How Do You Disinfect? Electrolysis Offers Alternative To Chlorine

Source: MIOX Corporation

Though the company has only been around about a decade, MIOX is making a notable impression on the water and wastewater treatment industry. Spun-out of Los Alamos National Labs in New Mexico (the same that does nuclear research), MIOX developed a disinfection technique that has the characteristics of a “disruptive technology” — designed for one purpose, but destined to have broader impact.

“The military was having problems, especially in the Special Forces area, with good water disinfection that was portable and also something that could stay in the field without refills,” explains Craig Beckman, president and CEO of MIOX Corporation. “MIOX developed a technology based on an electrolysis process. We’re able to create multiple oxidants in the same stream, and those oxidants work together to actually be more effective than standard bleach, or even ozone or UV.”

Today, the technology has been successfully expanded successfully into very large municipal systems, such as West Columbia, SC, which was struggling with disinfection byproducts in its distribution system. Beckman relates the issue:

“They didn’t have many organics in their feed source, so when they were chlorinating they weren’t forming disinfection byproducts like THMs and haloacetic acids right at the source; but as they got to the end of distribution, they were starting to fail those tests for disinfection byproducts. What they found was that the distribution system had an enormous biofilm growth, and that biofilm that was in the pipes, combined with an oxidant [that] was creating the disinfection byproducts that are now regulated by the EPA.

“The city switched over to our technology, because the chemistry is much more effective at removing biofilm. Within a month, they were able to meet all of the disinfection byproduct rules and regulations. They also saved a lot of money, because much of the chlorine they were buying was actually just going in to burn biofilm instead of for disinfection. So once the biofilm was cleaned off, the chlorine, or the mixed-oxidant that we put in, was more effective and they could use less.”

Beckman goes on to state the advantages of the MIOX solution over liquid or gas chlorine from both safety and cost perspectives. He also discusses applications for the fracking industry. To get full details, click on the Radio Player below.

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