VATIS Update Waste Management . Jul-Aug 2007

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Waste Management Jul-Aug 2007

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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ADB aids cooperation on hazardous waste management

Through a grant of US$400,000, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) will help Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal to improve their management of hazardous waste. The technical assistance project will help assess hazardous waste problems in these countries, draft policies to manage waste and report on the potential for private sector involvement. It is expected to help strengthen cooperation between the four countries through the sharing of knowledge and identifying ways for safely treating, transporting and disposing of hazardous waste, says ADB.

Problems associated with the management of hazardous waste vary in the four countries. Problems are only just emerging in Bhutan, which still boasts a pristine environment. As the country lacks institutional and legal frameworks, a system is needed to maintain public health. Nepal has undertaken many studies and participated in workshops on the issue, and the next step will be to develop policies under its Environmental Protection Act. Industrial pollution is a major environmental concern in Bangladesh. Although an Environment Act and Rules have been put in place, a clear strategy and policy are yet to be established.

India has a comprehensive regulatory and institutional framework, as well as technical guidelines to handle hazardous waste. However, more appropriate and modern disposal facilities are needed. The project will review regulations and look at ways for waste reuse and recycling. It will also design training on the preparation of waste inventories and the development of technical and procedural guidelines.


China closes several polluting companies

China, wrestling to control pollution as its economy booms, shut down 3,176 companies last year for environmental offences, according to the China Daily. Pollution sources in and around industrial parks and construction sites were targeted, said the newspaper, quoting the State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA). Last year, checks were made on 720,000 companies. Last year, China failed to meet its energy conservation and pollution control targets, the China Daily said. Chinas 30-year economic boom has left waterways and coastlines polluted by industrial and farm chemicals and domestic sewage. Towns are littered with garbage and construction waste, and its cities are enveloped in smog.


Sri Lankan cement maker to co-process industrial waste

The Sri Lankan unit of the cement manufacturer Holcim says its big, high-temperature kilns can be used to burn-off industrial waste, especially oil generated by ships. We are looking at how we can help Sri Lanka clean up its industrial waste, said Mr. Peter Spirig, Holcim Lanka Managing Director and CEO. Burning industrial waste oil can help save energy for the company and reduce net emissions into environment.

The capacity of our kiln to destroy all kinds of residues is virtually 100 per cent, said Mr. Spirig. Holcim Lanka has offered the use of its cement kilns to develop a sustainable industrial waste management system using cement kiln co-processing. Co-processing refers to the use of waste materials in industrial processes. Its main aim is not the final disposal of waste, but rather the substitution of raw material and primary fuel by waste. Cement kilns provide the high temperatures and long time required to dispose of hazardous waste. The technique, practised for more than 30 years, has shown that there is essentially no difference in emissions or product quality when hazardous waste is used to replace the fuels and ingredients needed to make cement clinker.

Sri Lanka is generating increasing amounts of industrial waste as the country industrializes and the population grows. However, it has no safe disposal system. Holcim Lanka is one of the firms short-listed by the Marine Pollution Prevention Authority (MPPA) in the bidding for the ship waste oil reception facility planned for Colombo port. The port needs a waste reception facility to handle about 10,000 metric tonnes a year, according to MPPA chairman Mr. Ranjith Kularatne.


India to press for stricter norms on ship-breaking

India refuses to be a dump yard for hazardous ships, and is planning to put this across to world players in the sector during the forthcoming inter-session working group meeting at the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in London this May. IMO is in the process of framing guidelines for the ship-breaking industry and will debate the draft international convention for the safe and environmentally sound recycling of ships at the meeting.

India is being over-cautious, in light of the recent controversies involving French warship Clemenceau and Norwegian Blue Lady daunting the sector. It will insist that in case a ship-breaking yard does not have the facility to treat a particular kind of hazardous waste contained in a ship headed for recycling, the onus of removing the hazardous waste should lie with the flag state. India has already sent its comments to IMO seeking that responsibilities of ship-owners and administrators of the flag state whose ships proceed for recycling be fixed.

At IMO, India will press for a legally acceptable demolition contract and deregistration of a ship from a ship seller, said Mr. Ajoy Chatterjee, Additional Director General (Engineering), Ministry of Shipping. As for the ship-breakers, the Iron Steel Scrap and Ship-breakers Association of India (ISSAI) will put forth their objection to the draft seeking that the ship seller, who would mostly be a third party, will supervise the entire recycling process.


Viet Nam sets up working group to deal with oil spills

In Viet Nam, the Minister of Natural Resources and Environment has set up a working group to seek the reasons, evaluate losses and deal with oil pollution in the nations coastal provinces. The working group has 15 members, led by Mr. Tran Hong Ha, Chief of the Environment Protection Agency. The group will work as an advisor to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment to deal with works associated with oil spills in coastal provinces in the past six months. It will also suggest solutions to detect, confront, and deal with the consequences, evaluate losses and compensation caused by oil spills.


A new waste disposal concept in Malaysia

Malaysias Kejuteraan Asas Jaya Sdn Bhd. has introduced a waste disposal concept that the country can implement in place of the conventional landfill. The Powerpack Waste Packing System, based on technology developed in Germany, separates the non-organic and organic waste and compacts them into bales, said Datuk M Yahya Hamid, Managing Director of the company.

The organic bales could be sold as fertilizer while the non-organic bales could be used for landfills or converted into energy bales for use by power plants, cement plants, etc. Powerpack system is environment-friendly, said Datuk Yahya Hamid. It does not produce any smoke or smell, is more efficient than an incinerator and can process 40 tonnes of waste per hour. The system does not need the waste to be segregated because the plant will do this.


Philippines moves to reduce air pollution in the capital

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in the Philippines is all set to kick-off an easy financing mechanism that will enable jeepney operators in Metro Manila to acquire new efficient engines for their vehicles. The DENR Secretary Mr. Angelo T. Reyes said the engine replacement scheme for jeepneys in Metro Manila is part of governments efforts to dramatically reduce air pollution, 70 per cent of which is generated by vehicular emissions.

Some 7,000 jeepney operators in Metro Manila are targeted as initial beneficiaries of the public utility vehicle (PUV) modernization programme that will enable drivers and operators of jeepneys to replace the engines with new and more efficient engines using a financing package arranged for them by the DENR. They can also buy an entirely new jeepney as a second option. The engine replacement scheme hopes to reduce by the end of 2010 the level of air pollution by at least 10 per cent through mitigation measures, Mr. Reyes said.


