VATIS Update Waste Management . Jul-Aug 2009

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Waste Management Jul-Aug 2009

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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Unparalleled use of DDT worries experts

A panel of experts and citizens convened to review recent studies on the link between DDT and human health expressed concern that the current practice of spraying the pesticide indoors to fight malaria is leading to unprecedented and insufficiently monitored levels of exposure to it. Although DDT has been largely abandoned as an agricultural pesticide worldwide, its use to combat malaria was endorsed in 2006 by the World Health Organization (WHO). According to WHO, in 2006 alone there were 247 million cases of and 880,000 deaths from malaria, most of which were of young children in Africa.

In regions where malaria is endemic, DDT is now sprayed inside buildings and homes to repel and kill the mosquitoes that spread the disease. This is being done despite a paucity of data on the human health impacts of exposure to the chemical at such high levels, according to the experts from fields ranging from environmental health to cancer biology. Following a review of nearly 500 epidemiological studies, the researchers developed a consensus statement calling for increased efforts to reduce exposure to DDT, to understand the health effects of exposure to DDT, and to develop alternatives to using DDT so that other methods could ultimately be relied upon for malaria control.

Lead author Dr. Brenda Eskenazi, Professor of Epidemiology at the University of California Berkeley, the United States, said: We know DDT can save lives by repelling and killing disease-spreading mosquitoes. But evidence suggests that people living in areas where DDT is used are exposed to very high levels of the pesticide. The only published studies on health effects conducted in these populations have shown profound effects on male fertility. While calling for more research on the health of populations where indoor residual spraying is occurring, she emphasized that DDT should be the last resort against malaria rather than the first line of defence.

Greenpeace releases Guide to Greener Electronics

The Netherlands-based Greenpeace an international non-governmental organization well known for its work on protection and conservation of the environment has released its Guide to Greener Electronics that focuses on e-waste. According to the Guide, Nokia and Samsung rank at the top positions internationally, while Wipro Infotech are among the top five green brands in the world and named the top Green Brand of India.

The Guide recognized Sony as the greenest console brands, because Sony consoles are more friendly to environment than that of Microsoft and Nintendo Sony products are 40 per cent more environmentally friendly than Microsofts, while 50 per cent greener that Nintendos products. However, the Guide commended Nintendo for banning the use of phthalates, and monitoring its use of antimony and beryllium.

Greenpeace has praised Apple for reducing the use of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and brominated flame retardants (BFRs) in its products, but Philips, according to Greenpeace, has been very impressive in the war against e-waste. The Guide has accorded a star to Philips and the 47,000 people who sent e-mails to the company, as the company jumped from 15th to 4th place in one go. However, companies such as HP, Lenovo and Dell have been named in the Guide for their failure to keep up their promises to eliminate PVC and BFRs from their products by the end of the year.

Nine POPs listed under Stockholm Convention

Nine persistent organic pollutants (POPs) were identified under the Stockholm Convention, during the recent Conference of the Parties (COP) in which over 160 governments took practical decisions that will strengthen the global effort to eradicate some of the most toxic chemicals known. For the first time, COP was amended to include nine new chemicals. Many of these are still widely in use as pesticides, flame retardants and in many other commercial uses.

The Conference also unanimously adopted a decision for collaboration between the Stockholm Convention and its sister treaties on hazardous chemicals and wastes, the Rotterdam and Basel Conventions. This will gather pace during the Special Session of the United Nations Environment Programmes Governing Council/Global Ministers Environment Forum in February 2010, which will be followed immediately by an Extraordinary COP. For the first time, the expanded Working Group will comprise the three chemicals and wastes treaties in sequential COPs.

A landmark decision reached was the endorsement of the DDT global partnership. While DDT is targeted for eventual elimination, the Convention recognizes that some countries will continue to use this pesticide to protect their citizens from diseases such as malaria. The PCB Elimination Network was also endorsed. Countries have intensified efforts to phase out polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) through a cooperative framework that supports the environmentally sound management and disposal of these harmful substances. The Network will be tasked with establishing key data as well as evaluating whether the use of PCBs is indeed declining.

OTBL aims to be Asias largest bioremediation firm

Having decided to join the race for a US$3 billion project to clean a huge oil spill in Kuwait from the 1991 Gulf War, Indias ONGC-TERI Biotech Ltd. (OTBL) has a plan to clock a top line of Rs 100 billion (US$2.1 billion) in the next three to four years. This would make it the largest bioremediation company in Asia engaged in the oil industry. OTBL is a joint venture between Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd. (ONGC) and The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI).

OTBL is talking with Indian and overseas oil companies to sell two of its main cleaning technologies bioremediation and anti-paraffin degrading bacterial consortium. The first technology is the one on the basis of which it has bid for the Kuwait contract. OTBL decided to participate in the bid after its bioremediation technology was successfully tested in a water body at Mehsana, the largest onshore asset of ONGC, to eliminate an oil spill.

Recyclable plastic bottles to be launched in China

The first batch of bottles made of recyclable plastics is expected to be launched in China soon, as the material passes the review of the relevant quality departments. Mr. Zou Zuye, the Deputy Director of China Packaging Federation, says that China produces about three million tonnes of plastic bottles each year, consuming about 18 million tonnes of oil. Mr. Zou adds that if all these plastic bottles were recycled after use, it would help to save a great deal of oil.

The production line of Beijing Incom Resources Recovery Company, the only company in China that has been approved to produce renewable plastic for food and beverage packages and been listed by the National Development and Reform Commission as a pilot enterprise for the recycling economy, is said to be able to process 50,000 tonnes of waste PET bottles each year. This accounts for one-third of Beijings total waste plastic bottles, and will yield 25,000 tonnes of recyclable plastic from these bottles.

Research on river pollution in Bangladesh

A recent research by Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) shows that the pollution level in the Buriganga, Balu and Shitalakshya, and most parts of the Turag rivers are so high that no living organism can survive in their waters. The three-year study found that some invertebrates and small organisms come to life in these rivers when water flow increases with the rains, but these life forms totally disappear in the dry season.

The researchers say the waters in these rivers are affected by industrial effluents, municipal sewage disposal, agro-chemicals and large amount of suspended sediments carried by upstream flow. The oxygen levels in Buriganga, the Tongi canal of Turag and a part of Norai is less than one per microgram. All species of local fish need the oxygen levels to be at least 4-6 per microgram to survive, affirms the study conducted by BUETs Water Resources Department.

