Electrochemical Activation of Water and Aqueous Solutions: Past , Present and Future

President of the Russian Academy of Medical and Technical Sciences, Director of VNIIIMT, Doctor of Technical Sciences, Professor B.I. Leonov

History of development and organizational structure of research into electrochemical activation.

Research into the problems of electrochemical activation started in 1972 with the investigations of engineer V. M. Bakhir in the Tashkent Scientific Research Institute of Natural Gas of the USSR Ministry of Gas Industry (SredAzNIIGaz). Following the initial successful testing of electrochemical methods of controlling drilling mud and water properties in technological processes of oil and gas well drilling, V.M.Bakhir and engineer Yu.G.Zadorozhny designed laboratory and commercial devices for electrochemical anodic and cathodic (unipolar) treatment of water and aqueous solutions. In 1973-1981, a team of researchers from SredAzNIIGaz headed by V.M.Bakhir received over 200 Author's Certificates for inventions in the field of electrochemical activation ( the term "electrochemical activation" was offered by V. M. Bakhir in 1975 after establishing the fact of relaxation changes of parameters of diluted solutions, following unipolar electrochemical exposure). Thanks to publications in popular science journals, newspapers and scientific publications in the period from 1981 to 1985 [4-26], the findings of investigation and practical application of commercial devices for electrochemical activation of water and aqueous solutions became known to scientific and technological community in the USSR, and this problem attracted the attention of numerous researchers in various fields. In this way, an informal community of experts and investigators working in close scientific cooperation with the authors of ECA technology was born. Today , this community is living and goes on expanding.

Research performed by experts and scholars in various fields in 1979-1989 revealed great potential of ECA as a universal means of transforming numerous routine technologies into ecologically safe, wasteless and highly-efficient processes. Even by no means complete list of inventions made at that time [27-85] demonstrates the scope of ECA application and great efforts (number of experts) focused on studying and practical application of the technology.

However, the practical use of obtained results was restrained by the absence of commercial engineering electrochemical systems capable of producing electrochemically activated solutions from fresh or low-mineralized water with low specific power consumption. Moreover, there was no prior experience of adjusting new ECA-based technologies to conditions of commercial use.

In the early 1980s [26] a concept of electrochemical activation development was formulated: module electrochemical reactors are a versatile tool in researchers' hands, and form the basis for perfect commercial electrochemical devices for various environmentally friendly technologies.

This concept was further developed and today it forms the basis for any new projects in the ECA field.

In VNIIIMT electrochemical activation began to develop in 1987. By that time more than three hundred USSR inventor's certificates and foreign patents (the USA, Canada, Holland, Germany, Japan) had been known in the field of ECA engineering and technology, as well as applied aspects of its use; hundreds of papers on electrochemically activated solutions and water had been published; dozens of Candidate's degree and several Doctor's degree theses dealing with ECA application for various technologies had been defended; there had been accumulated experience of development and organization of commercial manufacture followed by introduction into industrial technological processes of devices for electrochemical activation of water with 25 000 to 1000 l /h capacity.

It is significant that the first devices for electrochemical activation of water (UEV-6), whose commercial manufacture started in 1978 at the Kokand (Uzbekistan) plant “Bolshevik” of the USSR Ministry of Gas Industry featured maximum output of 20 000 l/h at consumed power of 30 kVA. Initial water mineralization for this device varied from 5 to 50 g/l.

ELCA-003 device designed by V.M.Bakhir and Yu.G.Zadorozhny whose serial manufacture was organized in 1986 by NPO VOSTOK of the USSR Ministry of Defense Industry (Tashkent) produced up to 1000 l/h and provided efficient unipolar electrochemical treatment of water with mineralization level ranging between 0.3 and 300 g/l. Electric power consumed by the device was 1 к V А .

