Ecas4-Anolyte - Frequently Asked Questions

Ecas4-Anolyte smells like chlorine, why?

As a matter of fact, the Ecas4-Anolyte is a kind of chlorine.

The chlorine-water system is rather complex: when gaseous chlorine is added (bubbled) to water, it dissolves by reacting, and the first products are hypochlorous acid (HOCl) and hydrochloric acid (HCl). Then, both acids can undergo dissociation, depending on the pH of the solution; at alkaline pHs, hypochlorous acid is almost completely present as hypochlorite anion, while at acidic pHs (pH < 3), dissolved chlorine is present in its pristine molecular form (dangerous and toxic). At pH values comprised between 4.5 and 7.5, hypochlorous acid is the most abundant specie, and represents the active biocide in every disinfecting application.

Why wouldn’t I just use Chlorine?

Gaseous chlorine (commercially available in pressurised cylinders) is very dangerous and toxic.

Most often, chlorine is used in liquid form, that is as a sodium hypochlorite solution (calcium hypochlorite is an alternative, but it is a solid). In order to stabilise the system, the solution is added with sodium hydroxide, which is responsible for the significant alkalinity (usually the pH is >12). Under these conditions, the hypochlorite solution is relatively stable, but also scarcely effective as a disinfectant. In order to obtain some effect, the liquid chlorine must be dosed at relatively high doses, with consequent problems of corrosion for the water network. Being that the Ecas4-Anolyte is about 80 times more effective than liquid chlorine, its dosing can be maintained at safety levels, without affecting its effectiveness.

If the active component in the Ecas4-Anolyte (0.05%) is less than that in Chlorine (12.5%), can’t I just buy chlorine and dilute it with water?

The Ecas4-Anolyte is a genuinely neutral solution containing a 75% of hypochlorous acid (the remaining 25% is sodium hypochlorite).

Since the commercial hypochlorite solutions are very alkaline, the hypothesised dilution is not able to bring the pH back to 7 (unless the dilution is performed until a “homeopathic” concentration is obtained!), and the result is that the biocide will be always present in its poorly effective ionic form (hypochlorite anion) rather than in the active neutral form (HOCl).

How does the Ecas4-Anolyte differ from Chlorine, what are the benefits?

The Ecas4-Anolyte is the result of researches aimed at obtaining the best compromise between maximum activity, and minimum risks for the operator and the environment.

In addition, the Ecas4-Anolyte is commonly synthesized at the point of use, without any need for transport, storage and management of dangerous chemicals; this also allows to always having a fresh solution, in which the risk for the presence of by-products (due to the spontaneous and practically inevitable decomposition of the reactive species) is minimized.

Overall, the benefits can be resumed in the higher disinfectant capability, with lower risks for the operator, the infrastructure and the final users of the treated water.

What is the shelf life of the product once produced?

The shelf life depends on storage conditions.

If properly stored (in closed recipients, and away from light and heat sources – preferably in refrigerated conditions), the anolyte can retain its characteristics for relatively long periods (up to one year).

How is it produced?

The Ecas4-Anolyte is obtained through the electrochemical activation of a dilute brine solution (about 0.5% of high purity sodium chloride in softened water).

The process is carried out by using the Ecas4 device, which is based on a worldwide-patented unique reactor equipped with four chambers and special anodes. The latter, in particular, are produced with a catalytic mixture based on metal oxides that does not contain Ruthenium or other dangerous components. Although ruthenium dioxide is the best catalyst for this kind of processes, it is unfortunately not very stable: the result is the inevitable contamination of the treated water with ruthenates and ruthenium tetroxide (which is toxic), with the concomitant result that the electrodes progressively lose their initial characteristics. Ecas4 has developed a stable coating, which is similar to that used in pacemakers.