During water quality assessment using bio-indicators method, the researchers collected samples thrice from the Chadnighat point of the Buriganga but twice failed to find any life form. Bio-indicators respond to the quality deterioration from multiple and varied pollution sources and thus provide an overall picture of water quality. The researchers collected samples those during the pre-monsoon and post-monsoon seasons and found that in the post-monsoon season, oxygen level increases slightly but not enough.

Waste segregation in force in Malaysia

Starting 1 June 2009, each household in Kuala Lumpur will be provided with two rubbish bins one for organic waste and the other for inorganic refuse by waste collection concessionaire Alam Flora. It will be compulsory for people to segregate their waste and deposit into appropriate bins. Failure to do show will result in their garbage being left uncollected.

The new ruling is part of the steps taken by the federal government to have a more orderly and effective management of waste and to encourage people to recycle. With the passing of the Solid Waste and Public Cleansing Management Act 2007, the local by-laws on garbage collection are being streamlined.

While the by-laws are apparently silent regarding the penalty aspect, it is still mandatory for the people to sort out their rubbish into the two categories. We have the right not to pick up the garbage when people dont separate their waste, but we are not out to punish but to educate them, Alam Floras CEO Mr. Zahri Abdul Ghani said. Educating people to separate their waste at source is the key to proper waste management, he said. All organic waste will be sent to a centre to be turned into fertilizer, while the inorganic waste would be sent to a recycling centre.

Indonesias waste management at cross-roads

According to statistics on Indonesias handling of solid wastes, compiled by the State Ministry for the Environment in 2008, around 13.6 million tonnes of waste is disposed of each year into landfill sites (TPAs) using open dumping systems. About 47 per cent of the TPAs do not have leachate treatment facilities; 52 per cent do not have leachate monitoring systems; and more than 60 per cent lack gas monitoring systems. That is, up to now Indonesia has left much of its harmful wastes in the nature.

With the passage of Law No. 18/2008 on Waste Management, however, improvements could be on the way. Under the regulation, municipal waste management activities are divided into two broad categories: waste reduction and handling/treatment. Waste reduction includes limiting waste production, reducing waste production at producer levels, and implementing reduce, reuse and recycle at consumer levels. Waste handling includes sorting, collection, transportation, treatment and final processing of wastes.

With some exceptions, the handling of specific waste types is carried out by the central government. Under the new waste regulation, every regency and municipality is required by 2009 to submit plans for the closure of TPAs, which must be implemented by 2013. However, not all regencies and municipalities have submitted these plans. Familiarizing the 450 administrations with the new regulation will be a large and expensive task, as many of these do not have the required technical or human resources.

Viet Nam focuses on industrial waste treatment

The Ministry of Natural Resources & Environment (MNRE) of Viet Nam wants all new factories to meet environmental standards and possess waste treatment facilities by 2010. The Environment Minister Mr. Pham Khoi Nguyen said the move would help alleviate the nations chronic development-linked pollution issues.

The Ministry expects more than half of the businesses to meet higher environmental standards. In 2008, the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) launched a road map for environmental protection up to 2020. Under the plan, enterprises in the fields of environmental services, technology products and natural resource management would be expanded, said Mr. Nguyen Van Tai, Director of the Viet Nam Institute for Industry Policy and Strategy. According to the Institutes survey, there are 2,000 environmental enterprises in 20 cities. Besides urban waste collection, these companies also specialize in pollution reduction.

Viet Nams environmental protection regulations are unclear, said Mr. Tai. Many of the industries use low-cost dirty technology, he said. Not only are environmental protection laws inadequate, penalties for violators are too light, said Mr. Phan Dang Tuat, a former director of the Institute. Government incentives are insufficient to encourage firms to be more environmentally aware, said Mr. Tuat.

HP adds recycling programme in India

Hewlett-Packard (HP) in India has extended its recycling programme to include consumers as well as the small and medium-sized businesses. Customers will now be able to drop off HP-branded technology equipment at HP service centres in 17 locations in 9 cities in India. Any HP printer, scanner, fax machine, notebook or PC, monitor, handheld devices or camera, and associated components such as cables, mice and keyboards will be accepted. After collection, the products will be consolidated, sorted and recycled in India.

In its subsequent phases, the programme will increase the number of drop-off points in those cities and include additional cities. Product take-back and recycling programmes form part of HPs end-of-life asset recovery services.

This year marks the 22nd anniversary of HPs reuse and recycling programme, which now serves customers in more than 50 countries, regions and territories. HP says it exceeded its objective to recycle 1 billion pounds (450,000 tonnes) of electronic products and supplies by the end of 2007. It has now set a new goal to recover an additional 450,000 tonnes for reuse and recycling by the end of 2010.


Adding waste plastic to biodiesel

Mechanical engineers at Iowa State University, Ames, the United States, have demonstrated in a new study that addition of waste plastic to biodiesel boosts the power output of the fuel. The study was conducted to find a way to dispose of trash and generate power under battlefield conditions.

Turning plastic into fuel is a way to get rid of garbage and generate electricity, said Dr. Song-Charng Kong, a co-author of the study. Dr. Kong and colleagues dissolved polystyrene a polymer used to make disposable plates and cups into biodiesel at concentrations of 2 to 20 per cent polystyrene by weight. A polystyrene cup will dissolve almost instantly in biodiesel, like a snowflake in water, Dr. Kong said, although the plastic doesnt break down as well in petroleum-based diesel and other liquid fuels.

Tests of the mixed fuel in a tractor engine used for electricity generation showed that as polystyrene concentrations increased to 5 per cent, power output increased at roughly the same rate. There was, however, a drop in output for plastic concentrations above 5 per cent. According to Dr. Kong, the change is due to the fuels increasing viscosity as more and more polystyrene is added.

New technology could boost tyre recycling

A new method of recycling old tyres to produce high-quality rubber powders for manufacturing new rubber products is under development in Australia. Its developers CSIRO and VR TEK Operations Pty. Ltd. are working together on a proof of concept and prototype that cuts old tyres into specific segments for reuse. The method, they report, is energy-efficient, economically viable and environmentally responsible, and they hope it will result in 50 per cent more tyres being recycled.

Importantly, this new process enables tyres to be recycled without metal contamination: a key reason for the low number of tyres being recycled. Dr. Barrie Finnin, CSIRO materials science and engineering scientist who is leading the development team, says, This is a very positive first step in a three-stage process. The next two stages will involve devulcanization and activation of rubber to produce the resultant high-quality rubber powders. The rubber powders, of 80-120 mesh size, could be used to produce new tyres, elasto-polymer-based rubber products, industrial insulation, road pavement, industrial and domestic flooring, or geo-textiles for retaining walls and embankments.

