Mining and mineral processing operations can have a negative impact on the surrounding environment. Mining is dependent on water sources for drilling, excavation and product flow. While often undertaken in remote regions, mining can create water quality issues for underground aquifers from which residents get their drinking water. Large water volumes required for both surface and underground mining are dependent on reuse in order to maintain production and preserve scarce resources.

Mining wastewater contains residue from the ores being mined including heavy metals, cyanide and a high percentage of other related solids. If not addressed properly, toxic tailings can build up and leach into surface water supplies. Suspended solids are common in virtually all mining types. These solids can be fine ore or coal materials or silt from surrounding terrain. These suspended solids can influence the degree of turbidity. Depending on the material mined, effluent can be alkaline, acidic, and can contain chlorides, sulfates and other naturally-occurring materials.

Subsurface mining can generate mine water created from seepage into excavated areas and collected in underground sumps. It is then pumped to the surface where it can be deposited into settling ponds. This wastewater also needs to be treated in order to become potable for reuse in mine activities.

Chemical additives require expensive transport, storage, and safe disposal costs. Electrocoagulation (EC) can dramatically reduce suspended solids without the use of chemicals. In doing so, it can economically increase the on-site potable water supply for reuse, maintaining production and preserving the surrounding environment. EC’s advantages include:

  • Ease of operation with few moving parts
  • Treats a broad range of  contaminants
  • Kills bacteria and pathogens.
  • Breaks emulsions
  • Remove suspended solids
  • Meets discharge requirements in a single treatment.

Traditional EC’s main downside, however, is its susceptibility for anode and cathode passivation and scale buildup which can cause operating efficiencies, premature shutdowns and higher electrical usage.

How Thincell® works to treat water in the mining industry

Thincell’s Process – Stage 1-2

  • Suspended, stabilized and emulsified contaminants exist in fluid
  • Patented proprietary Anode and Cathode prevent electrode passivation
  • Suspended and stabilized contaminants are destabilized, and break into smaller particles.  Emulsified fluids are de-emulsified
  • Bi-polar “Sacrificial Electrodes” release metal ions to form in-situ coagulant

Thincell’s Process – Stage 3

  • Sacrificial electrodes completely dissolve and releases metal ions to form in-situ coagulant
  • Contaminant particles react with in-situ coagulant and form floc.
  • Hydrogen and oxygen bubbles formed at the proprietary cathode and anode carry floc to top of chamber for removal.

Thincell – “The Conductivity Bridge”

  • Patented non-passivating anodes and cathodes – 6” spacing
  • Bi-polar Sacrificial electrodes separated by water molecules form a “conductivity bridge”
  • Thincell treatment is efficient in low conductivity environment
  • Low conductivity treatment is not hindered by passivation.

Water Vision’s Thincell EC technology adds a new dimension to EC treatment. It provides a cost-effective, on-site solution to contaminant removal.

Thincell Advantages

  • Reduced Capital Costs
  • Reduced HSE Risks
  • Water re-use without disposal costs
  • Can be integrated into any new or existing system
  • Compact footprint, mobile and durable
  • Scalable and modular for high flow rates & tight spaces
  • Bi Polar sacrificial electrode completely dissolves before Passivation
  • Lower power costs
  • Reduced maintenance costs

how does
thincell technology work?

our Product Overview