Decrease of the devices' output and simultaneous increase of their economical efficacy was due to the fact that in practice wide ECA technology application is possible only if there exist technical electrochemical systems with low specific power consumption that would guarantee maximal level of diluted solutions' meta-stability as a result of unipolar electrochemical exposure. Such systems are expected to operate in various hydraulic circuits without any structural changes, and they have a long uninterrupted service life.

Such systems in the form of FEM-1 flow-through electrolytic modular cells were designed by V. M. Bakhir and Yu.G. Zadorozhny in VNIIIMT in 1989. On their basis, RPE flow-through electrochemical reactors were developed, which were used in the first engineering prototypes of STEL devices for synthesis of electrochemically activated sterilizing, disinfectant and washing solutions, as well as in EMERALD devices for drinking water purification.

Later, the same authors worked out more sophisticated flow-through electrolytic modular cells - FEM-2 and FEM-3. Today, all electrochemical systems manufactured by NPO EKRAN (VNIIIMT) are fitted with electrochemical reactors based on FEM-3 modules. On the whole, from 1987 to 1997, the team of authors in VNIIIMT came up with more than 100 inventions opening fundamentally new opportunities for further development of ECA systems and technology.

Until 1988, all work in the field of ECA was organized exclusively within the framework of state-run organizations, institutions and enterprises, and was financed from the state budget. In 1989, a mixed structure was established consisting of state and private enterprises, which worked under scientific and technical supervision of V. M. Bakhir and Yu.G. Zadorozhny.

Experience of many years showed that successful industrial application of ECA depended on the level of technical impeccability of used electrochemical equipment and sophistication of its application technology.

In 1995, VNIIIMT began to manufacture EMERALD electrochemical devices for water purification and STEL devices for synthesis of washing, disinfectant and sterilizing solutions based on fundamentally new and unique FEM-3 flow-through electrochemical cells that have no analogues in the world. Soon these devises occupied a prominent place on the market thanks to significant engineering superiority over Russian and foreign analogues.

At present, from 5,000 to 8,000 FEM-3 cells per month are produced by the Russian company ООО Laboratory of Electrotechnology (LET, Ltd.).

The chief manufacturers of engineering electrochemical systems based on FEM-3 modules are ОАО NPO EKRAN and ООО LET (LET, Ltd.).

References

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33. V.M. Afanasov, Ye.N. Bolotsky, M.A. Zaugolnikov, A.F. Kozlov, C.I. Teveleva, S.A. Alyokhin, V.M. Bakhir, N.A. Mariampolsky, R. Karimov. A solution for etching printed circuit boards. USSR Author's Certificate # 1018266, 1981.

34. E.K. Irmatov, U.D. Mamadzhanov, S.A. Alyokhin, A.H. Nadzhimitdinov, N.A. Mariampolsky, V.M. Bakhir. A method of oil displacement from a productive formation. USSR Author's Certificate # 1019885, 1981.

35. L.A. Averko-Antonovich, S.I. Agadzhanyan, V.M. Bakhir, R.A, Garipova, B.L. Irkhin, P.A. Kirpichnikov, A.G. Liakumovich, F.G. Nigmatullina, V.I. Ponomarenko, L.Ye.Spektor. A method of releasing bi-vinyl-methyl-styrene rubbers. USSR Author's Certificate # 1036021, 1982.

36. N.H. Yusupov, A.A. Fyodorov, P.V. Terekhov, A.K. Shigapov, P.A. Kirpichnikov, A.G. Liakumovich, L.V. Verizhnikov, V.M. Bakhir, L.Ye. Spektor, S.I. Agadzhanyan. A method of treating X-ray medical film. USSR Author's Certificate # 1037202, 1982.

37. A.G. Liakumovich, N. V. Lemaev, G.Z. Sakhapov, V.M. Bakhir, S.A. Alyokhin, L.Ye.Spektor, B.A. Grigorovich, Yu.M. Arsh, S V. Trifonov, H.H. Gilmanov, A.I. Mitrofanov, V.A. Cheusov, P.A. Kirpichnikov, N.V. Sadykov. A method of cleaning pyrolysis furnace coil from coke. USSR Author's Certificate # 1074134, 1982.