Pumping up the value of recycled plastics

Hewlett-Packard (HP), based in the United States, and the Lavergne Group, from Canada, have jointly developed a closed-loop recycling process that is already finding high-value uses for discarded plastics. HP is currently using the process to produce new printer cartridges, but the material reportedly has potential applications in the internal components of printers and computers because of its improved characteristics over typical recycled plastic.

The finding is significant because recycled plastic is often destined for low-quality uses, said Mr. Dean Miller, the head of HPs Worldwide Inkjet Supplies Recycling Programme. HP gets the recycled plastic from its own printer cartridges, which are typically more than 70 per cent polyethylene terephthalate (PET). Additionally, HP uses water bottles, one of the most commonly recycled plastics in the world.

When PET plastic is heated in the moulding process, it typically loses about 20 per cent to 30 per cent of its structural properties. So HP and Lavergne Group developed a way to mix additives in to bring the recycled products back up to the same level of performance. The material is employed in existing moulds and production lines to produce new cartridges that contain 75 per cent recycled content. The material can be recycled several times: We have tested 7 to 10 cycles, and there has been no degradation in performance, Mr. Miller said.

Prototype machine turns tyres into oil

Global Resource Corp., the United States, has demonstrated its prototype machine that turns shredded tyres into oil, natural gas and carbon ash. The Patriot-1 bombards shredded tyres with microwaves targeted to excite the hydrocarbons inside, harvesting natural gas, diesel heating oil and other similar commodities.

The machine can process 1-3 tonnes of tyres an hour. The emissions free process is being adapted to turn solid waste, oil shale, heavy oils and coal into energy. For example, the company recently signed a deal with a large oil field services company to develop a machine to turn heavy oil into lighter, more usable oil. It will cost US$2 million to US$4 million, but a fully installed machine with related equipment could cost up to US$9 million.

Recycled polyester tyre cords

Teijin Fibres Ltd., Japan, reports that its chemically recycled polyester ECO CIRCLE FIBRES are now being used in the cords of Toyo Tyre & Rubbers Proxes Ne tyres, which Toyo Tyre Europe GmbH introduced to the European market beginning in April 2009. Toyo Tyre & Rubber had launched Proxes Ne in Japan last December, as special tyres designed for environmentally oriented passenger cars.

ECO CIRCLE FIBRES are being used for the body of tyres as the worlds first recycled polyester that is adopted for tyre cords. The fibres are created through ECO CIRCLE, a closed-loop recycling system, which employs the worlds first chemical recycling technology, developed by Teijin Fibres. Thus far, the recycled fibres have been mainly used for uniforms, sportswear and other fashion/sports items such as bags and gloves. ECO CIRCLE FIBRES achieve the purity and demanding performance levels required of tyre cords. Contact: Mr. Rie Mashiba, Public Relations Office, Teijin Fibres Limited, 6-7, Minami Hommachi 1-chome, Chuo-ku, Osaka 541-8587, Japan. Tel: +81 (3) 3506 4055; Fax: +81 (3) 3506 4150; E-mail:

Plastic waste recycling machine

Hangzhou Holin Plastic Machinery Co. Ltd., China, offers waste plastics recycling machine for plastics such as polystyrene (PS) and polyethylene (PE). The machines are claimed to be suitable for all types of thermoplastics, except polyvinyl chloride.

Model HLFS-75 machine is mainly used for recycling high foam PS and PE products into a granular product. It is also used for recycling PS and PE containers and films. The foam waste material need not be broken down, and can be directly recycled. The machine is compact, easy to operate and does not require any screen change, and can operate continuously.

HLFSJ-130 two-stage plastic recycling unit is used for recycling high foam PS and PE products, and containers and films. The first extruder has a high power, while the second is an exhaust-type extruder with varying diameter. The unit is equipped with a crusher with wide inlet, material storage, water tank, granulator, etc. It offers stable performance, a high capacity and ease of operation. Contact: Hangzhou Holin Plastic Machinery Co. Ltd., No. 58, Tongyun Road, Liangzhu Economic Development Zone, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China. Tel: +86 (571) 8874 7710, 8874 7709; Fax: +86 (571) 8874 7711.

PLA can be separated from PET

A recycling test carried out in the United States suggests that infrared technology can effectively separate polylactic acid (PLA) and polyethylene terephthalate (PET), addressing concerns that containers made from PLA might contaminate PET recycling stream. The result also showed that PET sheet made from the recycled resin was not contaminated.

The tests were conducted by NatureWorks LLC and Primo Water Corporation and verified by Plastics Forming Enterprises, a highly respected worldwide plastics expert. They used a near infrared machine from TiTech VisionSort in Norway. About 1,500 Primo Water bottles without caps or labels were flattened and added to a load of PET deposit bottles weighing around 16,000 kg. The tests found that 93 per cent of the PLA separated out, and that there was no appreciable colour or haze difference between sheet samples made from a control batch of recycled PET resin and two sample sheets containing PLA that was not separated out.


Self-mending plastic

Thermoset resins the material used for circuit boards, electrical insulation and epoxy glue, among other things cannot be easily recycled. These polymers have strong cross-links and when heated tend to decompose. Most products made from these plastics end up as e-waste. Chemists at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands have now devised a thermoset plastic that, rather than decomposing, heals itself when heated. The researchers Dr. Youchun Zhang, Dr. Antonius A. Broekhuis and Dr. Francesco Picchioni say the material has the potential to be recycled and reused many times.

The building blocks of the polymer are polyketones, and they are cross-linked using another organic compound, bismaleimide. One secret to the materials success is that the cross-linking reaction is reversible: when heated to about 150C, the material becomes unlinked, but as it cools the links re-form, creating a rigid polymer once again. The researchers demonstrated that the material could be shredded, melted and remoulded at least seven times with no loss of mechanical properties. The discovery, they say, adds to scientific understanding of the nature of self-healing materials. Source:

Recycling of lithium from batteries

Blue Energy a Japanese joint venture of automobile company Honda and battery manufacturer GS Yuasa has broken ground for a new lithium-ion battery facility. The new plant, being built in Kyoto, will include manufacture, sale, and research and development of lithium-ion batteries for hybrid vehicles. Like many other manufacturers, Honda is hinging at least part of its future on lithium-ion batteries to power clean electrically driven cars.

Toxco Inc., Canada, is a company that actually recycles lithium-ion batteries, a process that is not easy. The first step in the recycling process is to remove residual electricity from larger, more reactive batteries. Then, the batteries undergo Toxcos patented cryogenic process to get cooled to -198C, a temperature at which lithium is relatively inert.