China to license junk collectors

Junk collectors of China, many of whom use flatbed tricycles to haul away recyclables from homes, may soon be required to get a business licence, as part of a move for more sophisticated approach to recycling. The regulation on resources recycling, which will come into effect on 1 May 2007, stipulates that scrap collectors numbering about 10 million should not only obtain a business licence, but also register with their local commerce bureaus, which is responsible for the recycling sector.

Scrap collectors who dont operate from a fixed place, but move from street to street and lane to lane, are worried that they might not qualify for a licence, a concern shared by some administrative officials as well. Some junk collectors say that those collectors who work in the same district could perhaps organize and form a group that operates under a single business licence. Some of the recyclers are, however, in favour of the licensing plan. For them, a licence will legalize their work, and they would no longer have to worry about being harassed by local administrators for working in an unregulated sector.



Nanotechnology process for tyre recycling

The results of the European Union Recycle Tyre Test has shown the tyre recycling technology from CBp Carbon Industries, Slovak Republic, to be the first totally integrated approach of thermal-mineral technologies that is both environmentally and economically viable. The technology allows for the economic upgrading of the raw carbonaceous
char, one of the by-products of the heating process, into a commercial substitute for carbon black, a main commodity for the rubber and plastics industries, and demonstrates clean operations that do not cause detrimental environmental impact.

Pyrolysis of scrap tyres has never been commercially successful mainly because of the poor quality of the heterogeneous nature of the carbon-rich pyrolysed by-product. Tests on the technology developed by CBp Carbon Industries Inc. showed that the crude pyro-carbon was refined and upgraded to functional grades of reinforcing black fillers, which can be substituted and blended with the standard commercial carbon black grades. The final EU Recycle Tyre accredited tests were from the CBp Carbon plant in Hungary which is being scaled up for higher capacity.

This process combines pyrolysis of used tyres with two proprietary technologies for upgrading the oils and char produced through pyrolysis. Pyrolysis efficiently and reliably reduces the tyres into three basic components: carbonaceous char, steel and volatiles. Another technology refines the char to produce a high-value commercial substitute for carbon black with properties that meet the demands of the rubber products industry producing. The third technology converts the volatiles first to synthesis gas and then to electricity.


Process for recycling of contaminated PVC

Ortech Corp., the United States, has received a patent on a method for recovering PVC from a material that contains PVC and one or more non-PVC components. The material is mixed with a plasticizer at a temperature of 100-200C, to get a PVC-to-plasticizer ratio that renders the mixture a liquid at that temperature. The liquid PVC-plasticizer can then be separated from the non-PVC component or components.


Promising recycling technologies for automotive foam

The Vehicle Recycling Partnership (VRP) programme is evaluating a process that could potentially divert 250,000 tonnes of post-consumer shredder residue foams from landfills annually. The VRP of the United States Council for Automotive Research composed of researchers from DaimlerChrysler AG, General Motors Corp. and Ford Motor Co. is evaluating a glycolysis process that converts post-consumer shredder residue foam into usable automotive foams. The process is one of many potentially promising recycling solutions for the remnants of end-of-life vehicles (ELVs). It addresses the unrecycled portion of ELVs that comprises the shredder residue that often ends up in landfills.

The method was developed by Troy Polymers Inc. and uses elevated temperatures to melt the foams into a new polyol, free of residual contaminants. This can be used to make new polyurethane foam. The foams derived from the companys tests were compared with the foam standards currently employed by the VRP partners, and demonstrated characteristics suitable for use in a number of flexible and rigid automotive foam applications.


Recycling technology for plastic bottles

Around 100 molecules of terephthalic acid (TPA) and ethylene glycol (EG) link alternately to form the structure of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) used for producing bottles. PET cannot be dissolved in acetone. However, when alcohol disrupts the ester bond between TPA and EG, EG easily loses its position to alcohol. This ester exchange reaction means that the chain of PET polymer shortens. This property is used for breaking down PET. The short chain of PET will easily dissolve in EG.

The AIES process developed by AIES Company of Japan for recycling plastic bottles is based on this chemistry. It breaks down PET into bis-2-hydroxyethyl terephthalate (BHET), which is monomer. PET is re-synthesized from BHET after thorough purification, a necessary step because a high-grade monomer is essential for the synthesis of long-chain polymers. The AIES process eliminates the dimethyl terephthalate step that is otherwise necessary in PET recycling.

Contact: AIES Company Ltd., 4-11-19, Ebara, Shinagawa-Ku, 142-0063 Tokyo, Japan. Tel: +81 (3) 3783 21 10; Fax: +81 (3) 3783 2199.


Recycling of polymer waste stream

Axion Recycling, a leading plastics recycling firm in the United Kingdom, says that the use of high-quality recycled polymers in new electronic and electrical goods provides three important benefits to manufacturers: reducing raw material costs, cutting emissions and boosting the green credentials. Axion has developed a unique recycling process to handle the polymer waste stream that is produced by the primary treatment of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE).

Mixed, contaminated, thick-walled plastics of all polymer types can be processed successfully into high quality recyclate suitable for reuse in injection moulding and extrusion processes. Typical sources of waste plastics targeted by Axion include refrigerator plastic fractions, mixed household WEEE, IT dismantling, CRT recycling, industrial plastics, end-of-life vehicles, waste rigid plastics from the food and beverage and chemical industries, etc. The facility cannot handle thin-walled (<1 mm) plastics and films, clinical waste, plastic bottles, mixed household waste plastics and PVC.

Axions Technical Director, Mr. Keith Freegard, says that more and more companies are recognising the benefits of using recycled material in new products, which offers savings in comparison to using virgin polymers. In addition, usage of recycled feedstock provides a 90 per cent saving in carbon dioxide emissions per tonne of raw material consumed.

Contact: Axion Recycling Limited, Errwood House, 212 Moss Lane, Bramhall, SK7 1BD, United Kingdom. Tel: +44 (161) 426 7731; Fax: +44 (161) 426 7732



WRAP trials WEEE recycling technologies

In the United Kingdom, research by the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) has found that separation and treatment to remove additives from waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) can be more commercially and environmentally beneficial than landfill. It also found that it was a better option than incineration with energy recovery, export for recycling and feedstock recycling options.

