Water Coagulator Kit - Current Build

Our ever evolving Make Water program electrolysis/coagulator purification kit for student water & STEM education and outreach.

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Our mission is to empower students who want to make a difference in this world by giving them the tools to tackle real-world water issues collaboratively. The program and curriculum is entirely free and we are crowd sourcing funds to give away kits to teams that need them all over the world. New teams are given an introductory lesson via curriculum developed by A&M University. Then student teams pick a challenge that aligns with their passion related to coding, 3D print design, or a STEM related field that advances our collective knowledge of the electrocoagulation process and/or improves the kit and curriculum. This is a continuation of another hackaday page which you can find here.

You can find our previous hackaday page for season 2 kit versions here.

Coagulator Kit & the electro-coagulation process

Electrodes are submerged in a container of ‘dirty’ water. Electricity flows through an electrode and through the water to the other electrode. This completes the electrical circuit. As electricity passes through the electrodes, metal ions are released into the water. On the surface of the electrode, water is split into hydrogen gas (H2) and hydroxyl groups (OH-). When electricity flows through the water towards the other electrode, surface charges on suspended solids are destabilized. This reaction causes suspended solids, metals, emulsified oils, and other contaminants to clump together, forming what is called flocculent. As electricity flows metal ions (Me+) are released from the electrode and attach to the flocculent. Because the electrode is slowly losing metal ions, it is also called the sacrificial electrode. The flocculent may either float to the surface or sink to the bottom depending on the density and structure of the contaminants.

Electro-coagulation can change other chemical properties of water (such as pH, alkalinity, and hardness) and make it taste better. Contaminants such as bacteria and viruses may also be immobilized or killed, which then can be filtered out of the water with the coagulated solids. However, electro-coagulation is considered a pre-treatment process only. To ensure the water is free from bacteria and viruses, additional treatment is required. While the concept of using electricity to treat water is not new, recent technology in electronics is making electro-coagulation less expensive, more accessible, and more efficient in filtering water. This makes it possible for a greater number of people to have cleaner drinking water.


Always stay cautious and aware of surroundings when operating the coagulator kit. There is a small current that runs through the electrodes when in operation. As soon as the usb is plugged in the current will run through the alligator clips. Although it is a small current do not touch the exposed metal alligator clips and/or the electrodes once the power is on. Keep in mind that hydrogen is created which is combustive so do not pull clips off electrode while in operation this could cause a spark. Also note that small amounts of chlorine are produced when using salt in the mixture. 

When operating the kits please do so in a large well ventilated room.

Coag v4.stl

3D Printed 16oz Mason Jar Electrode Lid

Standard Tesselated Geometry - 201.06 kB - 05/02/2019 at 17:43



Very basic arduino code to swap polarity of electrodes every 20 seconds. (We want to improve this code and add more functionality.)

ino - 777.00 bytes - 05/02/2019 at 17:12



Education Lessons for Water Education and Coagulator kit operation.

Adobe Portable Document Format - 5.34 MB - 05/02/2019 at 17:06


View all 11 components

  • Join our Water Hack Chat Wed Sept 4th!

    Ryan Beltrán08/28/2019 at 17:50 0 comments

    Join me in our upcoming Clean Water Technologies Hack Chat!

    Wednesday, September 4, 2019 12:00 pm PDT

  • Live Stream Kit Building

    Ryan Beltrán08/20/2019 at 15:57 1 comment

    Making #water purification kits on fb live.

    It wouldn't embed so I just added a screengrab to link to the livesteam. I want to try and do more of these as I work on kits. Maybe do Q&A if people watch it. 

  • Kit Challenges

    Ryan Beltrán05/07/2019 at 12:50 0 comments

    Currently our kit does some basic functions. Overtime with suggestions from students and via our general curiosity for the electrocoagulation process we come up with ideas for improving or testing the kit. 

    Some challenge ideas include creating a turbidity sensor out of inexpensive parts. Two student teams one year made entirely different turbidity sensors one with a laser and simple light sensor and another with a light sensor and LED. Along with the team I will figure out a good way to post different challenges that we want to tackle or ones we want to finalize as an improvement we can officially add to the base coagulator kit. This way every season the kit improves.

View all 3 project logs

  • 1
    Video Instructions

  • 2
    Parts and Prep.

    Kits may vary slightly as they evolve season to season. Here is what your kit should have.

    1×Arduino Uno
    1×L293D Motor Drive Shield
    1×Table Salt
    1×USB 2.0 Cable - A-Male to B-Male
    1×USB Charger
    2×Aluminum Electrodes 100 x 19mm
    2×Iron Electrodes 100 x 19mm
    2×Jumper to Alligator Clips
    1×16 oz Mason Jar Clear
    1×3D Printed Mason Jar Electrode Lid
    1×Black Acrylic Paint


    Keep some paper towels nearby for clean up if needed.

    Water is different from place to place. The harder or more conductive your water the faster coagulation will occur. If you have soft water or filtered water you can always compensate with adding just a touch of salt for conductivity. 

    Kits come pre coded so you shouldn't have to code anything. If your arduino doesn't have the code you can download it here.

  • 3
    Fill mason jar with water.

    Follow along with the video here,

    Fill the mason jar near the top right where it starts to curve up to where the lid screws on. 

View all 10 instructions

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