Once frozen, the batteries are safely sheared/shredded and the materials are separated. Metals from the batteries are collected and sold. The lithium components are separated and converted to lithium carbonate for resale. Hazardous electrolytes are neutralized to form stable compounds and residual plastic casings and miscellaneous components are recovered for appropriate recycling or scrapping. If the batteries contain cobalt this is also recovered.

For safety, most of the recycling process is done by machine. The company says that around 90 per cent of its lithium recycling process is remotely controlled, recycled by industrial robots. Contact: Ms. Kathy Bruce, Plant Manager, Toxco Inc., 9384 Highway 22A, P.O. Box 232, Trail, B.C, Canada V1R 4L5. Tel: +1 (877) 468 6926; Fax: +1 (250) 367 9875; E-mail:; Website:

Plant for recycling e-scrap

The Electronic Scrap Recycling System (ESR-6000), from Shred-Tech in Canada, provides a cost-effective solution to waste reduction and recycling challenges of post-consumer electronic products. Dependent upon the input material, the system recovers precious metals, base metals and mixed plastics. The automatic ESR-6000 can process 3 t/h of electronic scrap, recovering dust and fines for further recovery.

ESR-6000 combines electrical and mechanical technology into two key stages. In the first stage, e-waste enters the automatic feed system for reduction. Primary and secondary shredding equipment reduce the items, while a tertiary shredder further reduces the shredded material. This allows for free-flowing materials, without encapsulating the various metals that make up e-waste. The result is clean, consistently sized material, ready for the next stage, separation of component materials. Metals are separated using rare earth magnets, electro-magnetic separators, and vibration separators. The separated materials are then shipped off-site for refining or recycling.

ESR-6000 processes e-waste without manual disassembly. Computers control the system, and cameras monitor the operation. The system needs an investment of about US$ 4.5 million. Contact: Shred-Tech, 295 Pinebush Road, Cambridge, Ontario, N1T 1B2, Canada. Tel: +1 (519) 621 3560; Fax: +1 (519) 621 0688; E-mail:


Nickel recovery in metal-plating industry

The Cleansing Service Group (CSG), the United Kingdom, claims to have developed a process to recover nickel of 99.9 per cent purity from the complex waste generated mainly by the metal-plating industry. CSGs new processing facility at Cadishead near Manchester is the first in the country capable of recovering nickel from spent electroless-nickel solutions.

Mr. Neil Richards, CSGs Director of Processing and Disposal, said: Spent electroless-nickel solutions contain high levels of organics and salts and are notoriously difficult to recover by electrolysis alone. The new method, which has taken nearly a year to develop in conjunction with metal recovery specialist Kurion Technologies, successfully overcomes these problems.

The new method is reported to consistently deliver viable amounts of high-purity nickel. The plant, which was purpose-built at Cadishead to develop and prove the technology, puts the waste solution through a multi-stage pre-treatment chemical process before conventional electrolysis is employed to plate out the nickel. Contact: Cleansing Service Group Ltd., Grange Road, Botley, Southampton, SO30 2GD, United Kingdom.

Reverse osmosis and membrane units

Koch Membrane Systems Inc. (KMS), the United States, has introduced MegaMagnum reverse osmosis (RO) and nanofiltration (NF) systems for industrial and municipal use, and its PURON submerged membrane modules for large-scale membrane bioreactor (MBR) units.

The MegaMagnum RO and NF systems utilize spiral-wound membrane elements, which are claimed to be the largest in area in the world, to reduce significantly the complexity, footprint and installation time of industrial municipal and water treatment systems. Plants that use the system reportedly require only half the area of floor space, compared with a conventional 8-inch rack and use only one-seventh the amount of elements to produce the same volume and quality of water as conventional RO system operating at similar fluxes and pressures. KMS makes MegaMagnum in four configurations with nominal flow capacities ranging from 78,860 to 315,450 l/h.

The 1,500 m2 PURON module has greater membrane packing density, lower energy costs for aeration and simplified installation than other commercially available systems, but provides greater compatibility with them. Additional features such as an optimized permeate extraction manifold and air supply lines reduce the number of piping connections during installation. The new product line enables users to easily retrofit the advanced PURON technology into systems with modules of comparable sizes.

Method to monitor wastewater bacteria

Researchers at Purdue University, the United States, have developed a new technique using sensors to constantly monitor the health of bacteria critical to wastewater treatment facilities and have verified a theory that copper is vital to the proper functioning of a key enzyme in the bacteria. The new process senses minute chemical changes related to bacterial health and reports results immediately, unlike conventional technologies that need laboratory analyses taking at least a day. This immediacy could make it possible to detect when bacteria are about to stop processing waste and correct the problem before toxins are released into waterways, said Dr. Eric McLamore, a civil engineering research associate. The technique is a departure from conventional methods, which require the bacterial biofilms to be damaged in order to be tested. Dr. Marshall Porterfield, an associate professor of agricultural and biological engineering, said that the new approach is both non-invasive and real-time. Dr. M. Katherine Banks, who heads the School of Civil Engineering, is the third member of the team.

The scientists used the method to study a nitrifying bacterium called Nitrosomonas europaea, which converts toxic ammonia from human wastes and fertilizer run-off into compounds called nitrites, which are further broken down by other bacteria into nitrogen gas. Bacterial biofilms, when poisoned or stressed, release ions (including potassium and calcium), which is an early warning signal, Dr. Porterfield said. The filtering flux sensor reveals the ion flux, or the number ions being transported into and out of the biofilm per minute. Sensor data reveal how well the bacteria are absorbing ions from the wastes. This helps avoid uncontrolled flushing of untreated wastes into waterways.

Seashells for heavy metals clean-up

On the banks of the Saigon River in Viet Nam, researchers have completed tests on a new way to combat water pollution that could save millions of lives in coastal cities in the developing world. In factories on the outskirts of Ho Chi Minh City, Dr. Stephan Khler of the Graz University of Technology in Austria and a team of researchers have cleansed water tainted with toxic metals like cadmium, zinc, lead and iron. The team did it using one of the cheapest, most abundant materials around: seashells.

Dr. Khlers team has found that pouring metal and acid-laden water over a bed of crushed clam or mussel shells provides an easy fix. The shells are made of aragonite, a form of calcium carbonate that readily swaps its calcium atoms in favour of heavy metals, locking them into a solid form. The shells are alkaline a pH of 8.3 when dissolved and needs to be maintained so by adding more shells.

The teams technique stems from work in 2003 by Dr. Manuel Prieto of Oviedo University in Spain, who first showed that shells effectively remove cadmium from water. Dr. Khlers team has now expanded that to include more heavy metals, including lead, a potent toxin. Their work in Viet Nam also shows that the technique works on wastewater produced from real-world factory processes.

