It is important that everyone know of the need to improve our energy and water savings and assist in reducing the use of electricity, water, and non-renewable fuel sources.
There are a number of non-chemical, non-mechanical water treatment technologies. Many of these are known by names such as electronic, magnetic, electrostatic, electromagnetic, and AC induction. The history of these devices goes back to at least 1952. Claims for and against the effectiveness of such systems have a long history. One would think that if these types of systems were truly effective, then the knowledge of their successful deployment would be common place in the industry.
In September 2001 the US Army Corps of Engineers (COE) published TR-01-63, Demonstration and Evaluation of Magnetic Descalers. The COE tested three types of scale prevention devices, two magnetic and one electronic. Stated results were that the quantity and type of scale on tubes protected by the prevention devices was not substantially different from the quantity and type of scale on the unprotected, untreated control tubes.
In July 2009 the COE published TR-09-20, Demonstration of Capacitor-Based Water Treatment System for Application at Military Installations. The system tested is named Zeta Rod. Stated results were that the capacitor-based treatment was just as effective as the chemical based treatment for controlling scale, biological fouling, and corrosion. Of note is the fact that no unprotected, untreated control tubes were included in the demonstration.
Of course, if the effects provided by Zeta Rod use are achievable as claimed, then the benefits would be advantageous and significant. It is important to understand the scientific principles that form the basis of the design for this device. In the COE TR-09-20 report, Chapter 4, Technology, page 18, there is the statement “Electrostatic dispersion of colloidal particles applies theories from colloidal physics and colloidal chemistry to produce a strong electrostatic dispersion of colloidal particles in a fluid”. On page 19 there is the statement “The electrostatic field reduces the surface tension of water and boosts the surface charge of colloidal particles and wetted surfaces”.
Relevant literature on the internet was searched to find other instances where this type of application or technology may be in use. No corroborating studies or other applications of successful water treatment using an electrode inserted into a pipe were found, except those instances offered by Zeta Rod.
In reviewing figure 7 on page 19 of the COE report, the particles are shown as positively charged, the vessel wall is positively charged. It is not clear where the negatively charged particles are located. There are more negative charges shown on the inside of the particles. But there is no explanation of how the inside of the particles became negatively charged. Even if the particles became positively charged as they passed...