Drinking Water Disinfection with Electrolysis

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Nowadays electrochemical disinfection has gained an increasing attention as an alternative to conventional drinking water disinfection, since it is regarded as environmentally friendly, amendable to automation, inexpensive, easily operated and is known to inactivate a wide variety of microorganisms from bacteria to viruses and algae. We found that along with increasing the number of electrodes in our equipment from 2 to 24, the resistance of chlorine-generating electrolytic cell and specific work of electric current decreased. During the electrolysis the amount of generated Cl2 increased along with the increase of chloride ion concentration in the solution and the intensity of electric current. The technological process parameters (flow rate, current intensity) have been established to obtain a predetermined amount of generated chlorine during the electrolysis process. A comparison of flow and circulating (3 times) regimes for electrolysis of tap water with chloride ion concentration below 10 mg/L showed that circulation is necessary to generate active chlorine (above 1 mg/L).

At the same time, when no circulation was performed, even a 0.9 A treatment was not enough to generate detectable levels of free chlorine. Electrochemical disinfection of tap water with non-stoichiometric titanium oxide electrodes was effective enough to inactivate both metabolically active and cultivable bacteria E. coli to undetectable levels within 15 minutes at 0.5 A current intensity.

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Latvian Journal of Chemistry

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