Bacteria-based system for treating toxic wastewater

Biotechnologists at University of the Philippines Los Baos (UPLB) are at work putting final touches to a prototype bacterial treatment system for wastewater. Dr. Lorele C. Trinidad of BIOTECH, who leads the team developing the bioremediation system, reports that the prototype can remove and at the same time recover precious heavy metals from water discharged during gold processing and leather tanning.

Silver, a valuable metal, can be recovered from the chemical solutions used in gold-smelting. Copper-rich wastewater is produced in the process, and is usually dumped into the river. Dr. Trinidads team found that the wastewater released into the river has 5,000-10,000 ppm of copper, when the limit allowed by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources is only 1.3 ppm. The leather tanning operations use chromium (III) to treat raw animal hide. According to Dr. Trinidad, as much as half of the applied chemical ultimately goes to the river.

Dr. Trinidads team has identified 12 isolates of bacteria with high capability to reduce sulphates and produce hydrogen sulphide gas. These bacteria were used in a small bioremediation system made by the Industrial Technology Development Institute of the Department of Science and Technology. The system employs the hydrogen sulphide gas produced by the bacteria to precipitate and recover chromium and copper from wastewater.

MBR system for industrial wastewater treatment

Titan MBR, an advanced membrane biological reactor (MBR) from CST Wastewater Solutions in Australia, is a low-maintenance wastewater treatment system for municipal and industrial applications. Titan MBR system combines wastewater treatment engineering with submerged flat-plate membrane technology that ensures high permeability and flux rates. According to the company, this combination yields a dynamic MBR wastewater treatment system that provides end-users with quality treatment performance, minimal operational requirements and a robust design.

Titan MBR wastewater treatment systems flat-plate membrane design results in less wear and tear. Its air scouring prevents fouling, and the pressure created by gravity drives the flow through the membranes. Clean water discharges into a clear well, while blocked solids remain suspended in the aeration zone. Diffusers under the module scour the membranes while also providing an air supply to the bacteria.

Titan MBR provides long-term durability, according to the company. The membrane is made of polyvinylidene fluoride and non-woven polyester fabric, which prevents clogging problems experienced in hollow-fibre designs. Vertical membrane surfaces do not touch each other during operation. The design of the membrane prevents breakage experienced in other designs, CST claims, and produces higher flux rates over time. Flat-plate membranes employ less chemicals and equipment for cleaning in place.

The Titan MBR wastewater treatment system provides an effluent quality of < 3 mg/l biological oxygen demand (BOD) and < 1 mg/l total suspended solids (TSS). Turbidity is < 2 Nephelometric Turbidity Units (NTU) and the Total Kjeldahl Nitrogen (TKN) is < 2 mg/l and ammonia < 1 mg/l. Contact: CST Wastewater Solutions, 5 Haughton Street, Linley Point, NSW 2066, Australia. Tel: +61 (2) 9427 1279; Fax: +61 (2) 9427 3354.


Method and equipment for degrading POPs

Kubota Corporation, Japan, has patented a method and associated equipment for degrading persistent organic matter. In the method, Fe3+ (iron) contained in raw water is reduced to Fe2+ and used by circulation in a system and persistent organic matter is degraded by oxidation by a Fenton reaction.

Raw water containing the persistent organic matter and Fe3+ is fed into a reduction treatment/Fenton oxidation section provided with an immersed noble metal-containing catalyst. Fe3+ is reduced to Fe2+ by contact with the catalyst and gaseous hydrogen. Hydrogen peroxide is added to the reduction treatment/ Fenton oxidation section, where the Fe2+ is oxidized by a Fenton reaction and a hydroxy free radical is generated. The persistent organic matter in the reduction treatment/ Fenton oxidation section is degraded by the hydroxy free radical, and the liquid in the reduction treatment/Fenton oxidation section is supplied to a ultraviolet (UV) reaction section. This section degrades the persistent organic matter through dechlorination, UV oxidation or a radical reaction under irradiation with UV from a UV lamp. The Fe3+ containing liquid in the UV reaction section is recirculated to the reduction treatment/ Fenton oxidation section.

Bacterial batch biodegradation of PAH mixture

Biodegradation is an effective technique to remediate soil and water contaminated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). In an experimental study, biotechnologists from the Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati, India, used Mycobacterium frederiksbergense, a fast growing mycobacterium, to degrade anthracene, naphthalene and pyrene in mixture. Each of the PAH had a starting concentration between 1 mg/l and 50 mg/l. Experiments were conducted according to the 23 factorial design at the low (1 mg/l) and high (50 mg/l) levels of the PAHs in combination, to identify the main and interaction effects of the compounds on the biodegradation of PAHs.

The results showed that the PAH removals varied from 54 to 81 per cent when each PAH was at low concentration in the mixture, and 67 to 89 per cent at their higher concentration combinations. Analyses indicated significant role played by the main effects of pyrene on its degradation. Similarly, on anthracene degradation, interaction effect with pyrene was found to be highly significant with P value less than 0.1. Contact: Mr. Kannan Pakshirajan, Department of Biotechnology, IIT Guwahati, Guwahati, Assam, India. E-mail:

Sorbent to prevent dioxin synthesis

NDIOX-BLOK, from Beco Engineering Company in the United States, is a patented sorbent that prevents de novo dioxin synthesis in combustion process. The sorbent starves the fly ash of dioxin reactants by removing organics before they can be adsorbed by the ash. It does not cause a dioxin-contaminated ash problem. Unlike powdered activated carbon, DIOX-BLOK is chemically inert and adsorbed organics are not converted to dioxins. Contact: Beco Engineering Company, P.O. Box 443, 800 3rd Street, Oakmont, Pennsylvania 15139, United States of America.

Stimulated microbial dechlorination of PCBs

In the United States, the University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute and the Medical University of South Carolina have jointly patented a method for the anaerobic microbial dechlorination of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). Polyhalogenated ethenes are used to stimulate the growth and dechlorinating activity of PCB-dechlorinating bacteria in a contaminated soil or sediment. This method may be further coupled with the aerobic microbial degradation for the complete destruction of PCBs in soils and sediments. Polyhalogenated ethenes are also used in growth media for culturing PCB- dechlorinating bacteria.

Preferably, the PCB-dechlorinating bacteria comprise DF-1 and O-17, identified as microorganisms that dechlorinate PCBs and chlorobenzenes with more than 4 chlorines. These bacteria have the ability to completely consume tetrachloroethene through sequential reductive dechlorination steps to trichloroethene, trans-, cis- and 1,1-dichloroethene, vinyl chloride and, finally, ethene. When combined, PCBs and tetrachloroethene were simultaneously dechlorinated and tetrachloroethene didnt inhibit or delay PCB dechlorination, demonstrating another advantage of using tetrachloroethene as a stimulant.

