Concepts of electrochemical activation
Electrochemical activation is, in accordance with the theory of cycles of scientific and technological development of N.D. Kondratiev, the technology of the fifth and sixth technological structures, i.e. the technology of production of compact modular electrochemical systems replacing bulky chemical industries (in the field of chemical engineering) and the technology of obtaining and using metastable substances instead of traditional chemical reagents, which makes it possible to reduce the consumption of chemical agents tenfold or to completely eliminate their use (practically in all fields of human activity) . Both in technology and in technique of electrochemical activation the principles of the functioning of objects of living nature are widely used.
Electrochemical activation as physical-chemical process is a combination of electrochemical and electrophysical actions, with minimal heat emission, on a liquid (mainly, water) with ions and molecules of diluted substances contained in it, in the area of space charge at the electrode surface (either anode or cathode) of electrochemical system with non-equilibrium charge transfer by electrons across the border “electrode-electrolyte”.
As a result of electrochemical activation, the water transforms into a metastable (activated) state, exhibiting during several tens of hours an increased reactivity in various physicochemical processes. Water, activated at the cathode (catholyte), has an increased activity of electrons and has pronounced properties of the reducing agent. Accordingly, the water activated at the anode (anolyte) is characterized by a decreased activity of electrons and exhibits properties of the oxidizer.
Electrochemical activation allows to change directly the composition of dissolved gases, acid-base and oxidation-reduction properties of water within a range much greater than under equivalent chemical regulation, it makes it possible to synthesize from water and dissolved substances chemical reagents (oxidants or reducing agents) in a metastable state. This is used in the processes of water purification and disinfection, as well as for the conversion of water or dilute solutions of electrolytes to environmentally friendly antimicrobial, detergent, extractive and other functionally useful solutions, including medicinal solutions.
For the electrochemical conversion of water and dissolved substances in it, special modular electrochemical reactors with a ceramic ultrafiltration diaphragm, MB elements, have been developed and serially manufactured.
The main distinctive features of MB elements are the combination in one element of the properties of the ideal displacement reactor and the ideal mixing reactor, as well as the possibility of efficient control of the process of electrochemical treatment of water and electrolyte solutions by controlling the artificially induced ion selective conductivity of the ceramic diaphragm over a wide range.
The optimal construction and modular design allow the use of MB elements not only for the electrochemical activation of water, but also in various industrial technologies - for the production of hydrogen, oxygen, chlorine, chlorine dioxide, sodium hypochlorite, alkalis. When working on concentrated salt solutions, the advantage of MB elements in front of industrial diaphragm or membrane electrolysis cells is the ability to provide the end user with the necessary products (chlorine, chlorine dioxide, hydrochloric acid, caustic soda, sodium hypochlorite, potassium hypochlorite, hypochlorous acid) synthesized in the required amount at places of application in compact economical devices with relatively low requirements to the purity of the initial solutions, the minimum costs of labour, time and materials.
Electrochemical activation is not only a highly effective technology for cleaning, disinfecting, converting water into technological solutions for various purposes, but also a new philosophy of preserving nature and human health, the principle of which is expressed in the pursuit of an ideal end result: "There is the effect, there is no reagent."
The basis for this approach is the scientific understanding of the environmental and economic benefits of the practical use of activated substances, including activated water by the electrochemical action over traditional chemical reagents in industry, agriculture, medicine and other areas of human activity. These representations fully correspond to the principled positions of "green chemistry" - a relatively recently formed direction for creating new and transforming existing chemical industries and chemical processes with the aim of ensuring their ecological purity and safety.