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Commercial Scale Electrocoagulation Wastewater Treatment at Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt (Navy) and at Vancouver Shipyards — a Success Story

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Since 1999, Vancouver Shipyards has operated a 100 litre per minute wastewater treatment plant that uses McKay Creek Technologies' patented electrocoagulation (EC) process to remove emulsified petroleum hydrocarbons, suspended solids, PAHs, BETX, and heavy metals. This wastewater is generated from cleaning vessels' bilges, fuel/slop tanks, as well as power washing engines, machinery, cranes, trucks, and other mechanical parts. In 2006, the Canadian Department of National Defence determined the necessity to upgrade their existing oily wastewater treatment plant, located at HMC Dockyard near Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. The requirement was to increase treatment capability by converting the existing plant from batch treatment to continuous treatment while maintaining or improving the quality of the resulting effluent discharge. After conducting an extensive study of the available technology, they chose to incorporate McKay Creek Technologies' treatment process into the upgrade. This HMC Dockyard plant serves the needs of Canada's West Coast Naval Fleet, visiting American and other foreign war ships, and its Dockyard. Electrocoagulation uses an electrical current to dissolve a sacrificial aluminum alloy anode. The aluminum ions are attracted to very fine negatively charged oil droplets and particles of the contaminants in suspension. The resulting agglomerations are no longer stable in suspension and are buoyed up by gas bubbles from hydrolysis for removal by flotation. The multiple mechanisms of EC work together to simply and effectively remove a wide range of contaminants from a broad spectrum of industrial wastewaters.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: October 1, 2007

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  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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