PCBs are soluble in tetrachloroethene, and tetrachloroethene is partially soluble in water (up to 1 mM). PCBs are frequently unavailable to microorganisms because of their sequestration in the organic components of the sediment. Use of tetrachloroethene as the stimulatory agent for dechlorination results in the application of a solvent that solubilizes PCBs, thereby allowing improved contact between the PCBs and the PCB-dechlorinating bacteria. This makes aged PCBs more bioavailable to PCB dechlorinating microbes. Further, the solubilization of PCBs by organic stimulants enhances the bioavailability of PCBs to aerobic bacteria.

Capture of dioxins by ionic liquids

In Portugal, scientists from CQFM Instituto Superior Tcnico and FCT-Universidade Nova de Lisboa have developed a new, simple, and efficient approach for the absorption of dioxins from gaseous streams using thermally stable ionic liquids. The absorption process of chlorinated and non-chlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxin compounds was studied in the temperature range 100-200C. Ionic liquids based on imidazolium, ammonium as well as guanidinium were designed for this purpose.

It was observed that imidazolium cations having long alkyl side chains exhibit the highest absorption capacities, whereas the anion dicyanoamide (DCA) possesses higher absorption capacity than the other anions studied. In a typical experiment, it was observed that the ionic liquid 1-n-octyl-3-methyl imidazolium dicyanoamide (C8mim)(DCA) can absorb more than 14 per cent by weight of dibenzo-p-dioxin, 2-chlorodibenzo-p-dioxin, and 1,2,3,4- tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin from a gaseous stream.

A process for desorption of dioxins from the ionic liquid was tested, revealing that complete desorption can be achieved under a high vacuum. The feasibility of the process was examined under real operating conditions of incineration and combustion processes. The success of the method heavily relies upon the design and selection of ionic liquids with enhanced affinity for the functional aromatic compound present in dioxins and, simultaneously, possessing extremely low volatility and high chemical and thermal stability. Contact: Mr. Prashant S. Kulkarni, Departamento de Engenharia Qumica e Biolgica, CQFM, Instituto Superior Tcnico, Av. Rovisco Pais, 1049 001 Lisboa, Portugal. Tel: +351 (21) 841 7627; Fax: +351 (21) 846 4455; E-mail:

New technology to clean up fuel spills

The S-200 from Oil Gone Easy, the United States, is claimed to be the first truly green way to eliminate oil and fuel spills on ground or on boats bilge. The product, recognized by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), has enough power to work on massive oil spills. S-200 uses the power of microorganisms to eliminate the spill in a natural and environmentally friendly way. Oil Gone Easy S-200 is simple to apply just estimate the amount of the spill and apply an equal amount of S-200 directly. On contact, the product encapsulates the spill, protecting the site from further oil or fuel movement in water, sand, concrete or dirt. It then attracts and supports native bacterial flora, which only eat hydrocarbons. These microorganisms break the spill down into water and harmless by-products.

This simple product is non-toxic, and is environment-friendly because it only uses bacteria that live near the site. It has substantial advantages over volatile solvents, powerful surfactants and messy physical clean-up efforts, which can create more hazardous waste than the original spill. Contact: Mr. Scott Licamele, Oil Gone Easy, United States of America. Tel: +1 (203) 557 3114; Fax: +1 (203) 621-3276; Website:

Application of lignin- degrading fungi in dioxin degradation

Idemitsu Kosan Company in Japan has patented the preparation and application of lignin-degrading fungi for degrading dioxins that have accumulated in the soil into harmless substances. The lignin-degrading fungi belong to the genera Chaetomium, Penicillium and Schizophyllum. The new method of degrading dioxins consists of applying the fungi to a dioxin-containing organic or inorganic substance. The amount of fungi must be at least 1 102 cfu per gram of dry weight of the substance. The fungi are applied in compost material that has been inoculated with the fungi.

The patent includes the method for producing the compost by thermally fermenting a lignin-containing plant-derived organic material. Process temperature is kept between 65 and 100C for at least two hours. A substance that contains a nitrogen fertilizer component could serve as a fermentation promoter in the initial stage of the process of thermophilic fermentation. In the final compost that has the ability to degrade dioxins, the cell concentration of the fungi will fall between 1 103 and 1 1010 cfu per gram of dry weight of the substance.


Trap-and-treat for hydrocarbon contamination

BOS 200 from Remediation Products Inc., the United States, was designed to work in both aerobic and anaerobic environments, unlike many other hydrocarbon remediation products. BOS 200 cuts through the contamination with a formulated blend of activated carbon, sulphate reduction media, micronutrients and facultative microbes (a proprietary mixture of naturally occurring microorganisms, called Trap & Treat Bacteria Concentrate).

BOS 200 is mixed with water to form a slurry, which is either injected into the subsurface using conventional direct push technology and pumps, or placed directly into source area excavations. Pumps generating at least 300-500 psi of downward pressure could be used. The product is safe and non-toxic. Contact: Remediation Products Inc., #6390 Joyce Drive, Suite 150 West Golden, Colorado 80403, United States of America. Tel: +1 (303) 487 1001; Fax: +1 (303) 487 1083; E-mail:

Reductive dechlorination of chlorinated solvents

SRS or Slow Release Substrate from Terra Systems Inc., the United States, is a patented, low-viscosity liquid that contains a combination of slow- and fast-release electron donors and required nutrients. The product is engineered for the reductive dechlorination of chlorinated solvents (such as tetrachloroethene, trichloroethene, cis-1,2-dichloroethene, 1,1,1-Trichloroethane, and 1,2-dichloroethane) or any anaerobically degradable substance (TNT, RDX, perchlorate, etc.).

The product is a vegetable oil-based substrate package that is used by naturally occurring microorganisms as an energy and carbon source to reductively dechlorinate solvents. The anaerobic bioremediation process utilizes either native or introduced microorganisms to degrade chlorinated solvents to innocuous end-products, including ethene and ethane. An organic substrate must be added to groundwater to create reducing conditions and to provide carbon and hydrogen to support biodegradation of the chlorinated solvents.

SRS is designed to release bio-available hydrogen over a period of 3-5 years, thus enhancing the long-term anaerobic biodegradation of the chlorinated solvents. It optimizes the naturally occurring biodegradation system by supplying the rate limiting factor (in this case hydrogen) in the degradation of VOCs, certain pesticides/herbicides, perchlorate, and immobilization of certain metals. Contact: Terra Systems Inc., 1035 Philadelphia Pike, Suite E, Wilmington, Delaware 19809, United States of America.

