This paper presents the results of a study on electrogeneration of aluminium, as a coagulant to remove silica in make-up water for cooling towers. Three electrochemical systems were tested, two with aluminium electrodes (one with polarity change and another without it), and a third one with aluminium anodes and cathodes of stainless steel. From the obtained results it was concluded that under the studied conditions, the most advantageous system to produce aluminium and remove silica is the one with both electrodes of aluminium working with direct current. Due to chemical production of aluminium at the cathode, the concentration of aluminium in the water at the outlet of the electrochemical reactor is much higher than the one calculated according to Faraday's law. Under the tested conditions it was possible to remove up to 66% of silica from water containing around 50 mg L−1.
Keywords: aluminium, cooling tower, electrocoagulation, make-up, silica