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Electrical capacitance tomography (ECT) has been used for more than a decade for imaging dielectric processes. However, because of its ill-posed ness and non-linearity, ECT image reconstruction has always been a challenge. A new genetic algorithm (GA) developed for ECT image reconstruction uses initial results from a linear back-projection, which is widely used for ECT image reconstruction to optimize the threshold and the maximum and minimum gray values for the image. The procedure avoids optimizing the gray values pixel by pixel and significantly reduces the search space dimension. Both simulations and static experimental results show that the method is efficient and capable of reconstructing high quality images. Evaluation criteria show that the GA-based method has smaller image error and greater correlation coefficients. In addition, the GA-based method converges quickly with a small number of iterations.