Treatment of high explosives in groundwater

Design-build environmental services provider Aquifer Solutions Inc., the United States, was awarded the 2008 Project Merit Award in the remediation and restoration category by Environmental Business Journal. The reactive barrier uses bioremediation technology, where indigenous soil microbes are stimulated using a carbon-based amendment. The indigenous soil microbes generate anaerobic conditions and biodegrade the target contaminants.

According to Aquifer Solutions, in situ bioremediation of high explosives is a newly developed innovative technology, and this large-scale project as well as its pilot project advanced the industrys understanding of the alternatives. The bio-barrier involved the injection of 3.4 million litres of amendment into 42 injection wells screened at a depth of about 114 m below the surface. The project involved 4 km of drilling, the construction of 3.2 km of buried pipeline, and the construction and operation of a fully automated and computer-controlled mixing and injection system.


Recycling carbon dioxide

Carbon capture and sequestration are high on the green agenda as one approach to climate change amelioration. However, some chemists believe that simply trapping and burying carbon dioxide exhausted by power stations is a waste of a potentially valuable resource. Now, a research team in Singapore has developed an alternative to simply burying carbon dioxide (CO2) that is captured from sources such as coal-fired power stations: catalytic conversion of CO2 into methanol.

Nature solved the problem of carbon capture through the efficient process of photosynthesis. Unfortunately, although plants succeed very well in ripping apart carbon-oxygen bonds and rearranging the atoms into sugar molecules, chemists have found those bonds almost unbreakable without the expenditure of huge amounts of energy which would defeat the object of recycling the gas in the first place.

Dr. Yugen Zhang and Prof. Jackie Ying, from Singapores Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology and their colleagues have developed a new reaction scheme by which CO2 can be efficiently converted into methanol under very mild reaction conditions. Their NMR spectroscopy tracking of the process has revealed the operational details of their N-heterocyclic carbene catalyst and the silane reducing agent.

N-heterocyclic carbene is essentially a ring of two nitrogen and three carbon atoms. As one of the carbon atoms has just two bonds instead of the usual four, this molecule has two spare electrons in a lone pair arrangement, making this chemical species highly reactive: so reactive that it can attack even the stable C=O double bonds in CO2. Carbene catalyst is produced in situ from a precursor compound, an imidazolium carboxylate, for instance. Carbene activates CO2, but then splits off again to end the reaction cycle in its original state. The formal reaction partner is diphenylsilane, an organosilicon compound that acts as reducing agent in the reaction.

A final reaction step, involving addition of sodium hydroxide solution, then collects the intermediary activated CO2 species as methanol. Methanol was typically produced in over 90 per cent yield (based on silane), as characterized by gas chromatography against an external standard, the researchers say. Methanol, they add, is an important starting material for many chemical syntheses and serves as an alternative fuel and as a raw material for the production of energy in methanol fuel cells.

Technology package for better combustion

Fuel Tech Inc., the United States, is all set to demonstrate its FUEL CHEM technology in central China. The demonstration, scheduled to commence during the second half of 2009, will use a medium-sized, coal-fired power generating boiler. The customized FUEL CHEM programme, which utilizes Targeted In-Furnace Injection technology, will demonstrate a number of operating and financial benefits, including: heat rate and coal consumption rate improvements, made possible by maintaining cleaner heat transfer surfaces; and enhanced fuel flexibility, which will reduce overall fuel costs by enabling the plant to burn a broader spectrum of lower cost and more available coals. Furthermore, there would be a lessening of the boilers atmospheric environmental impact, because of lower emissions of sulphur oxides (SO3 and SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) and a reduction in the rate of carbon dioxide (CO2) production.

The FUEL CHEM technology revolves around the unique application of chemicals to improve the efficiency, reliability, fuel flexibility and environmental status of combustion units by controlling slagging, fouling, corrosion, opacity and acid plume, as well as the formation of SO3, CO2, NOx, ammonium bisulphate and particulate matter. This customizable technology is being applied to over 85 combustion units burning a wide variety of fuels including coal, heavy oil, biomass, and municipal waste. Contact: Fuel Tech Inc., 27601 Bella Vista Parkway, Warrenville, IL 60555, United States of America. Tel: +1 (630) 845 4500; Fax: +1 (630) 845 4501.

Emission control in combustion gas turbine

Advanced Power Projects Inc., the United States, has successfully demonstrated its Simplified Combined Cycle (SCC) using the Cheng Power Systems CLN technology on a GE LM2500 PE combustion gas turbine. CLN is a cost-effective emission control technology that reduces both nitrogen oxides (NOx) and carbon dioxide (CO2), besides providing energy savings. The test collected data at 14 MW, 18 MW and 22 MW outputs. The results showed 8 ppmvd (at 15 per cent oxygen) NOx, at 1.7 steam to fuel ratio and 22 MW output. This was better than expected.

SSC lowered NOx emission to meet the stringent California emission control standards without the need for ammonia flowing into the exhaust flow catalytic reduction system. The results were witnessed by a California State-assigned third party and recorded on the plants continuous emissions monitoring system. Contact: Advanced Power Projects Inc., 43801 Mission Boulevard, Suite 103, Fremont, CA 94539, United States of America. Tel: +1 (510) 651 7500; Fax: +1 (510) 651 7501; E-mail:

Low-NOx technology for combustion systems

To help satisfy revised government regulations and business requirements that demand cleaner emissions, GE Oil & Gas, based in Italy, has enhanced the Dry Low NOx (DLN) technology for its MS3002 regenerative cycle and MS5001/2 gas turbines. It can be easily installed during a scheduled maintenance of the gas turbine.

The DLN is a patented combustion system that optimizes emissions across ambient and load range, and provide feedback loop for ambient variations (such as, temperature or humidity). The upgrade includes:

  • Liner dilution design based on proprietary performance, emissions and reliability data from the fleet of MS3002 DLN units;
  • Unique, independently controlled pilot fuel optimizes stability and emissions; and
  • Inlet bleed heating provision could increase down capability to 50 per cent of base load for MS5001 and MS5002.

DLN combustion system yields low emissions while operating in the dry premixed mode on natural gas fuel. It reduces nitrogen oxides and carbon dioxide emissions without steam or water injection on gas fuel units, through lean-premixed burning in multi-zone combustion liners, and by control equipment, which directs fuel to the different liner zones depending on the mode of operation.

