacteria cell walls. It oxidizes the amino acids in the cytoplasm within cells, effectively destroying the bacteria and the nutrients they feed off. Chlorine Dioxide works rapidly and is effective over a wide temperature and pH range.

How is Chlorine Dioxide added to the Water System?

Chlorine dioxide is a volatile gas, which is difficult and potentially dangerous to store. Therefore it’s usually generated on site, as needed, in a stable solution form that is much safer to handle. Chlorine dioxide solution can be derived in a number of different ways, one of the most common is the controlled reaction of low strengths solutions of sodium chlorite NaClO2 and hydrochloric acid. The resultant chemical reaction forms chlorine dioxide (ClO2) and salt and water. As this solution is fresh, precise doses can then be injected into the water system as and where required, so the biocidal action can begin.

The team at ProDose has many years of experience with Legionella prevention and eradication. We can advise you on your level of compliance with the current Approved Code of Practice L8 for control of Legionella bacteria in water systems. We also have a great deal of expertise in designing and maintaining safe water treatment strategies for a variety of buildings, including offices, universities, hospitals, factories, schools, and sports stadiums. We can help you upgrade your existing system or provide you with the latest state-of-the-art equipment. The first step is to give us a call and set up a consultation.

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What is the Electrochlorination Process?

What is the Electrochlorination process? Electrochlorination is the process of applying an electrical current to salt water to produce dilute sodium hypochlorite (bleach) and hydrogen gas. The resultant sodium hypochlorite solution contains between 0.7%-1% chlorine....

read more

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Chlorine Dioxide and Water Treatment for Plant Nurseries

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If you are interested in upgrading your existing system or are looking for state-of-the-art equipment, please get in touch with us at Prodose. We’d be very happy to talk to you confidentially and on a no-pressure basis.

Chlorine Dioxide and Water Treatment for Plant Nurseries

Chlorine Dioxide and Water Treatment for Plant Nurseries

Chlorine Dioxide and water treatment for plant nurseries

Chlorine Dioxide and Water Treatment for Plant Nurseries

Horticultural facilities, such as plant nurseries, face many of the same water sanitation issues as their agricultural counterparts. These issues include keeping ornamental and food plants healthy, maintaining sanitized equipment, especially irrigation and water recycling systems, and controlling the growth of algae and other harmful microbes.

Treating water with chlorine dioxide solves these problems. It’s also safe, effective at a wide pH range (4-10), and cost efficient for most installations. Finally, chlorine dioxide is odor free, which means it in no way interferes with customers’ experience as they visit a nursery to pick out their plants.

Chlorine dioxide is easy to use. It is a water soluble gas that can be generated on site, as required, then injected directly into irrigation lines. It is an effective disinfectant at a low concentration, below 1.0ppm.

 

Chlorine Dioxide and Maintaining Plant Health

Most plant nursery owners would agree that keeping plant stock healthy (and therefore attractive to customers) is a big priority. Chlorine dioxide water treatment can be a powerful tool in the fight against plant disease. Even in relatively low amounts, chlorine dioxide added to water can protect against plant pathogens .

For instance, research has shown that chlorine dioxide prevents the spread of Fusarium oxysporum in daffodils during hot water treatment. When used as a dipping agent, it is also effective in reducing Botrytis grey mould in roses. If added to irrigation water, such as that gathered from collection ponds, it kills other pathogens such as Thieloviopsis basicola, Botrytis cinerea, and Clavibacter michiganesis. Chlorine dioxide is effective both if added in small amounts to the regular supply, or as a “shock treatment” at a higher concentration (20-50ppm) in order to target a specific outbreak of a pathogen, or as a periodic cleanse.

Chlorine dioxide is especially useful as a disinfestant as it can be used to control plant diseases during production and post-harvest.

 

Chlorine Dioxide and Eliminating Biofilm and Algae

The layer of green slime sometimes visible inside a water treatment system is known as biofilm, and it consists of a living mass of organic and inorganic elements that cluster together for survival. Unfortunately, biofilm and the organisms lurking within it thrive on any surface that is in regular contact with water, and that includes the irrigation and return lines, holding and mixing tanks, and containment vessels of typical plant nursery irrigation equipment. Biofilm also grows quickly inside liquid fertilizer lines. If its development is left unchecked, it can block pipes, affecting water flow and pressure, as well as spreading pathogens among plants.

Once again, chlorine dioxide water treatment solves the problem. Once dissolved in water, chlorine dioxide moves freely within the irrigation system. It attacks the surface of the biofilm, destroying it right down to the surface it sits on and, if part of a constant injection system, stops it from re-establishing itself. Chlorine dioxide prevents biofilm regrowth at concentrations as low as 0.25ppm in irrigation water.

Looking for an easier way to generate Chlorine Dioxide on site? 