38. N.D. Lukin, N.G. Gulyuk, E.K. Koptelova, A.I. Zhushman, E.K. Sidorova, V.M. Bakhir, L.Ye.Spektor, A.G. Liakumovich, N.M. Popova. A method of starch hydrolysis. USSR Author's Certificate # 1078935, 1982.

39. U.D. Mamadzhanov, S.A. Alyokhin, V.M. Bakhir, N.A. Mariampolsky, E.P. Kulikov. A method of descaling heat-exchange system surface. USSR Author's Certificate # 1090664, 1981.

40. A.G. Liakumovich, P.A. Kirpichnikov, N.V. Lemaev, G.Z. Sakhapov, V.M. Bakhir, S.A. Alyokhin, L.Ye.Spektor, B.A. Grigorovich, Yu.M. Arsh, S.V. Trifonov, A.I. Mitrofanov, V.A, Isaev, T.V. Chesnokova. A method of obtaining low olefins. USSR Author's Certificate # 1100924, 1982.

41. M.G. Lubyanskaya, U.D. Mamadzhanov, V.M. Bakhir, S.A. Alyokhin, R.A. Karimov, L.Yu. Andreeva, I.K. Lapkina, L.V. Schelokova. A method of softening natural water. USSR Author's Certificate # 1101419, 1982.

42. A.G. Liakumovich, P.A. Kirpichnikov, A.K. Serobyan, L.L. Vladimirova, N.V. Tararina, F.U. Saifullina, R.R. Yunusova, N.S. Rakhimov, V.M. Bakhir, L.Ye.Spektor. A method of processing natural fur. USSR Author's Certificate # 1102306, 1982.

43. A.G. Liakumovich, N.V. Lemaev, G.Z. Sakhapov, V.M. Bakhir, S.A. Alyokhin, L.Ye.Spektor, B.A. Grigorovich, Yu.M. Arsh, S.V. Trifonov, H.H. Gilmanov, V.A. Isaev, A.I. Mitrofanov, P.A. Kirpichnikov, E.I. Galeeva. A method of producing low olefins and benzene. USSR Author's Certificate # 1112772, 1982.

44. V.M. Bakhir, P.A. Kirpichnikov, V.I. Vaver, A.G. Liakumovich, V.L. Usov, L.Ye.Spektor, E.B. Kuznetsov, U.D. Mamadzhanov, S.A. Alyokhin, E.K. Irmatov. A method of protecting pipelines against corrosive action of flowing liquids. USSR Author's Certificate # 1114083, 1982.

45. A.F. Kozlov, E.N. Bolotsky, S.I. Teveleva, V.M. Afanasov, M.A. Zaugolnikov, V.M. Bakhir, B.S. Fridman. A lubricant-coolant for mechanic processing of metals. USSR Author's Certificate # 1119340, 1982.

46. V.V. Vakhidov, U.D. Mamadzhanov, A.H. Kasymov, V.M. Bakhir, S.A. Alyokhin, H.I. Iskhakova, I.M. Baibekov, I.V. Ovchinnikov, N.A. Mariampolsky, P.V. Goncharov. A method of producing a fluid possessing biologically active properties. USSR Author's Certificate # 1121905, 1121906, 1121907, 1981.

47. A.G. Liakumovich, P.A. Kirpichnikov, V.M. Ilyina, S.I. Agadzhanyan, L.M. Popova, V.M. Bakhir, L.Ye.Spektor, V.F. Malov, V.M. Poltavets, A.A. Isakov. A method of preparing desalinated water. USSR Author's Certificate # 1122616, 1982.

