VATIS Update Waste Management . Jan-Feb 2003

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Waste Management Jan-Feb 2003

ISSN: 0971-5665

VATIS Update Waste Management is published 4 times a year to keep the readers up to date of most of the relevant and latest technological developments and events in the field of Waste Management. The Update is tailored to policy-makers, industries and technology transfer intermediaries.

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ISO criteria for environmentally sustainable products

The first ISO technical specification for data documentation of life cycle assessments is believed to highlight environmental problems and areas for improvement in the production of goods and services. ISO/TS 14048, Environmental management Life cycle assessment Data documentation format, will facilitate the process of evaluating the impacts that a product has on the environment over its entire life, thereby promoting the efficient use of resources and decreasing liabilities.
Life cycle assessments (LCAs) offer a strategy for companies to acquire sound environmental information on products and services, and therefore influence decisions on production methods, materials, distribution and disposition approaches. It includes the entire life cycle of the product, process or activity, from extracting and processing raw materials to manufacturing, transportation and distribution; use, reuse, maintenance, recycling and final disposal. The basic aim of LCA is to evaluate the environmental burdens related with a product, process or activity by identifying and quantifying:
  • Energy and materials used and wastes released to the environment;
  • Assessing the impact of the energy and materials utilized and released to the environment; and
  • Identifying and evaluating opportunities that influence environmental improvements.
ISO/TS 14048 furnishes distinctive guidelines and requirements for the preparation, operation and review of LCA and life cycle inventory data, with a view to developing environmentally improved product range and services over their whole life cycle. It is intended to facilitate transparent reporting, interpretation and review of data collection, data calculation, data quality and data reporting, as well as facilitate data exchange, by specifying and structuring relevant information. 

Contact: Mr. R. Frost, Press and Communication Manager, Public Relations Services, International Organization for Standardization, Switzerland. Tel: +41 (22) 7490 111; Fax: +41 (22) 7333 430; E-mail:; Or Ms. Sonia Rosas, Marketing Services, International Organization for Standardization, Switzerland. Tel: +41 (22) 7490 336; Fax: +41 (22) 7490 947


World market for sedimentation units

McIlvaine Co., the United States, predicts that the demand for centrifuges, clarifiers, dissolved air flotation units and hydrocyclones would increase. According to the on-line report Sedimentation and Centrifugation World Markets, worldwide trade in these equipment will grow from about US$4 billion in 2002 to over US$5 billion by 2007. Clarifiers and thickeners would generate the highest revenues, while disc centrifuges employed as a dairy separator and as a purifier of pharmaceuticals, wine and several other products are placed second. Third on the list is the decanter centrifuge that dewaters sewage sludge and coal fines as well as food products. The fourth place belongs to the miscellaneous centrifuge segment that includes basket and pusher centrifuges used widely in the chemical industry, sugar and other food processing applications. Dissolved air flotation units occupy the fifth place.

Last on the list, with just 13 per cent of the market, is the hydrocyclone which is used in minerals processing and power plant scrubber waste-water cleaning.

Contact: McIlvaine Company, # 2970, Maria Avenue, Northbrook, IL 60062, the United States. Tel: +1 (847) 2720 010; Fax: +1 (847) 2729 673


Blending business and environmental goals

ISO/TR 14062, Environmental management Integrating environmental aspects into product design and development, is intended to enable organizations to identify the likely effects on the environment of their future products and make effective decisions during the design and development stages to enhance their environmental performance. ISO/TR 14062 defines concepts and current practices relating to the integration of environmental aspects throughout the six typical stages of the design and development process planning, conceptual design, detailed design, testing/prototype, market launch as well as product review.

ISO/TR 14062 provides a systematic framework for predicting and solving problems, while allowing flexibility to make changes and improvements along the entire design and development process. It also focuses on promoting creativity and maximizing innovation and opportunities for the environmental improvement of goods and services. A key feature of this report is the stress on management for successful integration.

Contact: Mr. Roger Frost, Public Relations Services, International Organization for Standardization, Switzerland. Tel: +41 (22) 7490 111; Fax: +41 (22) 7333 430; E-mail:; Or Ms. Sonia Rosas, Marketing Services, International Organization for Standardization, Switzerland. Tel: +41 (22) 7490 336; Fax: +41 (22) 7490 947;


Strategic plan for global action on wastes

The 6th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 6) to the Basel Convention on Transboundary Movement of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal was organized at Geneva, Switzerland, during 9-13 December 2002. This congregation mooted a strategic plan, running through the year 2010, directed at accelerating concrete action for protecting human health as well as the environment from hazardous wastes. Technical guidelines were also adopted on the disposal and recycling of lead-acid batteries, plastic wastes, biomedical and healthcare wastes, and obsolete ships.

The Basel Convention advocates environmentally sound management of various types of wastes through the development of technical guidelines. Apart from the 12 sets of rules already in use, new measures proposed include:
  • Plastic wastes: The draft criteria respond to concerns that developing countries often do not have the necessary legislation and facilities for coping with the dramatic growth of these wastes. In many of these countries, plastics are disposed of through open, uncontrolled burning and landfilling. Burning wastes in the open releases pollutants that can cause various health problems.
  • Dismantling of ships: Ships are built using a wide range of materials, including asbestos and other toxic products. Decommissioning a large vessel can thus involve the removal of several tonnes of nasty wastes. The draft guidelines have been developed with cooperation from the 
    International Labour Organization, the International Maritime Organization, the International Chamber of Shipping and non-governmental environmental organizations.
  • Biomedical/healthcare wastes: Hospitals and many other healthcare centres generate large quantities of wastes, including infectious stuff. Gloves, gowns, hypodermic needles and scalpels are exposed to blood and other bodily fluids. Chemicals, pharmaceuticals and vaccines also enter the waste stream. The statutes recommend measures for segregating, collecting, labelling, handling and sterilizing these wastes and for dealing with spills and accidents.
  • Lead-acid batteries: Widely used in industry, automobiles and other consumer goods, lead-acid batteries are the main source of secondary lead in the world today. In several developing countries, batteries are still broken manually using an axe, which is dangerous to the workers. Inhaling dust, fumes or vapours dispersed in the workplace air can lead to acute lead poisoning. A common problem, however, is chronic poisoning from absorbing low amounts of lead over long periods of time.