Chlorine Dioxide and Irrigation, Runoff, and Water Recycling

Chlorine dioxide can be added to a plant nursery irrigation system with minimal environmental consequences— as long as levels are constantly monitored. When it reacts with microbes, chlorine dioxide does not form any harmful compounds such as trihalomethane, chloramines, chloroform or other halogenated disinfection by-products (DBPs). It dissipates swiftly once water is exposed to air. This means that treated run-off water can continue to circulate within the irrigation system, reducing labour and waste costs. As chlorine dioxide functions as a disinfectant in such a dilute form, it’s not necessary to clean the system after its use with aggressive chemicals, which may corrode plastic pipes and limit equipment life.

If you’re interested in learning more about chlorine dioxide as a water sanitization solution for plant nurseries and other horticultural businesses, please contact the team at ProDose. We have many years of experience in this specific field and can design, install and maintain every element of your irrigation system, as well as supplying all necessary chemicals. Give us a call today!

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What is the Electrochlorination Process?

What is the Electrochlorination process? Electrochlorination is the process of applying an electrical current to salt water to produce dilute sodium hypochlorite (bleach) and hydrogen gas. The resultant sodium hypochlorite solution contains between 0.7%-1% chlorine....

read more

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Chlorine Dioxide and Legionella Control Legionella is a bacterium found in soil and water. When it occurs outdoors, it usually does so in low concentrations and doesn’t cause problems. However, when it grows inside artificial water systems, such as hot tubs, hot water...

read more

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Keeping it clean: the use of Chlorine Dioxide in the Food and Beverage Sector

Keeping it clean: the use of Chlorine Dioxide in the Food and Beverage Sector

keeping-it-clean

Keeping It Clean: the use of Chlorine Dioxide in the Food and Beverage Sector

Chlorine dioxide is rising in prominence as the best water treatment additive for the food and drinks industry. It’s powerful and economical, and may be a more practical solution for food-grade facilities than other options such as chlorine or bromine. Chlorine dioxide is also relatively odorless, another big plus for this sector.

What is Chlorine Dioxide (ClO2)?

Chlorine Dioxide is a fast acting disinfectant, used in many different water treatment systems around the world. It’s a yellow or reddish-yellow gas, which breaks down into chlorine gas and oxygen when heated. Chlorine dioxide is quite volatile so it is usually manufactured as a stable solution on site and on demand to avoid some of the issues associated with safe storage.

How is Chlorine Dioxide solution made?

Chlorine dioxide solution can be derived in a number of different ways, one of the most common is the addition of sodium chlorite NaClO2 and hydrochloric acid. The resultant chemical reaction forms chlorine dioxide (ClO2) and salt and water.

Alternatively, a stabilized chlorine dioxide solution can be activated by small doses of a strong acid at timed intervals. This will release low quantities of gaseous chlorine dioxide.

How does Chlorine Dioxide work?

Once added to water, Chlorine Dioxide goes to work very quickly. It remains stable in solution (unlike Chlorine) and therefore remains effective over a wide pH range. It doesn’t react with background organic matter in water (again unlike Chlorine) so it reaches the bioorganisms it’s designed to kill in larger quantities, more immediately.

Chlorine dioxide works as a bactericide, fungicide and antimicrobial agent, eliminating pathogens from the water and from the surface of washed produce. First, chlorine dioxide penetrates the biofilm, the protective polysaccharide “glue” that holds clusters of microbes together. As it doesn’t react with the inert sugars in this layer, it remains at full strength for the next stage. It then works by attacking the microbe’s amino acids and RNA, breaking down cell walls and preventing any further growth.

How does Chlorine Dioxide affect water?

Chlorine dioxide sanitizes water without generating the same environmentally damaging byproducts as its competitors. For instance, chlorine bleach and bromide produce carcinogenic trihalomethanes when added to water. By contrast, Chlorine Dioxide breaks down to water, oxygen and common table salt, making clean-up much easier.

Chlorine dioxide is effective as a disinfectant across a wide range of water pH values. This means it’s suited to the closed loop systems commonly used by the food and drinks industry. When it reacts with bioorganisms, there is no resultant taint or odour – again crucial when washing meat, poultry, fish, or produce.

Looking for an easier way to generate Chlorine Dioxide on site? 

How does Chlorine Dioxide affect equipment?

Chlorine dioxide is an effective sanitizer at concentrations as low as 5 parts-per-million (ppm). As well as making it environmentally friendly, this means it’s much less corrosive to the stainless steel equipment vital to any food processing or washing plant . By contrast, systems that use hypochlorite solution often operate at much higher residual levels, and at these levels there can often be a detriment corrosive reaction with steels. This leads to extra repair and replacement costs, not to mention down time. Chlorine dioxide is also a very fast acting disinfectant, which makes it ideal for short contact cleaning, further reducing the wear and tear on a water treatment system.

Can an existing water treatment system be converted to Chlorine Dioxide use?