48. A.G. Liakumovich, P.A. Kirpichnikov, L.M. Popova, S.I. Agadzhanyan, V.M. Poltavets, V.M. Ilyina, A.A. Isakov, V.M. Bakhir, L.Ye.Spektor. A method of preparing water for replenishing heating systems. USSR Author's Certificate # 1122617, 1982.

49. A.G. Liakumovich, V.M. Bakhir, P.A. Kirpichnikov, L.Ye. Spektor, V.I. Korneyev, N.A. Poddubny, E.N. Yurginson, B.A. Kuzmin, Rivkin, V.F. Palkin, P.U. Garner, B.S. Fridman. A method of preparing mixture for producing cores and moulds. USSR Author's Certificate # 1127684, 1983.

50. N.A. Mariampolsky, V.M. Bakhir, S.A. Alyokhin, A-M.Kh. Khashimov, K. Karimov. A method of cementing wells. USSR Author's Certificate # 1134699, 1980;

51. I.Yu. Averko-Antonovich, F.G. Nigmatullina, R.A. Garipova, A.G. Liakumovich, P.A. Kirpichnikov, L.Ye.Spektor, V.M. Bakhir, V.I. Ponomarenko, B.L. Irkhin. A method of producing synthetic latex. USSR Author's Certificate # 1148314, 1983.

52. A.G. Liakumovich, V.M. Bakhir, N.V. Lemaev, S.A. Alyokhin, G.Z. Sakhapov, P.A. Kirpichnikov, B.A. Grigorovich. A method of producing unsaturated hydrocarbons and benzene. USSR Author's Certificate # 1154930, 1982.

53. A.G. Liakumovich, V.M. Bakhir, N.V. Lemaev, S.A. Alyokhin, G.Z. Sakhapov, P.A. Kirpichnikov, B.A. Grigorovich. A method of producing unsaturated hydrocarbons. USSR Author's Certificate # 1154931, 1982.

54. Z.H. Dzhalilov, L.N. Danielova, V.A. Dukhovny, U.D. Mamadzhanov, V.M. Bakhir, V.A. Volodin, L.Ye.Spektor. A method of preparing water for farm crop irrigation. USSR Author's Certificate # 1165638, 1984.

55. A.G. Liakumovich, P.A. Kirpichnikov, L.A. Averko-Antonovich, M.G. Altykis, N.G. Volkov, S.I. Agadzhanyan, V.M. Bakhir, L.Ye.Spektor, R.Z.Rakhimov. A method of lime slaking. USSR Author's Certificate # 1178719, 1982.

56. A.G. Liakumovich, P.A. Kirpichnikov, L.A. Averko-Antonovich, M.G. Altykis, R.Z Rakhimov, V.I. Remiznikova, S.I. Agadzhanyan, L.Ye. Spektor, V.M. Bakhir. A method of manufacturing ceramic articles. USSR Author's Certificate # 1178733, 1982.

57. P.A. Kirpichnikov, A.G. Liakumovich, S.I. Agadzhanyan, E.V. Babenko, R.A. Ertevtsian, N.I. Anoshenkov, E.P. Soldatova, A.V. Lebedev, T.N. Mordvinova, P.P. Sokolov, I.P. Vyazovsky, S.R. Ruslyakov, R.A. Torpischev, V.M. Bakhir. A washing agent to clean metal surfaces. USSR Author's Certificate # 1182812, 1984.

58. A.R. Atadzhanov, U.D. Mamadzhanov, V.M. Bakhir, S.A. Alyokhin, L.Ye.Spektor, N.Z. Melsitdinova, P.A. Kirpichnikov, A.G. Liakumovich, Yu.G. Zadorozhny. A method of removing hydrogen sulfide from natural gas. USSR Author's Certificate # 1212521, 1984.

59. P.A. Kirpichnikov, A.G. Liakumovich, B.S. Fridman, P.U. Garner, Yu.I. Zaitsev, A.F. Knyazev, N.P. Kuleshov, V.M. Bakhir, L.Ye.Spektor, A.R. Atadzhanov. A method of producing electrolyte for lead accumulators. USSR Author's Certificate # 1213923, 1983.

