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Open AccessArticle

Preventing Silica Scale Formation Using Hydroxide Ions Generated by Water Electrolysis

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Shizuoka University, 3-5-1 Johoku, Naka-ku, Hamamatsu 432-8561, Japan
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Membranes 2019, 9(11), 154; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes9110154
Received: 4 October 2019 / Revised: 31 October 2019 / Accepted: 13 November 2019 / Published: 15 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Membrane Engineering and Applications)
The reaction of silica with various cations in a solution and with hydroxide ions generated by water electrolysis was investigated as a means of preventing the formation of silica scales in geothermal binary power generation. Through batch and continuous experiments, it was found that all silica in the cathode phase of a reaction device could be removed if the necessary amounts of magnesium and calcium were present. This occurs because a silica-magnesium-calcium compound is produced via a polymerization reaction with cations in a solution and with hydroxide ions generated by electrolysis. Analysis by inductively coupled plasma and energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy shows that this material has the formula 2CaO-5MgO-8SiO2-H2O, and thus is likely generated by the reaction proposed by Sheikholeslami et al. (2019). Increasing the current sent through the reaction solution subsequently produces calcium carbonate. This technique for the separation of silica and calcium from aqueous solutions can be operated continuously without channel clogging, which indicates the possibility of practical applications. However, overly high currents promote the migration of protons from the anode to cathode phases, which inhibits the formation of precipitates due to a neutralization reaction. The proposed method is an effective approach for removing silica from a solution in geothermal binary power generation; although, a means of suppressing the effects of proton generation will be necessary if the process is also to be used to remove calcium ions. View Full-Text
Keywords: preventing silica scale; water electrolysis; polymerization reactions; ion exchange membrane preventing silica scale; water electrolysis; polymerization reactions; ion exchange membrane
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Sano, Y.; Yamaguchi, M. Preventing Silica Scale Formation Using Hydroxide Ions Generated by Water Electrolysis. Membranes 2019, 9, 154.

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