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Last updated: April 23, 2015

What Does Catholyte Mean?

A catholyte is the part of an electrolyte which is on the cathode side of an electrochemical cell that is effectively divided into two compartments.

Catholytes have various uses, including:

  • Reducing surface tension of water, and hence conditioning of water to improve oil production in wells.
  • Reducing microbe contamination along with anolytes.
  • Used as detergents or cleaning agents in the food and beverage industry.
  • A large number of patented products are developed and now available as catholytes for different applications.

Corrosionpedia Explains Catholyte

A catholyte is the chemical equivalent of a caustic soda. It has a pH around 11.5-13. It can frequently replace other alkaline agents, where caustic soda is found to be more effective, efficient and affordable.

The process known as electrochemical activation changes the condition of the electrolyte salt solution to a metastable state. Usually the anolyte solution has a high redox value and has microbiocidal capabilities.

A catholyte solution with a negative ion charge develops detergent properties, a very high pH of 13, and contains chemicals such as sodium hydroxide in a highly excited state. The patented active ions such as catholytes, may have a very short shelf-life (less than 2 days), and some manufacturers produce it on-site, when required.

When used along with anolyte, the catholyte at petroleum oil rigs results in higher and more effective recovery of crude oil, using highly cost-effective as well as ecofriendly chemical ingredients.


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