What is Anolyte?
In Electrolysis - Anolyte is the portion of an electrolytic solution that is in the immediate vicinity of the anode.
In disinfection – Anolyte is a biocide that is produced when sodium chloride solution is put through an electrolysis system. This produces a sodium hypochlorite / hypochlorous acid solution from the anode compartment of the cell.
Anolyte or Electrochemically Activated Water (ECA water) is a generic term for products produced through electrolysis. As detailed below there are many variations in the Anolyte that is produced.
Do I Say Anolyte or ECA?
Anolyte is referred to as many things including:
- Anolyte Water,
- Electrochemically activated water,
- Electrolyzed water,
- Electrolyzed oxidizing water,
- Electro-activated water, and
- Electro-chemically activated water solution.
....and probably a few more beside.
As with the names, the solutions produced are not uniform, they vary depending on many factors including -
- The format of the reaction cells,
- The materials used in the anode, cathode, and membrane,
- The amount of electrical current used,
- The water flow used,
- The water quality, and
- The purity of the brine solution.
The various forms of anolyte exhibit chemical differences including –
- Differing pH,
- Different concentrations of hyochlorite / hypochlorous acid,
- Different trace compounds, and
- Different amounts of elemental chlorine.
These variations affect the efficiency of the Anolyte, the potential corrosivity of the Anolyte and whether it is suitable for use in water for human consumption.
Below we talk about the Anolyte that we produce at Aquadron in the form of "Innowatech Anolyte". This Anolyte is pH neutral, has 75%+ of the active chlorine available as hypochlorous acid, has negligible corrosively, andhas very few byproducts, thus complying with BS EN901.
Basics about the technology for the agent production
Membrane Cell Electrolysis (MCE)
Membrane cell electrolysis (MCE) is an advanced technique of electrolysis, which has been known about for more than 100 years. The electrolysis is a reaction where a chemical substance is split into components or changed to a new substance by electrical voltage and consumption of electricity.
The INNOWATECH MCE – uses a specified, highly pure, 0.45% brine solution as an input substance (purity in food quality as defined by BS EN973). This salt solution is split by controlled MCE (voltage and current are kept constant) into two phases – Anolyte and Catholyte. The Aquadron MCE technology produces 90% of the resultant solution as a pH neutral sodium hypochlorite solution - Anolyte, and 10% of a sodium hydroxide solution - Catholyte.
The Aquadron® systems are fully automated and regulated plants for the production of Anolyte. The technical principle realised in the Aquadron® systems corresponds to the principle of free-chlorine and specifically hypochlorous acid, as a disinfection agent. Due to the care taken in the procedure, the Anolyte produced by the Aquadron complies with BS EN 901- Chemicals used for treatment of water intended for human consumption. Sodium hypochlorite.
Schematic Diagram of an MCE Cell
The electrolysis reactor consists of two reaction chambers bordered by the surfaces of two electrodes (conventionally named the Anode and Cathode). The two reaction chambers are separated from each other by a special membrane.
The construction and workmanship of the cell and the use of appropriate materials minimise the formation of unwanted by-products and ensure long equipment lifespans. The membrane can only be permeated by small ions driven by the force of the electrical field. Predominantly the migrating ions are those of the dissolved common salt. The membrane also ensures that the electrolysis products created in the anode and cathode areas can not re-combine. Thus the formation of oxyhydrogen is disabled by the membrane.