New wastewater plants in China

Four big wastewater treatment units recently commenced operation along Huaihe River and Chaohu Lake, two of the heavily polluted water bodies in China. Sited at Hefei, Huaibei, Huainan and Suzhou cities, the new facilities can together treat 410,000 m3/d of wastewater. These plants, along with 12 others currently under construction in the valleys of the river and lake, are part of a nationwide environmental protection project designed to clean up the countrys six most polluted rivers and lakes. Estimated to cost US$243 million, the 12 plants have been designed to treat a total of 900,000 m3/d of wastewater. The Asian Development Bank, the World Bank and overseas governments have provided loans totalling about US$100 million as partial funding for these projects.


Recycling landfill gas

In China, the State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA) has set up new facilities to recycle gas emitted from landfills into electricity and clean fuel. According to the national action plan recycling units will eventually be installed all over the country, based on several pilot projects in large cities, over the next five years. According to SEPA, every year 140 million tonnes of garbage is generated of which 90 per cent is disposed off, untreated, in landfills. This results in serious air and water pollution as well as exudation of landfill gas consisting principally of methane, an important greenhouse gas. The potential greenhouse effect of an equivalent amount of methane is 21 times that of carbon dioxide (CO2). SEPA has guided three cities establish and operate facilities for landfill gas recovery and recycling, through technological and financial support from various United Nations agencies.


Waste generation predicted to decline

A study undertaken by Business Communications Co. Inc., the United States, reveals that overall volumes of wastes generated is likely to decrease in the next five years. The report RC-059N Hazardous Waste Containment and Disposition states that the hazardous waste containment and disposition industry is a US$2.35 billion business in North America with volumes of 11.7 million tonnes. By 2007, this volume will fall to 10.43 million tonnes, representing a commercial market appraised at US$2.32 billion, 37 per cent lower than the peak this business reached in 1993.
In light of strategic hazardous waste management founded on the waste hierarchy principle, landfill and other disposal options will fall the furthest, followed by thermal destruction and other treatment techniques and resource recovery. Source reduction and pollution prevention will be the leading strategy pursued by waste generators.

Contact: Malika Rajan, Business Communications Co. Inc., 25, Van Zant Street, Norwalk, CT 06855, the United States. Tel: +1 (203) 8534 266, ext. 309; Fax: +1 (203) 8530 348


New recycling legislation for vehicles in Japan

A new legislation to be enacted in Japan towards the end of 2004 will require importers and manufacturers of vehicles to recover and recycle vehicular wastes. Nearly 800,000 t of waste metal and plastic is produced in the country that disposes five million vehicles annually. The new statute ensures that dust from vehicle shredders is recovered, in addition to vehicle air bags. Consumers will have to pay a US$165 fee when buying a vehicle to cover the cost of recycling. Ozone depleting gases from vehicle air-conditioning systems are also to be recovered for careful destruction, with a proposed US$25 fee to be paid by the purchaser to cover this cost until the law comes into effect.

(Waste Management World, November-December 2002)

PET recycling gains momentum in Japan

Latest statistics obtained from the Japanese Environment Ministry has revealed that 160,000 t of used polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles, i.e. 40.1 per cent of the total PET produced, was collected during the 2001 financial year ending March 2002. Officials at the Ministry opine that at this pace the governments target to recycle 50 per cent of PET bottles by financial year 2004 would be achieved. While 80 per cent of municipalities collect PET bottles, collection of plastic/paper containers is not yet widespread. Figures for these stand at 34.5 and 12.4 per cent of municipalities, respectively.


Preferential tax for power from municipal waste

China is scheduled to launch new initiatives for promoting renewable energy in the country wind energy and power from municipal waste. A policy, under which 100 per cent of VAT would be refunded to the producer for selling electricity generated using municipal waste to the grid, would soon be introduced. Energy from wind sources will be charged 50 per cent VAT. At present, over 200 million tonnes of municipal waste is produced annually from 688 cities while the exploitable wind resource is estimated at 2,530 GW.


New rules aim to lower dioxins

Japan has enacted stringent rules pertaining to the density of highly toxic dioxin in gas discharged from incinerators and will make it easier for prefectural governors to enforce the new standards. These directives stipulate that the density of dioxin must not exceed 1 nanogram/m3 of an incinerators exhaust gas for facilities with the capacity to burn more than 200 kg/d of garbage or industrial waste. The highest allowable density of the hormone-disrupting chemical is 1/80th of that under the previous regulations. The updated rules also mandate that small incinerators with a daily burning capacity of less than 200 kg be replaced with new models if they are not able to burn garbage at 800C or above.


The Philippines bans scrap metal exports

In the Philippines, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has proclaimed that it would take a policy decision on whether or not to ban the export of metal scraps as soon as the House Committee on Trade and Industry releases the results on an ongoing study on the impact of such action. A technical workgroup is conducting an in-depth study on the state of the local scrap metal industry and potential effects of the ban on metal scrap users and steel-making industries. The committee began public hearings on the proposed ban in August 2001.



Reliable leachate disposal solution

LFG Specialties, the United States, is offering patented leachate evaporation system that utilizes landfill gas to evaporate leachate. E-Vap ensures integrated, long-term control of regulated landfill by-products in a single, reliable and proven method. In addition to cost savings accrued by liquid disposal, E-Vap mitigates liabilities connected with off-site leachate transfer. It employs submerged tube evaporation technology and encompasses controls for full operational safety, including continuous monitoring of the burner system and leachate and landfill gas flows. Trace metals and salts are concentrated in the residue that is continuously removed from the bottom of the E-Vap system. Benefits of E-Vap system include:
  • Single source accountability;
  • The volume of typical leachate is reduced by over 97 per cent;
  • Proven technology/guaranteed emissions; and
  • Proven cost savings.

The company offers a wide range of E-Vap layout and control options to meet local site conditions.

Contact: LFG Specialties, the United States. Tel: +1 (419) 4256 299.


Soot filter for diesel engine

Researchers in the Netherlands have developed a new soot filter for diesel engines. The robust unit incorporates a series of perforated ceramic foams, the surface of which is impregnated with a catalyst over which the incoming soot particles are burnt and released as gases. Ash from impurities in diesel enter the filter along with soot and remain in the pores of the ceramic foam plates. As the filter is built from separate filter plates instead of a single block, it is almost indestructible. Even if all the plates were to break, the filter function remains intact. An inbuilt open canal prevents the filter from getting blocked.