During the research into options for mixed WEEE polymers, two new brominated flame retardant (BFR) extraction methods were trialled with the conclusion that this technology could be commercially available in four years. The three-phase project was commissioned by WRAP and carried out by Axion Recycling. It tried two different extraction methods known as Creasolv and Centrevap. Although Creasolv was found to be more successful at removing BFR, both prove financially viable alternatives to landfill or incineration.


Process for waste plastic recycling

Wyoming University Research Corporation, the United States, has been granted patent on a process for decomposing waste plastic in a diluent such as hot oil through actions involving free radical precursor, such as polyvinyl chloride or polyurethane, at a relatively low temperature. The thermal decomposition (pyrolysis) reaction takes about one hour at 375C, and useable products such as distillate, coke and oil are recovered. The diluent may be recycled within the process.

In the process, the materials to be reacted are added or controlled so as to assure sufficient amounts of free radicals. These free radicals are included to initiate free radical chain depolymerization reactions known to unzip polymer structures. To avoid recombination and to further enhance the process, this reaction is accomplished in a diluent such as an oil. The process converts the polymeric structure of the waste plastic or plastics to smaller chemical molecules such as the monomeric units and related chemical structures. The process can be adapted to existing facilities.



Three-phase autoclave process

The VariClave three-phase process was developed by OnSite Sterilization LLC, the United States, to address multiple issues related to autoclave processing of regulated medical waste. In the first phase, steam is introduced into the chamber by gravity, displacing the air in the chamber and pre-heating the stainless steel shell and waste load. The steam pressure in the vessel is then increased to a minimum of 15 psig and temperature to 121C, and this condition is maintained for a period sufficient to kill any airborne pathogens (ABPs) that may be present. Finally, a vacuum is drawn on the vessel to remove any tramp air and prepare for Phase 2. The cycle is repeated twice for the red bag & sharps cycle and thrice for the red bag & suction canister cycle.

Phase 2 begins with the processing chamber under vacuum, into which steam is introduced, filling the chamber and interstitial spaces in the waste. Steam pressure and temperature are maintained at a minimum of 15 psig and 121C, respectively, for a period sufficient to heat and hold the waste for sterilization. The chamber pressure being vented to atmosphere signals the end of Phase 2. Phase 3 has been included as part of the cycle to prepare the bins and material to be safely removed from the chamber. It begins with the operation of the vacuum pump, which removes residual moisture from the chamber and the waste. After relieving the vacuum, fresh water is sprayed on the sides of the bins to cool them for safe removal. The cycle ends with a final operation of the vacuum pump to reset the door seal and remove any remaining moisture.

Contact: OnSite Sterilization LLC, 319 Commerce Court, Suite 103, Pottstown, PA 19464-3478, United States of America. Tel: +1 (610) 495 8214; Fax: +1 (610) 495 8215



Sterilizer for hospital waste

Panama Equipment Services, Pa-nama, offers an infectious waste processor for medical waste, pathological and infectious liquid wastes, and classified food waste, such as that from airplanes and ships. The machine is available in many sizes, models and configurations, all equipped with fully automatic controls and achieve 610 sterility with steam. The main features include:
  • There is no need for special autoclave bags, or pre-treatment of the waste.
  • No need for pre-shredding of infectious waste, as the fragmentation occurs inside the sealed vessel.
  • Liquids and gases remain locked inside the vessel until sterilization is complete nothing is vacuumed or pumped out in its infected state.
  • Waste is completely dehydrate the waste, regardless of its original water content.
  • All the hot condensate from the jacket is recycled, offering economical operation.
  • High level of sterilization owing to continuous agitation, not just disinfection.
  • No harmful emissions at normal operating temperature (121C).

Contact: Mr. Edilberto Rodriguez, Panama Equipment Services, Urb. Chanis, Calle 110-a, 364, Panama 6618-2163, Panama. Tel: +507 (224) 8779; Fax: +507 (224) 8779.


Medical waste reduction system

The Medical Waste Processor base model MD-1000, from Environmental Waste International Inc. in the United States, can treat 1,225 kg of biomedical waste per day. It consists of three main fully integrated process steps that are managed by smart feedback diagnostic control software. The output is landfill-ready, sterilized carbon residue. Units can be also be designed to handle larger volumes. Mass and volume reduction of waste to landfill is approximately 80 per cent.

Mixed medical waste is loaded without pre-processing on to the loading/ purge chamber, which is then sealed with an air lock shutter. The waste is automatically weighed and the oxygen is purged from the chamber with nitrogen gas. Nitrogen is generated on-site by a pressure swing adsorption system that extracts the gas from the ambient air. Once the purging and weighing cycle is completed, the waste is transferred to the reduction chamber where microwave energy is applied to the waste.

The smart software is calibrated for the required energy output to the mass of the waste established during the weighing cycle. It detects the thresholds of process completion, such as moisture depletion, and adjusts the magnetron energy requirements. The process temperature of 150C to 250C is stabilized throughout the reduction cycle until process completion. The nitrogen atmosphere blankets the reduction chamber, thus preventing the formation of oxidation by-products such as dioxins and furans. The gases are scrubbed for acid content with a sodium hydroxide scrubber and then vented to a thermal oxidation unit for final destruction.

After reduction cycle, the sterilized and reduced waste is fed to cooling chamber. The cooled waste goes to a heavy-duty grinder that further reduces the carbon including sharps into a uniform residue. The material is then filled in waste bags for disposal as municipal waste suitable for landfill.

Contact: Environmental Waste International Inc., 283 Station Street, Ajax, Ontario, L1S 1S3, United States of America. Tel: +1 (905) 686 8689; Fax: +1 (905) 428 8730




Bio-hazard sterilizer

The medical waste sterilizers, from the Dutch company Tuttnauer Europe B.V., employ a high-vacuum steam as the sterilization agent, operating at a pressure of up to 33 psi and a temperature of up to 137 C. The sterilization cycle is relatively short because of the autoclaves unique design and construction the entire cycle does not last more than about 50 minutes. The sterilizer can be mounted on the wall or in a pit, or can be built into a system or be free-standing. It is designed to dispose of infectious waste in an efficient, safe, environment-friendly and cost-effective manner, as per international standards.

