Electrocoagulation 101

Electrocoagulation (EC) has a long history, dating back to the late 19th century. The first plant was built in London in 1889 for the treatment of sewage where EC treatment was employed via mixing domestic wastewater with saline water. The principle of EC was first patented in 1906 by A. E. Dietrich and was used to treat bilge water from ships. In 1909, J.T. Harries received a US patent for wastewater treatment by electrolysis using sacrificial aluminium and iron anodes.

In 2013, TurboCoag® received US and international patents for treatment of water, wastewater, or sewage by electrochemical methods via electrolysis and electrocoagulation. Our breakthrough process unlocks the true potential of a proven 100+ year old idea by eliminating electrode passivation, lowering power demands, and increasing reactor longevity.

Today, TurboCoag® is capable of treating up to 72,000 gallons per day per system while rapidly removing up to 99% of heavy metals, suspended solids, and biological contaminants from water.


Electrocoagulation (EC) is based on dissolution of the electrode material used as an anode. This so called “sacrificial anode” produces metals ions which act as coagulant agents in the aqueous solution in situ.

At its simplest, an EC system consists of an anode and a cathode made of aluminium, iron or stainless steel, because these metals are cheap, readily available, and non-toxic.

As contaminated liquids pass over electrically charged plates, multiple reactions take place simultaneously. First, a metal ion is driven into the water. On the surface of the cathode, water is hydrolyzed into hydrogen gas and hydroxyl groups.

Meanwhile, electrons flow freely to destabilize surface charges on suspended solids and emulsified oils. As the reaction continues, large flocs form that contain suspended solids, heavy metals, emulsified oils, and other contaminants.


Advantages of TurboCoag® Electrocoagulation Water Treatment System

Removes heavy metals to pass EPA / TCLP regulations

Destroys and removes bacteria, viruses, and cysts

Removes suspended and colloidal solids

Breaks oil emulsions in water

Removes fats, oil, and grease

Removes complex organics
Few or no chemicals needed

Reduced sludge volume suitable for landfill disposal and EPA/TCLP regulations

Self-cleaning technology optimal for low maintenance and service costs

Meets national regulatory statutes discharge requirements

Processes high volumes of multiple contaminants at a time

Harvests metals, oils, and proteins

Find out more about our powerful contaminant removal process!