Contact: Mr. Michel Philippens, The Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research, the Netherlands. Tel: +31 (70) 3440 784


Liquid extraction equipment

ET2 Ltd., the United Kingdom, offers patented revolution waste pro-cessing system that simultaneously minimizes waste and extracts liquid. Compaction ratios of up to 60:1 can be achieved on packaging, with up to 99 per cent of liquid extracted. The compacted packaging waste can be sent directly to a recycler in an optimal dry format that is devoid of liquid pockets and requires little or no follow-up treatment. The high extraction performance is perfectly suited for industries such as drinks (HDPE, PET, steel and aluminium cans), chemical (tins and drums), dairy (tetrapacks, cardboard/polystyrene pots), food (any products with retained liquids) and pharmaceutical (tubes, bottles, sachets and blister packs). The standard revolution equipment is available in two sizes 400 l and 2,000 l models. The 2000 l unit processes whole pallets of material at once and can deal with around eight pallets of product per hour. Pallet tipper and bin lift apparatus for delivery of waste to revolution equipment are available.

Contact: ET2 Ltd., the United Kingdom. Tel: +44 (1332) 297 000


Crusher for bottles and cans

Prodeva Inc., the United States, is offering Model 150 glass bottle and metal can crusher to reduce waste volumes by 80 per cent. The user-friendly unit is easy to maintain and portable, with optional castors available. The rated capacities are:
  • Up to 25 1 gallon cans/minute;
  • Up to 10,000 12 oz cans/hour; and
  • Over 2 t/h of glass.
Fabricated utilizing 1/4-inch heavy steel plate, Model 150 flattens cans and crushes glass into recyclable cullet. It reduces cans to 1/5th their original volume and glass to 1/20th itsoriginal volume. A large crushing chamber eliminates feed problems and assures high volume output. 

Contact: Prodeva Inc., 100, Jerry Drive, P.O. Box R, Jackson Centre, Ohio 45334 0729, the United States. Tel: +1 (937) 5966 713; Fax: +1 (937) 5965 145.


Portable infrared analyser for effluents

Wilks Enterprise Inc., based in the United States, has developed a portable infrared instrument that uses hexane for extracting oil and grease present in the wastewater sample to be measured. Infracal TOG/TPH analyser, model HATR-T, quantifies hexane extractable material and uses an evaporation process that is on par with the hexane/gravimetric method. EPA method 1664 using hexane extraction and gravimetric analysis is now the standard method replacing Freon methods as Freon-113 is not an acceptable solvent as per the Montreal Protocol.
The extraction and measurement process involves simple steps that allow an operator with minimal training to carry out the analysis. The sample is collected in a container and mixed with hexane at a ratio of 10 parts sample and one part of the solvent. After shaking for two minutes, the lighter hexane solvent rises carrying with it the dissolved oil and grease. A syringe or pipette is used to remove 50 l of hexane and deposited on the sample plate of the analyser. Results are obtained within three minutes.

Contact: Wilks Enterprise Inc., 140, Water Street, South Norwalk, Connecticut 06854, the United States. Tel: +1 (203) 8559 136; Fax: +1 (203) 8389 868;


Belt filter press for dewatering slurry

Simon Hartley, the United Kingdom, offers an exclusive slurry dewatering filter that can handle irregular slurry flow rates and composition without operator intervention. The V-Fold folding belt filter press has been designed to tackle the variable composition and flow of effluent slurries generated during production cycles in industries such as wineries, food processing, tanneries and printing. This systems unique V-belt design can dewater continuously to yield a consistently removable filter cake.Ideal for small to medium-sized firms with effluent processes producing up to 30,000 l, the V-Fold enables operators to address ever-tightening environmental controls and escalating waste disposal costs. Typical feed slurry is about 2-5 per cent dry solids, which the V-Fold processes into filter cake of over 20 per cent dry solids.

Contact: Simon Hartley, Garner Street, Eturia, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, ST4 7BH, the United Kingdom. Tel: +44 (1782) 202 300; Fax: +44 (1782) 260 534; 


New screening units

In the United States, Franklin Miller Inc. offers multi-purpose screening systems to separate and transport solids entrained in liquid or gravity flows. A precision shaftless auger screw screen is at the core of the Spiralift processor. The shaftless design provides excellent service on stringy, fibrous solids that may wrap and choke other systems. The auger is supplied with a stainless steel housing and semicircular screen basket.Driven by a shaft-mounted helical gear drive, Spiralift units can process items such as agricultural products, wood products, plastics, slaughterhouse waste, wastewater, septage, etc. It can screen, separate, wash, dewater and convey vegetables, 
fruits or plastics. Various models have been configured for in-channel applications, fully enclosed pipeline system and gravity fed systems. Accessories available along with Spiralift include controller, press zone for dewatering, washing spray manifold, hopper, weather-proofing, level sensors, stand, solids grinder/shredder, etc.

Contact: Franklin Miller Inc., 60, Okner Parkway., Livingston, New Jersey 07039, the United States. Tel: +1 (973) 5359 200; Fax: +1 (973) 5356 269; 


Building blocks from waste

An industrial-scale pilot plant at the University of East London (UEL), the United Kingdom, transforms wastes into building blocks. The lightweight aggregates are produced utilizing incinerator bottom ash, sewage and dredge sludge. Funded by a Landfill Tax Credit grant allotted by the RMC Environment Fund and scrutinized by the Manufactured Aggregate Research Centre (MARC), the facility incorporates latest thermal processing techniques and employs power generated from waste to roast the materials into coated pellets for use in the construction industry. A UEL team is testing batches of pelletized aggregate from MARC, which uses a Trefoil kiln shaped like a 3-leaf clover to create an even cascade of pellets.Adoption of this technology on an industrial level could prevent 70 per cent of waste from ending up in landfills. A recent report by the Environment Agency indicates that bottom ash from incinerators does not pose any significant health risk and could potentially be a valuable secondary aggregate.


Green solution for plastic composites

A researcher at Cornell University, the United States, is working on a green solution, using soya bean protein and biodegradable plastics together with plant-based fibres, for replacing plastics. These new fully biodegradable and eco-friendly green composites offer good properties 
and could replace plastic parts in the interior of cars and trains, computers, packaging materials and other consumer products. They also provide excellent insulation against heat and noise. The inexpensive green composites use natural fibres that, for strength, are embedded in a matrix made of a plant-based or other resin.Mr. Anil Netravali recently presented his research on green composites made from ramie fibres, which are obtained from the stem of an Asian perennial shrub. A soya-based material was used to prepare the resin. The group is working with a number of fibres, including those obtained from kenaf stems, henequen or pineapple leaves and banana stems. The resin materials being investigated include commercial resins like polyvinyl alcohol and polylactones, and those derived from microbes.