The pressure vessel and jacket are constructed of heavy-duty stainless steel. The loading equipment is ergonomically designed for simple, safe and easy to use. The sterilizer control system uses a state-of-the-art microcomputer, guaranteeing high reliability and safe operation. The main phases and the machines actual parameters are displayed on the LCD panel during the process.

The high-vacuum method, achieved by evacuating the air with a vacuum pump combined with steam pulsing, substantially shortens the sterilization cycle. A 0.2 m HEPA filter is used to filter the air, which equalizes the vessel pressure. The residue, which is substantially less then the original volume, is sterile and may be discarded as municipal waste. The sterilizer system is available in a wide range of capacities starting from 25 litres.

Contact: Tuttnauer Europe B.V., Paardeweide 36, 4824 EH Breda, the Netherlands. Tel: +31 (76) 542 3510; Fax: +31 (76) 542 3540



Non-burn medical waste treatment

The 12-5 medical waste treatment systems, from the United Kingdoms 3Ts International Ltd., use proven technology that shreds, sterilizes and deodorize waste. The integrated and high-performance process needs only water, bleach and electricity. The 12-5 range offers eight different models in three types economy, stationary and mobile. The process is controlled by an intuitive touch-screen interface to simplify routine operator tasks, minimize manual processes and ensure safe operation around the clock, while requiring minimal technical skills.

The treatment is carried out in four stages. In the first stage, the waste (red bag waste need not be separated) is loaded into the system via cart-dump or conveyor belt. In the next stage, the waste is broken down into particulate debris by a high-performance grinder/shredder. Waste is rendered unrecognizable and volume is reduced up to 90 per cent. In the third stage, the waste is sprayed with sodium hypochlorite/water solution and moved by a screw conveyor into a rotating kill tank. Once thoroughly mixed with the solution, the waste undergoes a pressurization cycle, and is then sterilized and deodorized. In the last stage, the tank rotation reverses and treated waste moves via a conveyor belt into a compactor or standard dumpster.

Contact: 3Ts International Ltd., Unit 1 Oak House, Aylburton Business Centre, Stockwell Lane, Near Lydney, Gloucestershire GL15 6ST, United Kingdom.


Infectious waste treatment system

Lofta Hammer Holdings Ltd. in the United States has secured a patent on a system for treating infectious waste. The system includes an impactor coupled to a mixing drum that can be pressurized, an injector, a treatment fluid containing a substance that kills pathogenic organisms, and an air pump.

The impactor pulverizes the infectious waste by impact, after which the treatment fluid is injected into the infectious waste. In the mixing drum the pulverized waste and the treatment fluid get thoroughly mixed. The mixture is then held at a super-atmospheric pressure, using the air pump which surcharges air into the pressurizable drum. Under pressure within the drum, the treatment fluid is better absorbed by the pulverized waste. After treatment, the waste is moist and pulverized to a point where it is unrecognizable. After treatment, all the pathogenic organisms in the waste are killed, and the waste can then be disposed of as ordinary waste.



Nanotech solutions for environment clean-up

VeruTEK Technologies, the United Sates, has launched its S-ISCO and S-ESCO nanotechnology solutions for environmental remediation. The patent-pending solutions offer on-site remediation for environmental contamination from petroleum, chlorinated solvents, pesticides, herbicides, PCBs, dioxin and other toxic chemicals.

Coelution Technologies developed by VeruTEK provides safe, in situ treatment. By combining natural surfactants and oxidant chemistries in a manner that provides controlled dissolution and oxidation, VeruTEK scientists treat each waste site with designer remedies. This is the first approach that holistically treats soil, groundwater and soil gas contamination. The company claims that the technologies enable treatments that remove contaminants from soils, groundwater and soil vapour, even beneath existing houses and buildings.

Contact: Mr. Jim Carini, VeruTEK Technologies, 628-2 Hebron Ave., Suite 505, Glastonbury, CT 06033, United States of America. Tel: +1 (860) 633 4900; Fax: +1 (860) 633 6501




Dioxin treatment for incineration flue gas

Daewoo Engineering & Construction Co., the Republic of Korea, has developed an adsorption process to remove gaseous dioxin in incinerator exhaust, using circulating atomized activated carbon in a second bag-filter. The activated carbon cake that forms on the filter can then be disposed off according to environmental regulations in force.

The process essentially has the following steps: Incinerator Semi-dry chemical reactor Primary bag filters Secondary bag filters Induced blower Stack. It can be used in all applications that require removal of dioxin.

Contact: Mr. Kon Yoon, Executive Director, Daewoo Engineering & Construction Co. Ltd., C.P.O Box 8269, Seoul 100714, Republic of Korea. Tel: +82 (2) 22 88 3114; Fax: +82 (2) 2288 3368



Removal of dispersed, dissolved hydrocarbons

In response to increasing produced water volume combined with stricter discharge legislation, ProSep Technologies, the United States, offers the CTour process. The process is claimed to be the only technology that can cost-effectively remove both dispersed and dissolved hydrocarbons from large volumes of produced water. The CTour process was originally developed by a consortium of companies in Norway at the RF-Rogaland Research Institute and the Norsk Hydro Research Centre.

Performance results of the CTour process have shown a reduction of the oil content in produced water by as much as 80-95 per cent over the currently acceptable industry performance standards. The process has demonstrated a particularly effective ability to remove polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), dispersed oil and phenols. It can yield a residual oil discharge as low as 2-3 ppm, while a hydrocyclone/ degasser-float cell configuration yields an average discharge concentration of 25 ppm. The CTour process can be used to treat large volumes of produced water, while providing a low weight, height, footprint, CAPEX and OPEX. It yields little or no waste products, and reduces overall chemical use.

The principle behind CTour process is based on the solvent extraction process utilizing liquid condensate, often collected from the gas compression train scrubbers. If a sufficient quantity of condensate with the composition and phase properties apt for the process conditions is not available, some process adjustments may need to be made. The process has proven to be a viable, reliable and efficient means of removing dispersed and dissolved hydrocarbons in produced water that has been embraced by the Norwegian producers. By the end of 2007, at least two-thirds of the produced water volumes in Norway would be treated by CTour process.

Contact: Mr. John B. Sabey, Vice President (Business Development), ProSep Technologies Inc., Houston, Texas, USA.




