- Efficiency: Gas chlorination systems have high chlorine gas-to-water transfer efficiency, making them effective for disinfection purposes which provide rapid disinfection and can handle high flow rates.
However, EC systems offer precise control over chlorine production and dosing. Chlorine is produced On-Site which can be adjusted based on water quality, flow rate, and disinfection requirements. They provide flexibility in managing different water treatment scenarios.
- Cost: Gas chlorination systems generally have lower initial equipment costs.
However, ongoing costs may be higher than EC system due to the need to purchase chlorine gas cylinders. EC systems provide long-term cost savings (Cost-effectiveness).
- Safety Considerations: Gas chlorination systems require a supply of chlorine gas cylinders, which need to be stored and handled. Handling chlorine gas cylinders can be hazardous if not managed properly! Proper safety protocols, training, and equipment are necessary to ensure safe operation. Risks are inevitable! On the other hand, EC systems are considered safer because only salt, water, and electricity are used which eliminates the handling, transportation and storage of chlorine gas and cylinders, reduce the carbon footprint associated with it (Environmental Impact)
- Maintenance: Gas chlorination systems require regular maintenance, including inspection, calibration of gas feed equipment, and replacement of gas cylinders. Maintenance activities should be factored into the operational considerations. On the other hand, EC systems require less maintenance: routine maintenance like monitoring the system, checking electrolytic cells, and ensuring proper salt and water supply.
- Initial investment: Simple and no need for complex equipment or infrastructure to operate (No investment required).
In contrast, although EC systems requires initial investment but it provides Long-term cost savings! can offset the initial investment!
- Affordability: Cheap, available in market for rapid deployment, which would be cost-effective for small-scale application. EC systems generate hypochlorite solution On-site that ensures a constant supply of disinfectant, reducing dependence on external suppliers. EC systems eliminate the need to purchase and transport hazardous commercial hypochlorite solutions that provide “control” by adjusting/fine-tune the power consumption/dosage over the chlorine concentration (Flexibility).
- Disinfection by-product (DBPs): Generation of large amount of DBPs like THM is unavoidable in commercial hypochlorite solution consumption, compared to the EC systems which produce a negligible amount of disinfection by-product.
- Not economical in large scale: Purchasing commercial hypochlorite in large quantities will not be cost effective, which requires storage, transportation and handling of toxic material (Risks and Safety Concerns) compared to EC systems that reduce transportation costs.
- Loss: Commercial Hypochlorite solution (Bleach) is available in market with high concentration up to 16 percent compared to 1 percent concentration in EC systems. However, Commercial hypochlorite degrades with higher speed. Although it is bought with 16 % concentration for instance, but depends on the distance, it reaches to the destination with lower concentration.
- Efficiency: ClO2 disinfection system is effective against range of microorganisms, generally less pH-dependent, can maintain its disinfection properties in various water conditions like EC systems. It can penetrate biofilms and has good characteristics in the presence of organic matter, neutralize or eliminate compounds such as geosmin and 2-methylisoborneol (MIB) – (responsible for taste and odor issues), applicable for drinking water. However, EC systems on the other hand, is generally more efficient in applications where large amount of water required to be disinfected such as municipal water treatment as well as for circulating water disinfection in power plants, petrochemical companies, refineries, for ballast water treatment, swimming pools, for water disinfection of food and beverage companies, for recreational applications.
- Disinfection By-products: ClO2 systems have lower tendency to form disinfection byproducts (DBPs) because chlorine dioxide degrades into harmless byproducts compared to Gas Chlorination systems or Commercial Hypochlorite solution which generate THMs /HAAs byproducts. By contrast, EC systems generate negligible amount of by-products (DBP) like THMs, due to its dosing and concentration mechanisms although disinfection byproducts (DBPs) can be removed by several methods such as; Activated Carbon Filtration, Granular Activated Carbon (GAC), Aeration, Biological filtration systems, and Ion exchange resins.
- Safety Concerns: ClO2 systems require hazardous chemicals to operate!. By contrast; EC systems produce a large quantity of chlorine on-site and on-demand only with water, salt and electricity.
- Cost-effectiveness: ClO2 systems require provision of continuous hazardous chemicals. However, EC systems involve handling of saltwater or seawater (if there is access to seawater) which is generally considered safer and easier to handle! Which makes EC system more cost-effective in the long run, leading to potential cost savings over time since the headache of transportation, handling and storage of toxic materials, solutions or hazardous chemicals that ClO2 systems require, will be omitted.