Ethanol from corn stover

Researchers at Purdue University, the United States, have developed a pre-treatment process that can convert the fibre left over after the processing of starch from corn kernel. This process, based on genetically engineered yeast, is ready for development with corn stover. 
Corn stover fibre is different from the fibre found in the kernel, though both materials contain cellulose that can be converted into sugars, which can then be fermented to form ethanol. Research is underway at Purdues Laboratory of Renewable Resources Engineering. The Indiana Department of Commerce has awarded a grant of US$80,000 to modify the process.


Microbes that devour garbage

Researchers at Harbin Polytechnic University, China, have successfully collected and cultured a mixture of micro-organisms that can transform garbage into organic fertilizer. This effective biological solution consists of over a dozen microbes such as bacteria, actinomyces and fungus that can decompose different organic wastes. 

The microbial cocktail was prepared based on an analysis of different organic compositions of and seasonal differences in garbage sources. As such, each organic compound in the garbage is dealt with by the most suitable microbe. To reduce the cost that would result from the addition of too many different microbes in the mixture, the genetic compositions of existing microbes were engineered to enhance desired functions. The team has also developed corresponding facilities for disposing 1,000 t/d of refuse that can yield 500 t of organic fertilizer.

(China Science and Technology Newsletter, 20 June 2002)

Greener process to reduce waste

Scientists at DuPont have reported the development of a novel process for converting hydrocarbons to fluorocarbons, without generating waste. Greener Synthetic Route for Fluoroaromatics through Copper Fluoride, by Dr. Subramanian and Dr. Manzer, describes the alternate method of synthesis that employs principles of inorganic chemistry to produce fluorinated aromatics in an environmentally and economically efficient way, opening the door to industrial-scale production of fluoroaromatics with minimal waste. Fluorinated aromatics are widely used in the synthesis of pharmaceuticals and agrochemicals.

Contact: Mr. Anthony Farina, DuPont, the United States. Tel: +1 (302) 7744 114



Recycling commingled plastic wastes

ReSyk, the United States, is offering a patented technique to manufacture new products through recycling commingled and contaminated plastics. The 5-step process involves reducing the mixed 
plastics into plastic chip/flakes by grinding. Then chipped plastic is processed into a malleable state in the patented Compounder. The material is then placed in a mould where pressure is applied and run through a cooling bath. Finally, the part is removed from the mould, trimmed and packaged. According to ReSyk, the new process can be used to convert waste plastic into inexpensive value-added products.

Contact: Mr. Chris Brough, ReSyk Inc., 1755 North 2000 West, Brigham City, Utah 84302, the United States. Tel: +1 (435) 7232 950; Fax: +1 (435) 7342 717


PET sheet from PET wastes

Lenzing Erema and SML Maschinengesellschaft have installed a new production line at Erema Technical Centre that produces flat sheets for thermoforming directly from cleaned post-consumer PET bottle flakes without any intermediate pelletizing stage. In addition to processing the washed bottle flakes into flat sheets, this system can even process any mixtures from the secondary cycle with virgin material and utilized to produce sheets. Benefits offered by the direct process include elimination of pelletizing expenses and, with only one melt stage, second degradation of the PET polymer. Moreover, the entire process can be operated by a single individual.

Eremas field of expertise covers the drying, crystallization, extrusion and fine filtration of the melt using a large filter with a fully automatic self-cleaning (back flush) system. SMLs part begins with the melt pump and the flat die and includes all subsequent units such as horizontal 3-roll-stack, thickness measuring unit and edge trim disposal as well as winding unit. A special purpose accumulator in front of the winder enables conti-nuous sheet production even when changing to a new core. This has no effect on optimum operational safety for the users as the finished sheet roll is replaced while the roll itself stops and the accumulator is operating. The winding diameters go up to 1,000 mm for film with a thickness between 150 m and 1,200 m.

(Plastics News, July 2002)

Recycling wood biomass

Taiheyo Cement Corp., Japan, has commissioned a Waste Wood Biomass Recycling Unit at its Tsukumi facility. The new plant utilizes waste wood material as an alternative fuel, reducing the usage of coal in cement kilns as well as lowering emissions of carbon dioxide. Moreover, since the ash is used as a raw material in cement production, no waste is generated. 


New process eliminates need for segregating plastics

Researchers at the Italian National Agency for New Technology, Energy and the Environment have developed a recycling technique that eliminates the need for separating plastics into compatible types. The team has devised a method to degrade waste polymer molecules, allowing them to combine and reform to produce hybrid molecules that can be melted down to produce new plastics.

(ReNew, Issue 82, January-March 2003)

Reusing magnesium alloy from notebook PCs

In Japan, Fujitsu Ltd., Fujitsu Kasei Ltd. and Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd. have jointly developed a process for reclaiming and reusing magnesium alloy from the housings of notebook personal computers (PCs). Fujitsus method significantly decreases the environmental burden of the notepads housing production process, cutting CO2 emissions to 1/6th of that created in the normal mining and precision machining technologies. Material recovered by this process is being used in the fall/winter 2002 FMV-BIBLO MG and FMV-BIBLO NB models.

A few years ago, Fujitsu had developed a recycling process for scrap from the original housing moulding process, re-melting it at 600C so that it could be reused and have the same qualities as the virgin material. However, with recovered notebooks, re-melting the housing parts themselves was not feasible since they have a coating that burns off, producing toxic fumes and a great deal of particulate matter. In 2001, Fujitsu developed a process whereby the housing is immersed in an alkaline solution that removes the coating, enabling the parts to be re-melted. Furthermore, by fine tuning the composition of the molten alloy it was possible to achieve the same quality as virgin material. Now Fujitsu and its affiliates have successfully devised technologies required to use this process in mass production.

Contact: Fujitsu Ltd., Mobile Computing Division, Japan. Tel: +81 (42) 3707 634
Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd., Material and Material Engineering Laboratories, Japan. Tel: +81 (78) 9348 253;


New separator

Gold Circuit Inc., the United States, has installed a new recycling system that automatically processes wastes into glass, plastics and metal parts. E-Vantage Separator System, developed by RRT Design and Construction, can recycle whole printers, monitors, televisions, faxes, CPUs, telecommunications equipment and a range of electronic wastes without the need for dismantling. This unit features the unique liberation technology of slow-speed shredding from SSI Shredding Systems Inc. and a patented impactor, from Andela Products Limited, fully integrated with various separation technologies into a complete system. RRT also provides integrated units to enhance the value of non-ferrous metals, precious metals and plastics.