MBR pilot plant for textile wastewater treatment

In Italy, an experimental study was carried out by Publiacqua SpA and University of Florence to evaluate the possibility of upgrading the conventional activated sludge treatment (AST) plant of Seano in Prato. The pilot plant, which treats municipal and textile wastewater, uses membrane bioreactor (MBR) technology. The MBR plant, set up within Seano plant, was fed with mixed municipal-industrial wastewater during the first experimental period and with pure industrial wastewater in the second. Performances and operation of the MBR were evaluated in terms of permeate characteristics and variability (COD, colour, surfactants, total N and P) and other operational parameters (sludge growth and observed yield).

According to the experimental results the MBR permeate quality was always superior to the AST plant and it was suitable for industrial reuse in the textile district of the Prato area. Respirometric tests provided a modified IWA ASM1 model, which fits very well the experimental data and can be used for the design and monitoring of a full-scale MBR pilot plant.

Contact: Ms. Cecilia Lubello, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Florence, Via Santa Marta 3, 50139 Florence, Italy.



BOD/COD removal by pressure flotation

Mitsui Mining Company, Japan, has developed the Shusui CF process to separate suspended solids and oil drops in wastewater by pressure flotation method. The separation process achieves appreciable removal of insoluble BOD and COD. Raw water is pressurized with pump and is introduced into line mixer. In the mixer, a specially designed agitating impeller ensures rapid solid-liquid mix and air dissolution. The addition of a coagulant thereafter coarsens pollutant particles. When pressure is reduced, the air dissolved in raw water changes to scores of micro-bubbles, which separate the solid contents in the flotation tank. These solids are compressed, concentrated and discharged.

Key features of the process include:
  • Considerable reduction of suspended solids, and reduction in oil content to below 1 mg/litre;
  • Compact design to lower erection cost and to reduce flotation tank size; and
  • Wide applicability to treat all types of industrial wastewater and sewage sludge.

Contact: Mitsui Mining Co. Ltd., 3-3, Toyosu 3-chome, Koto-ku, Tokyo 135-6007, Japan. Tel: +81 (3) 5560 2902; Fax: +81 (3) 5560 2913



Anaerobic removal of sulphur compounds

The Dutch Organization for Applied Scientific Research (Nederlandse Organisatie Voor Toegepast Natuurwetenschappelijk Onderzoek) has secured a United States patent on a method for anaerobic removal of a sulphur compound from wastewater, especially wastewater polluted with sulphates in higher concentrations (more than 500 g/m3).

The method consists of the following steps:
  • Feeding the wastewater to an anaerobic digestion system
  • Conversion of the sulphur compound in the digestion system to a sulphide
  • Circulating the sulphide-laden effluent in a by-pass channel, where the sulphide is stripped from the effluent by a stripper system
  • Removing the sulphide by contacting with a transporter gas and
  • Converting the sulphide to sulphur in a closed loop absorber system, using a liquid absorbent, which is a regenerable redox liquor with a pH-value of about 6.5.

Passing the absorbant liquid in a closed loop through the absorber system provides an effective way of preventing the emission of carbon dioxide.


Plasma treatment of chemical waste

Environmental Systems and Treatments (EST), an Israeli company, has developed a plasma-based process to effectively tackle chemical wastes in chemical and pharmaceutical industries right at the source. The device that the company has developed is claimed to almost fully destroy the waste, converting it into carbon dioxide (CO2) and water. CO2 is released into the atmosphere via a vent, or incorporated into materials that can be recycled by the industry.

In ESTs chemical waste elimination system, liquid or gas waste is pumped into the system and then treated by a narrow high-powered plasma beam generated inside the reactor. This produces heat in the range of 2,000 to 4,500 C, breaking apart the molecular bonds of the waste compounds. After rapid cooling and cleaning, nothing but harmless gaseous products are left, in line with international standards. According to the company, 99.99 per cent of the waste is destroyed. Results from an independent lab show that the system breaks, for example, pesticide molecules down to a rate of 0.00014 kg/hour in the outgoing vent, compared with the regulation 2 kg/hour (organic solvent), while methyl chloride is broken down to 0.0136 kg/hour compared with the regulation of 0.1 kg/hour.

The four pilot operations carried out are reported to be successful. At present, the system only disposes of the waste. In future, however, by changing the machine parameters it might also be able to break down halogenated waste such as methyl bromide for recovering valuable halogen acids such as bromic acid.


Super high-rate anammox reactor

In Japan, researchers from the graduate engineering schools of the Hokkaido University and Hiroshima University have studied the anaerobic anammox (ammonium oxidation) process, which is a new efficient and cost-effective method of ammonium removal from wastewater. Under stringent anoxic condition, ammonium is directly oxidized to nitrogen gas with nitrite as electron acceptor. However, it is extremely difficult to cultivate anammox bacteria due to their low growth rate. This suggests that a rapid and efficient start-up of anammox process is the key to practical applications.

To screen suitable seeding sludge with high anammox potential, a real-time quantitative PCR assay with newly designed primers has been developed. Thereafter, the seeding sludge with high abundance of anammox bacteria (1.7  108 copies/mg-dry weight) was selected and inoculated into an upflow anaerobic biofilters (UABs). The UABs were operated for more than a year and the highest nitrogen removal rate of 24.0 kg-N m-3 day-1 was attained. In addition, the ecophysiology of anammox bacteria (spatial distribution and in situ activity) in biofilms was analysed. The measurement clearly showed successive vertical zonation of partial nitrification (NH4+ to NO2-), anammox reaction and denitrification on the biofilm in the UAB. This agreed with the spatial distribution of corresponding bacterial populations in the biofilm.

Contact: Mr. Ikuo Tsushima, Urban & Environmental Engineering Department, Graduate School of Engineering, Hokkaido University, North-13, West-8, Sapporo 060-8628, Japan.



Brewing energy from beer wastewater

In Australia, a joint project between Advanced Wastewater Management Centre (AWMC) of the University of Queensland (UQ), Fosters and Belgiums University of Ghent to turn beer wastewater into electricity has won A$140,000 from the Sustainable Energy Innovation Fund of the Queensland Government.