If you have questions about the use of Chlorine Dioxide as a disinfectant in your specific water treatment system, please contact us here at ProDose. Our team of experts have many years of experience with chlorination processes and have installed sanitization systems in many different food and drink production facilities. We’re more than happy to discuss your options, from designing and installing a new system, to adapting and maintaining your existing set up. We also supply chemicals. Call or email us to schedule an appointment to discuss your water treatment needs.

Recent Articles

What is the Electrochlorination Process?

What is the Electrochlorination process? Electrochlorination is the process of applying an electrical current to salt water to produce dilute sodium hypochlorite (bleach) and hydrogen gas. The resultant sodium hypochlorite solution contains between 0.7%-1% chlorine....

read more

Chlorine Dioxide and Legionella Control

Chlorine Dioxide and Legionella Control Legionella is a bacterium found in soil and water. When it occurs outdoors, it usually does so in low concentrations and doesn’t cause problems. However, when it grows inside artificial water systems, such as hot tubs, hot water...

read more

Chlorine Dioxide and Water Treatment for Plant Nurseries

Chlorine Dioxide and Water Treatment for Plant Nurseries Horticultural facilities, such as plant nurseries, face many of the same water sanitation issues as their agricultural counterparts. These issues include keeping ornamental and food plants healthy, maintaining...

read more

If you are interested in using Chlorine Dioxide for your systems, please get in touch with us at Prodose. We’d be very happy to talk to you confidentially and on a no-pressure basis.

Major UK Stadium Case Study

Major UK Stadium Case Study

Major UK Stadium Case Study

Case Study: Stadium water supply

The dosing of water supplies with chlorine dioxide is a very common and effective method of preventing Legionella within buildings and facilities.

Prodose has recently specified and installed a chlorine dioxide generation system in a large, well-known sports stadium in the UK. This will help the venue to ensure a safe supply of water across all of the site facilities at all times.

The building management team got in touch with us because they were routinely finding low levels of chlorine dioxide in toilet facilities throughout the site.

We looked at the frequency and volume of water use within the stadium. As is usually the case with such venues, demand for water was extremely high during events but also very low at other times. This meant that, during long periods when water within the system was either not flowing or hardly at all, the levels of residual chlorine dioxide dropped down to unacceptably low levels.

We recommended the installation of a larger chlorine dioxide generator and an emissions-proof water storage tank. The large capacity of the generator would be able to keep up with the spikes in water demand during events, for example at half time when many audience members all visit the toilet facilities at the same time.

The water storage tank needs to be emissions-proof in order to prevent chlorine dioxide fumes from entering the plant room. The tanks are very large in order to cope with peak demands. This does however mean that water can be standing static in them at other times, so it is important to be able to monitor this water for chlorine dioxide level to ensure residual levels do not drop too low.

To enable this, we installed a tank recirculating line with a chlorine dioxide residual analyser. This constantly monitors the levels of chlorine dioxide and tops them up when they drop below a predetermined level.

The system has now been up and running for a period of time and the client has been very pleased to now be recording consistent levels of chlorine dioxide throughout the site. This has remained steady at all times, regardless of how long it has been since a large audience attendance.

Further Case Studies

Major UK Stadium Case Study

Case Study: Stadium water supplyThe dosing of water supplies with chlorine dioxide is a very common and effective method of preventing Legionella within buildings and facilities. Prodose has recently specified and installed a chlorine dioxide generation system in a...

read more

Bagged Salad Producer

A supplier of bagged salads approached us in 2015 to see if we could help them streamline their disinfection process and save costs. The company produces various products for a number of clients. This includes privately labelled items for some well-known supermarkets....

read more

Recent Articles

What is the Electrochlorination Process?

What is the Electrochlorination process? Electrochlorination is the process of applying an electrical current to salt water to produce dilute sodium hypochlorite (bleach) and hydrogen gas. The resultant sodium hypochlorite solution contains between 0.7%-1% chlorine....

read more

Chlorine Dioxide and Legionella Control

Chlorine Dioxide and Legionella Control Legionella is a bacterium found in soil and water. When it occurs outdoors, it usually does so in low concentrations and doesn’t cause problems. However, when it grows inside artificial water systems, such as hot tubs, hot water...

read more

Chlorine Dioxide and Water Treatment for Plant Nurseries

Chlorine Dioxide and Water Treatment for Plant Nurseries Horticultural facilities, such as plant nurseries, face many of the same water sanitation issues as their agricultural counterparts. These issues include keeping ornamental and food plants healthy, maintaining...

read more

Is the chlorine dioxide dosing system within your facility providing you with sufficient residual levels to be sure your employees or visitors are protected at all times? If you have any doubts about the effectiveness of your system, or would like to find a smarter way to control your chlorine dioxide dosing, please get in touch with us. We can cover every aspect, from initial consultation to final commissioning of a new system.