Reprocessing of laminates

In the Philippines, researchers from the Industrial Technology Development Institute and Nestle Phils. Inc. have designed, fabricated and tested a grinding machine for transforming waste laminates into intermediate raw materials. This system reduces scrap packaging laminates created at Nestle into fine powder, without the need for shredding and screening. As such, preparation time is reduced for the scrap materials. Key features of the new system include:
  • Locally fabricated;
  • Simple and easy operation; and
  • Low investment and maintenance costs.
The grinding system yields an end product that has potential use as a major raw material in the production of panel boards, plastic pails, etc. Contact: Dr. Araceli Monsada, Surface Coating Research and Development Centre, c/o. Materials Science Division, ITDI-DOST, DOST Cpd., Gen. Santos Ave., Bicutan, Taguig, Metro Manila, the Philippines. Tel: +63 (2) 8372 071; E-mail: msd@


Recycling batteries

Revatech, Belgium, has developed a wet process for recycling alkaline and zinc/carbon batteries. Based on hydrometallurgy, Revabat enables magnetic (steel) and non-magnetic (zinc, brass) fractions of batteries to be recovered and recycled, along with plastics, zinc and manganese present in the black mass. Zinc and manganese recovered in the form of sulphate solutions can be converted into salts or oxides. The overall recycling rate is 60-70 per cent of the weight of treated batteries. Revabat does not cause air pollution since there is no release of volatile heavy metals, dioxins, etc. Additionally, it can tolerate the presence of limited quantities of button batteries that contain mercury and Ni-Cd/Ni-H batteries among the alkaline and zinc/carbon batteries treated.

Peritech is a new solidification process offered by Revatech that lowers the amount of waste going into landfills. It is particularly suitable for solid mineral waste and sludge polluted by heavy metals, traces of hydrocarbons and organic compounds. The process works as follows: the industrial waste, usually in paste or solid form, is mixed with pozzolanic reagents (various hydraulic binders, cement and fly-ash) and other additives. This process fixes the various pollutants in the waste, both physically and chemically. After sufficient reaction time, the treated waste is formed into chemically stable and mechanically strong solid blocks. The company also offers Solatech process to treat fly-ash and residues from scrubbing and dechlorination of domestic waste incinerator flue gases.

Contact: Revatech, Zoning industriel dEhein, B 4480 Engis,Belgium. Tel: +32 (4) 2750 093; Fax: +32 (4) 2756 993; 



High-performance diffuser

Nopon Oy, based in Finland, has introduced NOPOL PIK-300 diffuser for fine-bubble wastewater treatment systems. This unit offers high air-flow per diffuser, ensures uniform air distribution and pressure loss. The 790 g recyclable system measures 33 cm in diameter and can withstand higher process temperatures than existing diffusers. Recyclable polypropylene that can handle temperatures up to 130C is used for the fabrication of the diffuser body and fixing wedge. The diffuser is easy to fit and replace since the design includes a light plastic ring, which acts as a bearing, so that the ring is easy to remove even after the unit has been used.

The back-flow or non-return valve incorporated in the diffuser has a new design. It ensures that the head loss (drop in pressure) is constant while preventing dirt from entering the air-piping system and offers excellent air distribution. The new membrane, designed for use in processes involving chemical precipitation or discontinuous aeration, is made from EPDM rubber that can tolerate up to 100C. The diffuser can be retrofitted on existing Nopol pipework and will replace Nopols KKR-300 diffusers in new installations.

(Chemical Engineering World, August 2002)

Anaerobic bioremediation of chlorinated solvents

JRW Technologies offers technology for in situ anaerobic bioremediation of chlorinated solvents. JRWs WilClear lactate solution was diluted and injected into fractured bedrock at the United States Department of Energys INEEL site to bioremediate a TCE plume in groundwater through anaerobic dechlorination. This process breaks down the solvent into carbon dioxide, water and chloride ions without producing secondary wastes. Contaminants treatable by this method include heavy metals, chromium, cobalt, DNAPLS, PAHS, INAPLS, chlorinated organic compounds, pentachlorophenols, pesticides and herbicides, solvents, TCE and metals.

Contact: Mr. Donovan Smith. E-mail:


On-site treatment of clinical waste

In Australia, MediVac Technology Pty. Ltd. has developed an innovative approach to treat clinical wastes. The on-site technique combines the action of a patented materials reduction device (MRD) and an autoclave. Medical waste is loaded into the machine, granulated into pieces about 6 mm in size and pressurized steam, heated to 134C, applied for 3.5 minutes to sterilize the waste. Together with MRD, this environment is well in excess of the temperature and time required to eliminate bacteria and viruses. The remaining harmless waste occupies about 80 per cent less volume than its original form and can be disposed of in the conventional waste stream.

Contact: MediVac Technology Pty. Ltd., Unit 29, 10 Gladstone Road, Castle Hill, NSW 2154, Australia. Tel: +61 (2) 9894 7011; Fax: +61 (2) 9894 7558;


Dissolved air flotation systems

Environmental Treatment Systems Inc., the United States, offers RT-series dissolved air flotation (DAF) systems. DAF is ideal for liquid-solid separation in many industries, as well as for separation of free oils and greases. Application areas include pre-treatment of a variety of waste streams, including those from food processing plants, dairies, textile mills, laundries and biological treatment facilities. In addition, DAF units provide for the reuse of treated effluent, e.g. as cooling water, polymer make-up water and wash water.
The all-stainless steel units in RT-series are completely skid-mounted and available in 11 sizes for process flows from 10 to 2,500 gpm. Main features are Hellbender DAF pumps and multiple white water injection ports for the best treatment possible. Control panels can be supplied as an option. 

Contact: Environmental Treatment Systems Inc., 1500, Wilson Way, Suite 100, Smyrna, GA 30082, the United States. Tel: +1 (770) 3840 602;


Reducing excess sludge production

Researchers in Japan have devised a new wastewater treatment process that significantly reduces production of excess sludge. S-TE process comprises two different stages, a biological step for treating wastewater and a thermophilic aerobic digestion for processing sludge generated in the first stage. Discharge from the wastewater treatment stage is fed into a thermophilic aerobic sludge digester (TASD) wherein the sludge is solubilized and returned to the aeration tank in the previous stage for further degradation.