Dr. Korneel Rabaey, AWMC post-doctoral research fellow explained the technology worked by creating a microbial fuel cell, which feeds continuously on the organics in the brewery wastewater, turning it into electricity. The process also generates clean water and renewable carbon dioxide. The technology believed to be a world first is for small to medium size operations and could be used across a number of food, beverage and manufacturing industries. Professor Jrg Keller, AWMCs Director, said the team is achieving good progress with a 10 litre prototype, with plans to have a pilot-scale model up and running in September.


Effluent with heavy metals treated using iron oxide catalyst

The Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Research, the Republic of Korea, has received a United States patent on a method for treating acidic (ph ~1.0) wastewater containing heavy metals Cu, Fe, Ni, Cr or Zn employing a used iron oxide catalyst. The method consists of: adding the used iron oxide catalyst containing at least 70 per cent magnetite to the wastewater at a weight ratio of 1:0.05; stirring the wastewater mixed with the catalyst in a stirrer at 60 rpm for 15 min; and effecting a solid-liquid separation, using a magnet for adsorption and removal of the heavy metals.

The catalyst used in the method is a strongly magnetic iron oxide catalyst used in the synthesis process of styrene monomer. The method is suitable for wastewater containing heavy metals such as metal plating wastewater or mine backwater.



New petroleum-degrading bacteria found in tar pit

Bacteria inhabiting the Rancho La Brea tar pits in Hancock Park, Los Angeles, live on substances contained in asphalt, report scientists from the University of California in Riverside, the United States. The bacteria, trapped in soil that was mixed with heavy oil nearly 28,000 years ago, are uniquely adapted to the pits oil and natural asphalt, and contain three previously unknown classes of enzymes that can break down petroleum products, say the researchers. It is clear that these living organisms can survive in heavy oil mixtures containing many highly toxic chemicals. Moreover, these bacteria survive with no water and little or no oxygen, said Dr. Jong-Shik Kim, a researcher in the Department of Environmental Sciences, who initiated the study.

The bacteria and their enzymes have potential application for bioremediation (cleaning oil spills), medical treatments (new medicines), alternative energy (biofuels), enhanced oil recovery and industrial applications (biotechnology/biochemicals). Dr. Kim and his advisor, Dr. David Crowley, used DNA-based methods to identify the new bacteria as well as the DNA that encodes the three classes of petroleum-degrading enzymes. Most of the more than 200 species of micro-organisms the researchers identified represent new branches in the tree of life, some being classified as new families of bacterial species. The researchers found that the closest relatives of many of the bacterial families are able to survive in high salt, toxic and even radioactive environments.

To identify the bacteria and their enzymes, the scientists analysed the DNA of the bacteria extracted. Next in their research, they plan to perform a thorough, quantitative and qualitative assessment of the bacteria in the tar pits to identify genes that may have application for petroleum processing, oil recovery and biotechnology.


Bioslurping technology in for soil remediation

Samsung Engineering in the Republic of Korea has developed a tech-nology package that consists of bioslurping process for soil remediation and a diagnostic regime for determining whether the soil is suitable for applying the process. For diagnostics, a DNA probe is used for the complex-hybridization. An enhanced DNA extraction method was created, and the database of extracted DNA was established as reference for diagnostics. Bioslurping is a treatment system for both soil and ground water.

Biological characteristics of contaminated sites must be determined prior to the application of biological restoration technique, as all bioremediation techniques do not suit all sites. A DNA chip for the purpose was developed through isolating different micro-organisms in different soils and developing diagnostic techniques for them. The newly developed DNA chip is an oligo chip designed to overcome the limitations of cDNA chip. It provides more accurate results, as it can distinguish between gene isoform, sub-family and spliced variants, besides minimizing the probability of cross-hybridization between genes. Then, based on the biological characteristics diagnosed by the DNA chip, the technology is applied.

Contact: Samsung Engineering Ltd., Samsung SEI Tower 467-14, Dokok 2-dong, Kangnam-gu, Seoul, Republic of Korea. Tel: +82 (2) 3458 3000; Fax: +82 (2) 3458 4048



New strategy for bioremediation of cDCE and VC

In the United States, a group of researchers from Chevron Energy and Technology Co., University of South Florida and Stanford University has explored a new strategy for the remediating a sulphidogenic ground water site contaminated with cis-dichloroethene (cDCE) and vinyl chloride (VC). The strategy consists of amending the ground water with sodium propionate solution using a pair of recirculation wells to distribute the amendment.

In the treatment zone thus created, dechlorination and sulphate reduction started within 10 and 4 days, respectively, after propionate amendment began. By the end of the two months of continuous operation, the treatment converted about 1,000 g/ litre of cDCE nearly stoichiometrically into ethene, with only very low concentrations of VC remaining. More than 90 per cent of chlorinated ethenes were removed as the ground water travelled from one well to the other in a travel time of 1-2 weeks. Near-complete removal of 250 mg/litre sulphate accompanied the rapid dechlorination, though no methanogenesis was observed.

Aquifer clogging near the propionate injection wells was noticed about 40 days after propionate amendment. This, the researchers think, could be caused by the growth of sulphate-reducing bacteria and/or the formation of insoluble metal sulphides. However, pulsed application of the propionate solution mitigated the clogging.


Advanced bioremediation technology

The environmental consulting firm BEM Systems, the United States, has carried out accelerated bioremediation to complete in 11 months what had been projected as a 28-year clean-up of a highly contaminated site at a service station on Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland. The in situ clean-up used the ORC Advanced, created by Regenesis Bioremediation Products, to eliminate high concentrations of petroleum hydrocarbons that had resisted earlier clean-up attempts with conventional technologies.

The five-acre site had several hot spots of concentrated contamination. Dissolved contaminants had penetrated deep into the ground water, forming a plume that covered a very large area. Levels of benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylenes (BTEX) and methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) in the ground water tested as high as 60,000 parts per billion.

BEM used an aggressive, yet cost-effective, accelerated approach. It employed ORC Advanced, an environmentally benign oxygen-releasing compound. The formula has a high oxygen content of 17 per cent by weight. The contamination site was excavated and 2,180 tonnes of soil removed. The backfill was treated with about 227 kg of ORC Advanced in powder form to stimulate bioremediation in the soil. Then, nearly 12 tonnes of ORC Advanced slurry was injected into and across the plume area in a grid pattern. As the compound steadily released additional oxygen into soil and ground water over the following months, it speeded up the growth of certain aerobic microbes, which converted the soil contaminants into harmless products such as ethane, water and carbon dioxide.