Low-cost device cuts diesel engines smoke

Smoke emissions generated by turbocharged diesel engines under heavy load conditions such as when accelerating from low engine speeds and other similar transient events can be all but eliminated by a relatively simple and low-cost electric supercharger, claims the manufacturer Controlled Power Technologies Ltd. (CPT), the United Kingdom.

During a transient event, the fuel injection system tries to deliver the power demanded by injecting more fuel, but the turbocharger will be a few seconds behind, with the lack of air causing over rich combustion and lots of soot, says Mr. Nick Pascoe CEO of CPT. A fast-acting electric supercharger helps with the root cause of the problem by supplying more air earlier in the event. It can also help minimize the need for costly exhaust after-treatment, he adds.

The advantages of having a near- instantaneous air supply can be achieved by CPTs electric compressor known as variable torque enhancement system (VTES), a compact system with fully integrated electronics. CPT claims that it dramatically increases the engine air charge density over the first few critical combustion cycles of a low speed transient operation, enabling real improvements in both torque and emissions performance. Unlike the mechanical superchargers and exhaust gas driven turbochargers, VTES operates independently of engine speed. Its low inertia compressor accelerates from idle to a maximum of 70,000 rpm in under 350 ms.

In a fixed-speed torque step at 1,250 rpm, test data taken from a 3-cylinder, 3-litre diesel engine revealed a reduction of the area under the smoke curve of 89 per cent and smoke opacity reduced from 8.3 to 1.4 per cent. Over the non-road transient cycle (NRTC) test, the associated smoke emission is virtually eliminated. Besides reducing particulate emissions, VTES technology can also be applied for NOx control.

Device for removing PFC emissions

A small company in the Republic of Korea has developed a perfluorocarbon (PFC) emissions removal device. ECOPRO, a manufacturer of electronic materials, is the second company in the world, after Hitachi of Japan, to develop such a device. The device can remove more than 99 per cent of PFCs using a catalyst. PFCs are greenhouse gases that are discharged into the atmosphere in the process of making semiconductors and LCDs. The new equipment needs no additional gadgets to remove nitrogen oxides, emitted when materials are manufactured in temperatures above 1,000C.

Optimized diesel particulate filter

NxtGen Emission Controls Inc. of Canada and Sd-Chemie AG from Germany have jointly developed a lower cost, high-efficiency diesel particulate filter (DPF) optimized for low-temperature regeneration, which is attainable by using the proprietary technologies of both companies. Optimizing the filter with up to 60 per cent less precious metal is claimed to generate up to 40 per cent savings.

According to Mr. Jeremy Holt, President and CEO of NxtGen, initial results indicate the NxtGen syngas generator and proprietary control algorithm, coupled with the proprietary particulate filter technology of Sd-Chemie, could offer a solution that is functional even during low-temperature operation of the engine, including idle conditions. Together with Sd-Chemies wash coat and catalyst technology, the NxtGen syngas technology provides an opportunity to further develop and apply diesel engine emissions controls on urban vehicles that operate at low-exhaust temperatures.

The syngas technology addresses the emissions challenges of diesel engines through after-treatment, but also has applications in combustion enhancement and for other fuels addressing emissions and carbon dioxide regulations or targets. Upcoming product applications include an active syngas DPF system for urban trucks that solves particulate filter regeneration problems caused by low temperature and stop/start city driving, and a lean trap for nitrogen oxides control to avoid the cost and complexity of urea selective catalytic reduction systems.

Diesel exhaust fluid system

Terra Environmental Technologies Inc. (TET), the United States, has received certification of its TerraCair Ultrapure Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) from the American Petroleum Institute. The certification recognizes that TerraCair Ultrapure DEF meets the stringent quality standards that the engine manufacturer service warranty requires. Ultrapure DEF is a nitrogen-based urea solution used together with selective catalytic reduction (SCR) systems to reduce harmful emissions from the exhaust stream of diesel engines. The technology also has the potential to increase fuel economy.

DEF markets are driven by United States legislation, set to take effect in 2010, that will require new light- and heavy-duty diesel trucks to meet stringent emissions requirements.

Electrified seawater for CO2 removal

A Singapore-based start-up firm, Ecospec Global Technology, says it has developed a technology to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 74 per cent in power plants and ships. Dubbed CSNOx, the technique involves spraying electrified seawater into a smoke stream. The seawater splits the CO2 into carbon and oxygen, with oxygen being released and carbon becoming a fine, white dust. Meanwhile, sulphur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) are turned into sulphate and nitrate, which can be safely released into seawater.

The result is nearly 93 per cent efficiency at removing SO2, 82 per cent NOx and 74.4 per cent CO2, the company says. The technology is an alternative to lower-sulphur fuel, which can cause health problems for people, engine problems and incur higher costs. Traditional use of seawater to scrub emissions doesnt remove CO2 and NOx, and increases the acidity of seawater.


Recycling of PVC and Mixed Plastic Waste

This book has been compiled from contributions from an array of scientists from several countries who are playing a leading role in plastic recycling. They offer practical solutions to many difficult problems in this field. The book covers thermal stabilization of PVC which is to be recycled, and details several practical and effective ways of recycling PVC. Successful commercial operations are narrated in support of the discussions. Several chapters focus on the technology of processing mixed plastic waste, with emphasis on degradation, morphological structure, molecular weight and branching of component polymers, and the effects of these factors on the performance of blends of recycled polymers. Several compatibilization methods are covered, besides the effect of contamination and UV stability of recycled polymers and methods of removal of these contaminants.

Contact: Research and Markets, Guinness Centre, Taylors Lane, Dublin 8, Ireland. Fax: +353 (1) 481 1716, 653 1571; E-mail:; Website:

Sustainable Industrial Design and Waste Management

This publication was inspired by the need to have a text that enveloped awareness and solutions to the ongoing issues and concerns of industrial waste. The main objective of this book is to conserve the natural resources by approaching 100 per cent full utilization of all types of wastes by cradle-to-cradle concepts, using industrial ecology methodology documented with case studies. The traditional approaches to clinical waste, agricultural waste, industrial waste and municipal waste are depleting our natural resources. The book argues that sustainable development as well as environmental protection cannot be achieved without establishing the concept of industrial ecology. The main tools necessary for establishing industrial ecology and sustainable development are covered in the book. The concept of industrial ecology will help the industrial system to be managed and operated more or less like a natural ecosystem, and therefore causing as less damage as possible to the surrounding environment.

Contact: Customer Service Department, Elsevier B.V., 3 Killiney Road, #08-01, Winsland House, Singapore 239519. Tel: +65 6349 0222; Fax: +65 6733 1510; E-mail:


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