Pilot-scale facilities based on S-TE process and conventional activated sludge technique, both treating the same industrial wastewater, were operated for 270 days. Results have shown that 93 per cent reduction in overall excess sludge production is feasible in the S-TE method. The SS solubilization rate in TASD was stable at around 30 per cent. Only a slight increase in effluent SS and TOC concentrations were observed compared with those of the control facility. A full-scale facility treating domestic sewage operated for three years, establishing that 75 per cent reduction of overall excess sludge production can be achieved.


Metal ion extraction from mine tailings

A new process developed by Clean TeQ Pty. Ltd., Australia, can be employed to remove valuable minerals from mine tailings and contamination from wastewater streams. Based on ion-exchange method, Clean TeQs process utilizes resins to combine with the target substance. Clean-iX sorption process extracts the selected compound from a leach mix on to the resin and the Clean-iX Resin-in-Pulp process puts the resin in contact with pulped ore and the target is absorbed directly. In each case, the concentrated end product is easily separated and recovered from the resin at the end of the extraction process.

Contact: Clean TeQ Pty. Ltd., 38, Kimberly Road, Dandenong South Vic 3175, Australia. Tel: +61 (3) 9706 4122; Fax: +61 (3) 9706 4050;

Source Website: 

Treating industrial effluents

Baldwin Industrial Systems, based in Australia, offers a revolutionary technique that converts industrial effluent streams into clean water. The new Superoxide Separation by Flotation system, an adaptation of the Partial Oxygen Plasma (POP) technology, uses electro-coagulation, oxidation and sterilization to treat wastewater in a single pass. The first step separates air into its constituent parts that, when pumped into water, react with the suspended particles. An electric charge transforms the contaminants into a flow, which is removed by purpose-built dissolved air flotation cells. This technique reduces costs by substantially lowering the need for chemical and biological treatments. The discharge can be recycled on to gardens and parks or even into waterways.

Contact: Baldwin Industrial Systems Pty. Ltd., 31, Marshall Road, Kirrawee, NSW 2232, Australia.


Sewage sludge fermentation system

NKK Corp., Japan, is developing a sewage sludge fermentation system and has initiated research aimed at full-scale commercialization of the technology. The fermentation unit comprises two steps. The first is a pre-processing method that makes sludge more soluble by supplementing alkaline chemicals and irradiating the sludge with ultrasonic waves to destroy bacteria. In the final stage, an acid fermentation process adds vitamins to the mixture to speed up fermentation.
The new process could reduce the processing time to 3-5 days and eliminate roughly half of the solids in the sludge, thereby improving the efficiency of subsequent processes in methane fermentation tanks. It also reduces space requirements and running costs, while the use of compact sludge concentration and dewatering equipment would lower total costs.

Contact: NKK Corp., 1-1-2, Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100 8202, Japan. Tel: +81 (3) 3212 7111; Fax: +81 (3) 3214 8400.


Breakthrough in medical waste treatment

Environmental Waste International Inc., Canada, reports that results from its MD1000 commercial installation site in the United Kingdom fulfils government criteria for waste treatment with regard to water and air emissions, including dioxin and furan levels. Precision Analysis Ltd., an accredited and third party independent laboratory, conducted and oversaw all testing at the site which included emissions of air and water, as well as microbiological testing.

The newly designed off-gas treatment process for the MD1000 represents a major breakthrough in the treatment of clinical waste. This part of the system decreases off-gas pollutants to acceptable levels while simultaneously converting a portion of the waste into gaseous state and using as a fuel source. A couple of micro-turbines yield a total energy output of 60 kW.

Contact: Dr. S.Simms, President, Environmental Waste International Inc., Canada. Tel: +1 (905) 6868 689;

Source Website:


Disposing used plastic silage wrap

Agri-Plas Systems 2000 Inc., based in Canada, has developed a process that converts agro-industrial plastic wastes and consumer plastic scrap into useful products. The innovative process involves the use of specially adapted machinery to shred plastic and transform it into multi-purpose plastic lumber and other products. Several end products playground equipment, tables, benches, fences, chairs, mail boxes, etc. created by this method from 100 per cent agricultural silage wrap; no chemicals or other products are added during the process. The material that is used for these new products can substitute pressure-treated wood in various applications. 

Contact: Mr. A. Boyd, Agri-Plas Systems 2000 Inc., 52, Matwood Drive, Stratford, PE C1B 1K6, Canada. Tel: +1 (902) 5691368; Website:


Sugar extraction from waste biomass

PureVision Technology Inc. of the United States is testing a method that has the potential to lower the cost of sugar extraction from waste biomass. The multi-stage reactive fractionation biomass technology is presently being evaluated by Western Research Institute (WRI) at pre-pilot scale. The primary goal of the first phase of WRI/PureVision programme is to produce purified cellulose fraction from corn stover.

Biomass has three major components: hemicellulose, cellulose and lignin. Lignocellulosic material is a class of biomass that is rich in hemicellulose, cellulose and lignin, and includes wood, agricultural residues and paper wastes. PureVisions biomass fractionation process is capa-ble of producing sugars of five and six carbon rings from corn stover and is expected to have the same capability for a diverse range of biomass materials. These sugars are the raw material for producing a wide range of industrial products in bio-refineries. Cellulose can be converted into sugars through enzymatic hydrolysis, which uses enzymes to break down cellulose into sugars. These sugars can then be used to produce ethanol and a host of other industrial products. Hemicellulose can also be converted into sugars while lignin, an energy-rich biomass, can be used to fuel an on-site facility for co-generation of steam and electricity to run the bio-refinery. 

Contact: PureVision Technology Inc., 511 N. McKinley Avenue, Ft. Lupton, CO 80621, the United States. Tel: +1 (303) 8574 530; E-mail:


Waste tyre disposal

In China, Dalian Sanhuan Environment Friendly Equipment Co. Ltd., is offering new plants to turn waste meridian tyres into powder. These units, designed with four rounds of steel wire and fibre removing steps, can thoroughly remove all the steel wires and fibres in waste tyres. The low-cost system lasts longer and is less noisier than its imported equivalent. A single tyre is reduced into powder within 25 min. A powdering line with an annual output of 6,000 t can be operated with three persons.

(China Science and Technology Newsletter, 30 July 2002 )

Recovering methane from food waste

In the Republic of Korea, a team of researchers have developed a new process for recovering methane and composted matter from food wastes. The multi-step sequential batch two-phase anaerobic composting technique, or MUSTAC, comprises five leaching beds for hydrolysis, acidification and post-treatment, in addition to an upflow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB) reactor for methane recovery. It involves the combined modus operandi of sequential batch operation and two-phase anaerobic digestion for simple operation and high efficiency.

