Economical water treatment

An EU team has devised a cheaper industrial wastewater treatment process using just electricity. Prototype testing demonstrated effective removal of suspended particles and oxidisation of dissolved chemicals.

The high cost of Europe's industrial wastewater treatment restricts growth of the production sector. To avoid such impacts, Europe needs new wastewater treatment technologies.

With EU funding, the OXFLOC (Integrated water treatment in a one-stage oxidative-adsorptive process to degrade and remove harmful substances) project aims to develop the necessary systems. The concept involves reducing treatment costs by combining particle removal and adsorption with flocculation-oxidation. The process is expected to degrade and/or remove dissolved and suspended substances from wastewater. Such treatment uses only electricity, and no chemicals, providing a bonus environmental benefit. The seven-member project started in September 2013 and finishes the end of 2015.

The project first built a team of specialists. Next, during year one, the team characterised oxidative and adsorptive processes, via literature review and experiments. Researchers determined the parameters influencing the adsorptive process as well as their relevant ranges.

Results for the two processes were coupled, allowing development of design concepts for the prototype. Experiments determined the optimal conditions for the oxidation process.

The OXFLOC project has made progress towards a cheaper and non-polluting form of industrial wastewater treatment. After upcoming preparation of the demonstrator prototype, the team expects its technologies to be applicable to other industries as well.

last modification: 2015-12-03

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