60. V.M. Bakhir, L.Ye.Spektor, Yu.V. Latyshev, Yu.G. Zadorozhny, U.D. Mamadzhanov, G.R. Mirzakarimova, P.A. Kirpichnikov, A.G. Liakumovich. A portable device for electric treatment of liquids. USSR Author's Certificate # 1215306, 1982.

61. N.G. Tsikoridze, A.G. Liakumovich, R.G. Dadiani, P.A. Kirpichnikov, M.V. Mechekhia, S.I. Agadzhanyan, V.M. Bakhir, L.Ye.Spektor. A method of producing dry leaf concentrate. USSR Author's Certificate # 1216846, 1984.

62. A.G. Liakumovich, M.G. Altykis, P.A. Kirpichnikov, R. Z. Rakhimov, S.I. Agadzhanyan, L.A. Averko-Antonovich, S.G. Ganellina, N.V. Sekerina, R.I. Faizullin, R.B. Abdrazakov, Ya.M. Zapolsky, I.L. Krinkin, G.F. Samoilov, V.M. Bakhir, L.Ye.Spektor. A method of producing concrete mixture. USSR Author's Certificate # 1218632, 1983.

63. A.G. Liakumovich, Z.I. Khubulava, P.A. Kirpichnikov, L.I. Agvazdina, S.I. Agadzhanyan, V.H. Kadyrova, V.M. Bakhir, L.Ye.Spektor, L.V. Verizhnikov. A method of regenerating oxidized fats. USSR Author's Certificate # 1231868, 1983.

64. K.A. Kalunyants, T.V. Filatova, A.I. Sadova, A.A. Kochetkova, A.E. Baskayeva, V.M. Bakhir, A.G. Liakumovich, E.Ya. Butvinnik, V.D. Shishin, L.V. Sudnikovich. A method of producing malt. USSR Author's Certificate # 1279235, 1984.

65. A.G. Liakumovich, M.G. Altykis, P.A. Kirpichnikov, R.I. Faizullin, R.Z. Rakhimov, S.I. Agadzhanyan, A.T. Kuznetsov, V.M. Bakhir. A method of producing concrete mixture. USSR Author's Certificate # 1293143, 1985.

66. P.A. Kirpichnikov, A.G. Liakumovich, B.S. Fridman, P.U. Gamer, V.A Tereshkin, V.M. Bakhir, L.Ye.Spektor, V.P. Abreimov, V.V. Makarov, O.M. Guryanova, L.M. Shiryak, F.D. Fedotova, I.M. Magdeev, V.M. Petukhov, A.F. Kozlov, I.Z. Gizatullin, E.V. Kurnakov. A solution for chemical copper plating. USSR Author's Certificate # 1300981, 1982.

67. N.G. Tsikoridze, A.G. Liakumovich, R.G. Dadiani, P.A. Kirpichnikov, M.V. Mechekhia, S.I. Agadzhanyan, Z.I. Hubulava, V.M. Bakhir. A method of preserving citrus fruits. USSR Author's Certificate # 1341743, 1985.

68. B.A. Piskunov, V.I. Fisinin, V.M. Bakhir, V.I. Filonenko, Yu.G. Zadorozhny, L.Ye.Spektor, V.G. Shol, S.A. Alyokhin. A method of processing poultry or cattle manure. USSR Author's Certificate # 1417407, 1986.

69. A.G. Liakumovich, P.A. Kirpichnikov, A.K. Serobyan, F.U. Saifullina, V.M. Bakhir, L.Ye. Spektor, H.V. Tararina, L.L. Vladimirova, R.H. Khalitov , N.S. Rakhimov. A method of treating hair of fur skins. USSR Author's Certificate # 1437400, 1982.