Rumen micro-organisms are used to enhance cellulolytic activity. Five leaching beds are used in a multi-step mode with a two-day interval between degradation stages. Acidified products in the leachate from the leaching beds are converted to methane in the UASB reactor. The MUSTAC process has demonstrated that 84.9 per cent of volatile solids (VS) can be removed and 85.6 per cent of biochemical methane potential converted into methane at 10.9 kg VS/m3/d in 10 days. Output from the post-treatment of residues could be used for soil amendment.


MSW incineration

TNO Business, the Netherlands, is offering an innovative control concept for facilities incinerating municipal solid waste (MSW). The new system ensures that the incineration process remains as uniform as possible since MSW contains a wide range of domestic wastes that have diverse energy content. Based on computer models of the incineration process, TNOs Advanced Control Concept (ACC) is better than its predecessor in preventing disruption to the waste incineration process. The computer models can generate realistic anomalies in waste composition that could be used to test the ACC. In these cases steam production and oxygen level are also simulated in a realistic manner.

Contact: TNO Business, the Netherlands. Tel: +31 (15) 2694 949.


Bricks from sewage

Researchers at I-Shou University, Taiwan, have succeeded in transforming sludge from sewage works into bricks. The bricks do not smell and the firing process immobilizes toxins and hazardous material. Best results were obtained when sewage made up 10 per cent of the material in clay bricks fired at a temperature of 900C. The process still worked when the bricks contained 30 per cent sludge.


Industrial and toxic waste incineration

CT Environment Ltd., Switzerland, is offering incinerators for disposing industrial and toxic wastes. BASIC waste-to-energy incineration units can be utilized in a wide range of applications to convert varying waste streams, from low calorific value high moisture materials to high calorific plastics and rubber materials. It can also process medical wastes, MSW and industrial wastes. CT Environment uses BASIC combustion technology for solid and liquid waste to complement its own technologies with static furnaces and rotary kilns. In conjunction with its extensive flue gas cleaning know-how, CT Environment provides complete systems to incinerate almost all waste streams.

The BASIC incineration system incorporates Pulse Hearth combustor systems ranging from 100 to 8,000 kg/h of waste throughput capacity in standard size systems. Multiple lines may be employed in parallel to increase the capacity. All BASIC systems are configured to maintain their nominal capacity in continuous operation 24 h/d. Carbon monoxide, hydrocarbon and NOx levels are well below established statutory guidelines while processing many difficult types of solid waste fuel, including medical waste or rubber tyres. The BASIC incineration units, in combination with select flue gas treatment systems can be customized, depending on the waste stream and local licence requirements.

BASIC Pulse Hearth system forms the cornerstone of an efficient waste-to-energy plant. It moves the burning materials through the system while adding air for an effective turbulent mixing effect. The solid wastes are treated in a patented three-stage combustion system that ensures 
complete burn-out of hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide with minimal generation of NOx. Each combustion stage is individually controlled by a central computer. Salient features of the Pulse Hearth stoker and primary combustion chamber include:
  • Continuous incineration;
  • Direct bulk feeding of waste;
  • Large range of calorific heat;
  • Hearth bed propulsion motion from outside the furnace with air bag;
  • Pulse motion with self-cleaning effect;
  • Water seal system for hearth bed and deslagger;
  • Drier hearth unit for wet wastes;
  • Flexible steel cable support for hearth bed without any mechanical friction;
  • No metal parts at high temperature/less corrosion less spare parts;
  • Solid refractory heat-resistant hearth;
  • Fully automatic wet deslagger system; and
  • Proprietary logic control and SCADA system.
    Key aspects of the patented three-stage combustion system include:
  • Double air wall and design with Thermal Exciter for high turbulence;
  • Staged air addition/low NOx content;
  • DeNOx, staged incineration as a primary NOx reduction measure;
  • Possibility of reducing NOx with ammonia (SNCR or SCR);
  • High temperature and residence time;
  • High turbulence/excellent burnout of fly-ash; and
  • Incineration temperature and residence time according to rule.
Contact: Ms. Urs Beerli, BASIC Incinerator and Flue Gas Treatment, CT Environment Ltd., P.O. Box 414, CH 8401 Winterthur, Switzerland. Tel: +41 (52) 2626 812; Fax: +41 (52) 2620 072;


Reduction of hazardous wastes

In the United States, Value Recovery Inc. has developed a chemical process to convert hazardous wastes into saleable products. The patent-pending method is based on Phase Transfer Catalysis (PTC), a sophisticated tool utilized primarily in the pharmaceutical industry to synthesize complex molecules. A salient aspect of PTC in environmental applications is that it can react with hazardous chemicals dissolved in water or concentrated in gas streams and transform them into harmless chemicals with commercial value. The process is applicable to phenols, cyanides, acrylates, azides, organochlorine chemicals, etc. It can also be used to scrub methyl bromide from air streams. 

Contact: Mr. Peter J. Joyce, President, Value Recovery Inc., the United States. 
Tel: +1 (856) 4676 316.



Dual remediation system

In the United States, Leggett, Brashears and Graham Inc. is offering a dual remediation system to remediate low-permeability clays. The new multi-phase extraction/soil vapour extraction (MPE/SVE) process dewaters clays using MPE technology. As the clays dry out, desiccation fractures form, thereby significantly increasing air permeability of the impacted zone. SVE is used to extract VOCs from the subsurface. This two-pronged approach makes use of the physicochemical properties of both VOCs and the clay soils. Electrical conductivity probes are first driven by a geo-probe rig to accurately delineate the vertical extent of permeability variation within each of two perched water table zones. In situ permeability ranges from 7.51 103 cm/s to 7.45 107 cm/s. Precise delineation of perched water tables facilitate placement of MPE/SVE wells in optimal locations and setting up of screens at each well to maximize remedial effectiveness within the perched zones. The MPE/SVE system comprises 29 nested pair extraction wells, three remote manifolds and an MPE/SVE equipment trailer. At any nested pair extraction location, only one well (deep or shallow) operates at any given time as determined by the position of manual valves at the wellhead.


Recovering VOCs

The United Kingdom-based Air Products Plc. offers a volatile organic compound (VOC) recovery unit that uses liquid nitrogen to pre-chill VOCs to temperatures as low as 120C. The 15 m2 CryoCondap system can handle up to 450 g/m3 of VOCs such as acetone, ethanol and methylene chloride, with overall emission level of 150 mg/m3. This single system fulfils the most stringent emission guidelines. A key factor that enables low operating costs for this unit is the ability to reuse nitrogen. Nitrogen created in the condensation process can be used to purge and blanket pipeworks and tanks.