Contact: Ms. Sharon Stecker, Principal & Programme Manager, BEM Systems Inc., #100 Passaic Avenue, Chatham, New Jersey, NJ 07928, United States America. Tel: +1 (908) 598 2600; Fax: +1 (908) 598 2622.


Integrated anaerobic/aerobic bioprocess

Mr. George A. Ehlers and Mr. Peter D. Rose of Rhodes University, South Africa, investigated biodegradation of chlorinated phenol in an aerobic/ anaerobic process configuration, using linked anaerobic and aerobic bioreactors. The researchers studied this bioremediation strategy initially in a two-reactor system.

In the anaerobic section, the transformation of 2,4,6-trichlorophenol (2,4,6-TCP) to lesser-chlorinated metabolites occurred during reductive dechlorination under sulphate-reducing conditions. The anaerobic phase also desorbed and mobilized 2,4,6-TCP in soils. In the aerobic compartment, biodegradation of the pollutant and metabolites 2,4-dichlorophenol, 4-chlorophenol, and phenol was effected by immobilized white-rot fungi. Integration of these two biodegradation processes achieved higher than 99 per cent removal of 2,4,6-TCP by means of fungal degradation of metabolites produced in the dechlorination stage. Acidic effluent from the fungal reactor inhibited sulphate reduction and dechlorination to the anaerobic reactor and needed pH correction.


Technology for in-situ sediment treatment

National Water Research Institute of Canada has commercialized an in-situ treatment technology for the remediation of aquatic and marine sediments. The Limnofix in-situ sediment treatment (LIST) process uses specially designed equipment to inject certain chemicals directly into the polluted sediments to enhance bacterial activity and thereby promote contaminant degradation. LIST can be used for the biodegradation of simple organic contaminants like polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, benzene, toluene and xylenes, and petroleum hydrocarbons.

The process involves three steps:
  • An investigation to determine the type and concentration of chemicals essential to treat the pollutants. This involves bench-scale and pilot-scale tests.
  • A material handling system to prepare the chemical mixtures and deliver them to the site.
  • An injection system to directly introduce the chemical mixtures into the sediments.

Contact: Mr. Tom Murphy, National Water Research Institute, # 867 Lakeshore Road, P.O. Box 5050, Burlington, ON L7R 4A6, Canada. Tel: +1 (905) 319 6900; Fax: +1 (905) 336 8901.

Hydrogen release product for bioremediation

Regenesis Bioremediation Products Ltd., the United States, has introduced a new in-situ remediation technology, Hydrogen Release Compound (HRC) AdvancedTM, to enhance the biodegradation of a wide range of chlorinated contaminants through enhanced product distribution and at a significantly lower cost than other similar approaches. In particular, this new molecule can be effective in treating: industrial degreasers, such as PCE, TCA and their breakdown products; chlorofluorocarbons; chloroform; carbon tetrachloride; methylene chloride; and many types of pesticides, dyes and explosives.

The new molecular structure of HRC Advanced offers special features that could be critical to successful in-situ treatment. The new components of the product offer improved bioremediation performance, using staged hydrogen release, a high-volume microemulsion application, as well as enhanced wide-area, sub-surface distribution. HRC Advanced is typically injected into saturated soil, where it produces a controlled release of lactic acid, the fermentation of which by naturally occurring soil bacteria generates hydrogen. The added hydrogen sharply accelerates a series of natural anaerobic biodegradation processes (such as reductive dechlorination) to reduce the target contaminants into harmless products such as ethene and ethane.

To ensure maximum sub-surface distribution, HRC Advanced is usually mixed with water on site into a thin, high-volume microemulsion that can be pumped throughout the pore space of an aquifer. This greatly increases contaminant contact a key to enhanced biodegradation success. The on-site generation of the high-volume microemulsion also forms micelles, which induces wide-area distribution in the soil/ground water matrix.

Contact: Regenesis Bioremediation Products Ltd., 1011 Calle Sombra, San Clemente, California, CA 92673, United States of America. Tel: +1 (949) 248 0399; Fax: +1 (949) 443 3140




Catalyst for exhaust gas purification

In Japan, the Materials Research Institute for Sustainable Development has produced a highly porous platinum-alumina cryogel catalyst for exhaust gas purification. The catalyst is reported to have intense activity and superior thermal stability. The reaction temperature of this catalyst is lower by about 100C than that of conventional catalysts, while the thermal resistance has been improved to about 200C. The catalyst, when used with the low-cost aluminium hydroxide as the starting material and a low-cost and simple process like freeze-drying, is expected to be advantageous in several applications. Contact: Dr. T. Osaki, Materials Research Institute for Sustainable Development, AIST Chubu, 2266-98, Anagahora, Shimo-shidami, Moriyama-ku, Nagoya, Aichi 463-8560, Japan.


Carbon dioxide trap to recycle pollutants

A new technology that could drastically reduce the amount of pollution emitted by a range of industrial processes has received the Brian Mercer Award for Innovation from the United Kingdoms Royal Society. It traps carbon dioxide and other pollutants so they can be removed and, where possible, recycled back into the production process. Although its first applications are most likely to be in the beverage industry, the technology could find uses in other areas, such as removing benzene from petrol vapour at filling stations.

The technology uses nano-porous fibres that have tiny pores less than 1000th of the width of a human hair and contain materials that trap volatile hydrocarbons and other gases so they can be removed from the air flow. Early trials of the technology, developed by Dr. Semali Perera and Dr. Chin Chih Tai at the University of Bath, the United Kingdom, have shown that it uses less than five per cent of the energy needed by the cleaning processes employed currently used in industry.

Devices using the technology could be tailored to remove or recycle a diverse range of gases by varying the composition of fibres employed. Because the fibres can be spun with a high surface area to volume ratio, these devices have superior efficiency and can be constructed in compact configurations making them suitable for applications in which space is a constraint.


Decomposition system for ozone in waste gases

Nippon Shokubai Co., Japan, has developed a system that efficiently decomposes ozone in the waste gas using a metallic oxide catalyst. The catalyst is wear-resistant and free from hazards of combustion and explosion. As the ozone decomposing reaction using the catalyst performs even at low temperatures, the system can decompose waste ozone (low to high concentration) for a long time at low cost.