70. A.G. Liakumovich, P.A. Kirpichnikov, A.K. Serobyan, F.U. Saifullina, N.V. Tararina, L.L. Vladimirova, R.K. Nikolaeva, R.R. Yunusova, I.L. Partnov, N.S. Rakhimov, V.M. Bakhir, L.Ye.Spektor. A method of currying fur skins. USSR Author's Certificate # 1437401, 1982.

71. L.Ye.Spektor, V.M. Bakhir, Yu.G. Zadorozhny. A device for unipolar electric treatment of liquids. USSR Author's Certificate # 1476806, 1987.

72. L.Ye.Spektor, V.M. Bakhir, Yu.G. Zadorozhny, V.N. Shtefan. A device for unipolar treatment of liquids. USSR Author's Certificate # 1476807, 1987.

73. N.G. Tsikoridze, V.M. Bakhir, Yu.G, Zadorozhny, R.G. Dadiani, M.V. Mechekhia, R.A. Arutinov, G.I. Tsintsadze, R.R. Dzhindzholia. A countercurrent continuous-action extractor for vegetative raw mterial. USSR Author's Certificate # 1494257, 1987.

74. K.L. Shtern, N.I. Gusakov, L.Ye.Spektor, V.M. Bakhir, B.A. Piskunov, Yu.G. Zadorozhny. A method of preserving green mass of maize. USSR Author's Certificate # 1534772, 1987.

75. V.I. Fisinin, B.A. Piskunov, V.I. Filonenko, L.Ye.Spektor, T.A. Stollyar, S.A. Alyokhin, V.M. Bakhir, O.V. Bogatova, V.G. Shol, A.P. Tolkachev. A method of poultry watering. USSR Author's Certificate # 1554172, 1987.

76. K.L. Shtem, L.Ye. Spektor, A.G. Kiporenko, V.M. Bakhir, Yu.G. Zadorozhny. A method of producing a biologically active liquid. USSR Author's Certificate # 1559637, 1987.

77. V.M. Bakhir, L.Ye. Spektor, K.L. Shtern, Yu.G. Zadorozhny, N.I. Gusakov, A.G. Kiporenko. A method of producing nitrogenous fertilizers. USSR Author's Certificate # 1594917, 1987.

78. Yu.G. Zadorozhny, V.M. Bakhir, L.Ye.Spektor, V.S. Belikov, N.M. Lysenko, A.A. Podkolzin, N.N. Dmitriev, V.N. Shtefan, Yu.A. Grachev. A device for electrochemical treatment of liquids. USSR Author's Certificate # 1634643, 1986.

79. B.A. Piskunov, V.I. Fisinin, L.Ye. Spektor, V.M. Bakhir, V.I. Filonenko, A.M. Barkhatova, V.G. Shol. A method of storing meat. USSR Author's Certificate # 1677891, 1989.

80. V.M. Bakhir, L.Ye. Spektor, Yu.G. Zadorozhny , N.M. Lysenko, Ya.A. Rudinsky. A device for electrochemical treatment of liquids. USSR Author's Certificate # 1719316, 1986.

81. V.I. Filonenko, B.A. Piskunov, L.Ye. Spektor, V.M. Bakhir, A.M. Barkhatova, V.I. Fisinin, V.G. Shol, I.D. Eschenko. A method of poultry-keeping. USSR Author's Certificate # 1737793, 1989.

82. B.A. Piskunov, V.I. Fisinin, L.Ye. Spektor, V.M. Bakhir, Yu.G. Zadorozhny, V.I. Filonenko, S.A. Alyokhin, G.R. Mirzakarimova, O.V. Bogatova, A.I. Ikramov. A method of treating farm poultry eggs. USSR Author's Certificate # 1752401, 1986.

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Published in the Papers of the First International Symposium on Electrochemical Activation (Moscow, VNIIIMT, 1997). Abridged version.