Contact: Air Products Plc., Hersham Place, Molesey Road, Walton-on-Thames, Surrey KT12 4RZ, the United Kingdom. Tel: +44 (800) 3890 202; Fax: +44 (1270) 259 506;


New electrostatic precipitators and scrubbers

Griffin and Co., the United States, offers a variety of electrostatic precipitator designs to clean gases from utility and industrial processes with throughputs up to 3.45 million Am3/h. HaRDE precipitators combine the reliable performance of rigid discharge electrodes with top-quality tumbling hammer rapping a combination especially suited for difficult dusts. The hammers swing freely even under the most adverse conditions, and the sweet spot impact results in less pin wear and the most efficient rapping available.VIGR RDE precipitators feature rigid electrodes along with external rapping. They couple high collection efficiencies with energy-controlled, low-cost operation and a rigid design that reduces maintenance. These units are widely used in the pulp and paper, petrochemical, ferrous/non-ferrous metals, cement and waste-to-energy industries as well as power generating facilities.Wet FGD scrubbers are available for use where sulphur dioxide (SO2) and acid gas control requirements are most stringent. The technology used includes open spray (single and double loop) tower and dual-flow tray designs. Spray drier scrubbers are ideal for applications with less demanding SO2 and acid gas control requirements. A lime- or sodium-based scrubbing liquor is atomized into the flue gas to absorb the acid gases. Concurrently, hot flue gas vaporizes the scrubber liquor, leaving a dry product for disposal. The reaction products and process ash are then collected by an electrostatic precipitator or fabric filter system. In combination with fabric filters, dry injection systems offer a reliable and economical choice for applications requiring lower levels of SO2 and acid gas emission control.

Fabric filter collectors are an ideal solution for controlling air pollution. JET III Pulse unit is the culmination of continuous development of pulse jet collectors that periodically inject compressed air into the filter bags, flexing them in a programmed cycle to pulse off the dust. It offers high performance, low operating costs and has wide application in many demanding areas. The JET VIP Intermediate Pulse collectors are designed for larger gas volumes. Large double diaphragm valves deliver low pressure pulse through a tuned manifold delivery system. The JET 2000 Pleated filter systems provide more surface area than conventional tubular bags.

The custom-designed reverse air and shake/deflate systems use either a reverse back washing action or a rhythmic shaking of the filter tubes to release collected dust for subsequent disposal. They are suited for coal-fired boilers and primary manufacturing processes like smelting.

Contact: Griffin and Co. Inc., 500 Bergman Ave. (40203), Post Box 17347, Louisville, KY 40217, the United States. Tel: +1 (502) 6361 374; Fax: +1 (502) 6360 125



Waste digester for vermi-compost

Tat-G Corp., Australia, offers a large waste digester that employs worms to obtain compost from household and garden wastes. Tat-G Domestic comprises a small battery-powered pump for circulating fluids in the digester. The units inbuilt circuitry runs the pump twice a day and also shields the battery from excessive discharging and overcharging. The battery is charged by a small solar panel. Tat-G Domestic has an internal capacity of about 300 l and a digestion rate of around 68 kg per week. The 1.6 0.85 0.7 m unit is suitable for processing lawn clippings along with household organic waste.

Contact: Tat-G Corp., Australia. Tel: +61 (3) 5824 2755; Fax: +61 (3) 5824 2766;

ReNew, Issue 82, January-March 2003

Organic manure

Rajshree Sugars and Chemicals Ltd., India, has set up a bio-composting system to treat the spent-wash from its distillery using press mud obtained from sugar milling. A humus-rich manure is obtained by solid aerobic composting method, catalysed by a patented microbial starter. This manure has a sizeable quantity of secondary nutrients and micronutrients in addition to macronutrients. Available under the brand name Green Plus, this manure has been tested on various crops such as sugar cane, paddy, maize, tea, potato, coffee, banana, papaya, etc.

Contact: Rajshree Sugars and Chemicals Ltd., The Uffizi, 338, Avanashi Road, Coimbatore 641 004, Tamil Nadu, India. Tel: +91 (422) 574 856/579 282; Fax: +91 (422) 577 929; 


Solid-phase chemical recovery

Dewan Kraft Systems P. Ltd., India, is offering a solid-phase chemical recovery system, which is based on patented tunnel reactor technology, for pulp mills. Tunnel reactor is an in-vessel composting unit that provides a fully enclosed, controllable environment for accelerated, aerobic digestion of organic matter, which generates a lot of heat.

Designed to maintain a high degree of biological activity in the thermophilic range, the tunnel reactor is divided into seven aeration zones. Organic matter is mixed along with concentrated black liquor and fed into the reactor. A series of diffusers, that are individually controllable, are present at the bottom of the reactor. A temperature feedback control unit automatically regulates the air flow, to maintain optimum biological activity. The system ensures that the material is subjected to the quickest route for drying. Key features of the tunnel reactor include:
  • Simple design;
  • Minimal investment;
  • No moving parts within the tunnel reactor;
  • Very low repair and maintenance costs; and
  • Low energy costs.
The dried material is then pyrolysed and ash used to recover the caustic.

Contact: Dewan Kraft Systems P. Ltd., N-127, Greater Kailash-1, New Delhi 110 048, India. Tel: +91 (11) 2647 0215; Fax: +91 (11) 2647 4646


New compost

Terracycle, the United States, has proposed a new process to compost food waste into soil. This extremely effective and environmentally friendly method seeks to recreate the natural composting system that occurs in the top six inches of the forest floor. Terracycles approach uses technology to replicate and enhance the natural process of recycling waste, particularly through the use of red worms. Key benefits of this process include lower land requirement than conventional composting methods, odourless and less labour-intensive. The resulting soil is superior to other brands on the market. For every 9 kg of soil, 18 kg of waste is prevented from ending up in landfills.

Website: www 

Alternative compost

In the United States, the Maryville Water Quality Control Department (MWQCD) and Harvest Farms have teamed up to produce a new compost product for use in home gardens and nurseries. The MWQCD method produces compost by mixing sludge and wood chips together, adding air periodically and keeping temperature inside the piles within a range of 57-71C. The process requires about 120 days, during which time the compost is tested thrice to ensure that it is free from harmful micro-organisms. The compost has been tested against other potting soils and has proved to be a much better product in terms of nutrients, in addition to helping fight diseases.

Website: www


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