The salient features of the system are:
  • Compact size;
  • Low installation cost and economical running cost;
  • Simple operation and easy maintenance;
  • Long catalyst life; and
  • A large opening ratio and low pressure drop due to honeycomb structure.

The system applications include air cleaner (room, car and garbage deodorization), ozone sterilizer, high-concentration ozone treatment, ozonizer, semiconductor manufacturing process, as well as potable water and sewage water treatment.

Contact: Nippon Shokubai Co. Ltd., Kogin Building, 4-1-1 Koraibashi, Chuo-ku, Osaka 541-0043, Japan.



Filtration of CO2 from waste gases

Dr. Saikat Mazumder, of Shell International Exploration and Production BV in the Netherlands, has developed a process that filters carbon dioxide (CO2) out of waste gases when passed through coal seams in the ground while at the same time releasing methane (CH4) gas. Dr. Mazumders Enhanced Coal-bed Methane process involves a measuring technique based on CT scans that helps in understanding the pattern of cracks in the rocks. A detailed understanding the network of cracks is essential to the optimization of the process, and to know how coal retains and stores some fluids and gasses while allowing others to pass through.

CO2 storage in the ground is being considered increasingly more often in order to realize the climate and energy objectives. Dr. Mazumder has found predictable routes of the underground highways along which gases like CO2 and CH4 moves. His study has also found that coal is highly suitable for filtering CO2 out of waste gases and storing it. As part of the study, he experimented with waste gas and pure CO2 to determine the uptake capacity of single and multi-component gases.

In both wet and dry experiments, CO2 was absorbed while CH4 was released. Since the production of CH4 in a coal seam can vary over the course of time, Dr. Mazumder developed two estimating methods to gain a better understanding. He found that a considerable quantity of CO2 could be removed from waste gases by allowing it to be adsorbed onto coal under high-pressure. The injection of waste gases into coal seams could be applied to filter out CO2 on an industrial scale and to retain it. A preliminary study into the decrease in porosity and permeability as a consequence of swelling of coal due to the injection of CO2 revealed that the decrease in the permeability could pose injection problems in the area of the well into which CO2 is injected.


Selective catalytic NOx removal system

Hitachi of Japan has developed a selective catalytic reduction (SCR) process, which employs ammonia to decompose NOx into harmless nitrogen and water. Ammonia gas from the feed equipment, diluted with air, is injected into the flue gas. This mixture is then fed into the reactor, which reduces NOx in the gas on the catalyst surface.

Hitachi can deliver an optimized system for any kind of fuel such as coal, oil or gas:
  • High dust application for flue gas from coal- and oil-fired furnaces;
  • After DeSOx application for flue gas from coal-fired furnace;
  • Heat recovery steam generation application for gas turbine; and
  • Waste incinerator application.
    The systems use Hitachi-made plate catalysts based on titanium dioxide. These catalysts have many useful features such as:
  • High activity and long life;
  • High erosion resistance for dust;
  • Less dust plugging;
  • Low pressure loss; and
  • Compact reactor by multilayer catalyst stacking.


New technology for dry scrubbing

KleanAire Technology LLC in the United States has introduced a continuous dry filtration system which eliminates fugitive emissions that occur during filter cleaning cycles, causing reduction in system efficiency. This new system uses baking soda and other alkaloids to remove harmful pollutants such as acids, heavy metals, carbon dioxide and particulates.

The patented KAT continuous dry scrubbing technology applies the principle of boundary layer propulsion to seek a balance between a quietly operating fan and high pressures crucial to effective dry filter systems employed in indoor environments. Discovered in the early 1900s, boundary layer is an attraction between air and liquid to a solid surface. At present, the boundary layer is studied as a drag effect on a moving object such as an airplane wing. KATs propulsion company KineticAire, uses this drag effect to move air or liquid without any turbulence caused by pitched blades in blowers, pumps or turbines. This method produces a quiet, powerful and energy-efficient propulsion system. The solid disk boundary layer turbine of KineticAire offers a three-fold benefit yielding more pressure and flow while using up 25 per cent less power than the pitched blade technology.

With a proven ability of removing pollutants and improved propulsion,
KlearAire combined these technologies into an indoor air scrubber. The indoor air scrubber has been tested and found to be effective in removing various chemicals, biological media such as mould, heavy metals, dust and odours within an attractive and quiet cartridge system.

Contact: KleanAire Technology LLC., 308 Hancock Street, Bay St. Louis, MS 9520, United States of America. Tel: +1 (228) 424 7803; Fax: +1 (228) 466 6035.



Biotreatment of Industrial Effluents

This book is a single source of information on treatment procedures using biochemical means for all types of solid, liquid and gaseous contaminants generated by various chemical and allied industries. The topics covered include the treatment of gaseous, liquid and solid waste from a large number of chemical and allied industries that include dye stuff, chemical, alcohol, food processing, pesticide, pharmaceuticals, paint, etc. Aerobic and anaerobic reactors and modelling and simulation of waste treatment systems are also discussed.

Industrial Waste Treatment Handbook

Industrial Waste Treatment Handbook provides the most reliable methodology for identifying which waste types are produced from particular industrial processes and how they can be treated. It explains the basic mechanisms by which pollutants become dissolved or become suspended in water or air, how different treatment processes work, how they can be optimized, and the efficient method for selecting candidate treatment processes. This book also illustrates approaches to solve environmental quality problems and the step-by-step design of facilities.

For the above two books, contact: Customer Service Department, Elsevier B.V., 3 Killiney Road #08-01, Winsland House I, Singapore 239519. Tel: +65 6349 0222; Fax: +65 6733 1510


Chemical Water and Wastewater Treatment IX

Like others in the Chemical Water and Wastewater Treatment series, this book too provides information and technical solutions to treating chemical effluents. It is the outcome of collective experience and know-how exchanged between experts in the field of water technology from all over the world. The series provides authoritative coverage of the major current developments in the chemical treatment of wastewater and water, and related problems such as sludge production, as well as properties, and the reuse of chemicals and chemically-treated waters and sludges.

Contact: IWA Publishing, Alliance House, 12 Caxton Street, London SW1H 0QS, United Kingdom. Tel: +44 (20) 7654 5500; Fax: +44 (20) 7654 5555.


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