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[Waste Water Treatment] Preliminary Research and Documentation

The following research and documentation is meant to get this project started. Please consider this a work in progress. Significant work is needed to move this project forward.


  • Electrodes (2) - Stainless steel or iron or aluminum electrodes.
  • DC Power Supply - A power supply unit that can provide a 5V DC power to the circuit.
  • Multimeter - A multimeter to check voltage and ampere o electricity.
  • Wires - To connect the electrodes to the DC power supply.
  • Waste water - 1 liter of a homogeneous mixture of water, oil, vegetable juice, soil, meat, and alcohol. 
  • Gloves and protective eye wear.


An electrocoagulation unit consists of an anode and a cathode that are connected to a DC power supply. When contaminated water flows into an electrocoagulation unit, the following reactions occur:

  1. From the anode, metallic ions are released into the contaminated water.
  2. On the cathode, water is hydrolyzed, forming hydrogen gas (H2) and hydroxyl (OH) particles.
  3. Electrons move from the cathode to the anode. This destabilizes surface charges on the suspended solids (colloids).


Figure 1 - Waste water treatment using electrocoagulation

When the electrons destabilize the surface charges on these suspended particles, the metal ions, along with the hydroxyl particles form complex compounds called flocs that includes metals and other contaminants. Colloids and emulsified oils combine with these flocs to form sludge. Depending on the chemical composition of the floc, the sludge can either rise to the top and float or sink to the bottom. Sludge can be removed physically from the sludge tanks and disposed off in an eco-friendly manner.

The water is now available for further filtering or reuse.


The process of water filtration also involves a process called flocculation. This process is usually done before the water is released into the electrocoagulation unit. Flocculants are chemicals that are added to contaminated water to form flocs and sludge.


This project is being developed as an open-source project with the following licensing: