Eureka project E!2962 Euroenviron Biosorb-Tox has succeeded in developing a water treatment system for industrial oil polluted water at a tenth of the cost of other commercially available tertiary treatments, leaving water so clean it can be pumped safely back out to sea without endangering flora or fauna.
Wastewater from ships, oil refineries and other petrochemical industries is heavily contaminated with toxic compounds. Stringent EU regulations apply to its treatment and discharge since, if left untreated, these compounds are hazardous to our health, our coastlines and deadly to all forms of aquatic life when released into our waterways.
The most complete method of treating petrochemically polluted waste water is through a series of three stages involving physicochemical and biological processes. It is the third and final stage of the treatment that renders the water clean enough to be discharged into the sea. The process is complex, requiring a combination of bioreactor, chemical coagulation, granulated activated carbon or sorption technologies.
This tertiary stage is the most expensive part of the treatment. It can also cause fouling, the growth of undesirable bacteria and problems with the waste disposal of toxic sludge produced in the process, if it isn't properly monitored.
"The cost of tertiary treatment is a big problem," says Professor Viktoras Racys at the Kaunas University of Technology in Lithuania the main project partner. "You can treat petrochemically polluted water effectively, but it costs a lot. We set out to find a stable process which was as cheap as possible."
The research group at the university's environmental engineering department
had already developed and tested a new wastewater treatment model on a laboratory scale. "In order to apply our water treatment to large industrial practices we needed financial assistance from external sources. The Eureka partn
|Contact: Shar McKenzie|