- Control and flexibility and Scalability: ClO2 systems often require more complex control systems and careful monitoring to maintain the desired disinfection levels. However, EC systems offer better control over chlorine production and dosing. The chlorine output can be adjusted easily to meet specific disinfection requirements EC systems can be easily scaled up or down to accommodate various water treatment capacities. Whether it’s a small-scale application like swimming pools or a large-scale system for municipal water treatment, EC systems offer more flexibility in terms of capacity.
- Residual effect: Chlorine is well known for its residual effect in water distribution systems against water recontamination which remains much more stable in water for an extended period, providing a continuous disinfection effect compared to ClO2 system.
- Chemical-free disinfection: UV disinfection uses ultraviolet light to kill or inactivate micro-organisms (Chemical-Free and more Environmentally-Friendly). Utilization of UV disinfection system create No concerns about chemical handling, storage, and dosing. In contrast, EC systems require ONLY saltwater or seawater to produce chlorine for disinfection which are widely available everywhere.
- Broad-spectrum disinfection: UV disinfection is effective against types of parasites and some resistant pathogens such as Cryptosporidium and Giardia. However, EC systems effectively eliminating a wide range of microorganisms, including bacteria, viruses, and algae that UV disinfection systems have No capabilities against algae. But, EC systems effectively control algae growth, inhibits its re-growth, preventing issues like taste and odor problems and clogging of filters in water bodies, such as reservoirs, lakes, and cooling towers.
- Rapid and continuous operation: UV disinfection systems can reach full disinfection capacity as soon as the lamps are activated (No waiting period). However, EC systems can be designed to accommodate different water flow rates and can be integrated into various water treatment processes. They can be used in small-scale or large-scale applications, making them VERSATILE for different water disinfection requirements (Flexibility and adaptability).
- No disinfection by-products: UV disinfection does not produce any disinfection by-products, ensuring drinking water safety without the risk of harmful chemical compounds. However, negligible amount of DBPs are produced by EC systems.
- No residual effect: UV systems are less effective in preventing microbial regrowth. However, EC systems provide ongoing protection against recontamination as water moves through the distribution system due to the residual disinfectant.
- Efficiency: UV disinfection systems are generally more suitable for smaller-scale applications, such as point-of-use systems or smaller scale water treatment plants since UV disinfection efficiency may be hindered by some factors including; turbid or cloudy water as organisms, bacteria and viruses hide where possible. In such circumstances, EC systems can achieve higher disinfection efficacy compared to UV disinfection systems. UV disinfection systems are not advised in situations where the water contains high levels of organic matter or suspended solids or it is advised to use it, accompanied by another disinfection system like EC systems.
- Maintenance and operational costs: UV disinfection systems may have higher investment costs compared to EC systems, also they require regular maintenance and UV lamps replacements periodically, which can add to the operational costs over time (Costly). Then EC systems can offer “long-term cost savings” due to their ability to produce chlorine on-site, reducing the need for purchasing and storing chemicals.
It’s worth noting that the selection of disinfection systems depends on specific requirements, water quality considerations, regulatory compliance, and other factors.
Ultranode Inc Canada as water disinfection professional company recommends the use of EC systems called; On-Site Sodium Hypochlorite Generator (OSHG) due to its advantages as follows;
- Versatility: EC systems can be applied in various settings for many applications. For more information you can read in the link below;
Chlorine is produced through electrolyzing saltwater or seawater. This simplifies operation and reduces the risk of accidental exposure or leaks.
Easier to handle compared to chlorine gas or chlorine dioxide hazardous chemicals, reducing the associated safety risks
ON-SITE, ON-DEMAND chlorine production ensures a constant supply of chlorine, while eliminates the need for storing and transporting chlorine gas or chemicals, reducing the associated logistical challenges.
- Optimal Disinfection Efficacy:
Tailor-made chlorine production and dosing ensures minimization of excess chlorine and reducing the formation of disinfection byproducts DBPs.
EC systems offer cost-savings for initial investment and maintenance cost compared to UV, Ozonation and ClO2 disinfection systems and offer cost-cutting in the long run compared to commercial hypochlorite solutions although having higher initial installation costs, but the elimination of ongoing chlorine purchases can lead to significant savings over time.
- Longevity and stability: Chlorine generated by EC systems has longer half-life compared to ClO2, remains stable in the water for an extended period, providing a sustained disinfection effect which contributes to the maintenance of residual disinfectant levels, preventing microbial regrowth in distribution systems.
- Control and flexibility: EC systems offer customization based on specific disinfection requirements, provide scalability, precise control and adjustability on disinfectant dosing, especially for application where various water quality is required to be disinfected.
In the next article, I will elaborate why Ultranode Product is superior!