VATIS Update Waste Management . Jul-Aug 2010

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Waste Management Jul-Aug 2010

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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E-waste in 2014: a US$13 billion global market

Electronic waste (e-waste) materials is expected to have a global market worth nearly US$13 billion in 2014, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.9 per cent from the estimated US$8.5 billion in 2009, according to a new technical market research report “Electronic Waste Recovery: Global Markets”, from BCC Research, the United States.

Recycled metals, the largest segment of the market, is expected to reach US$11.4 billion in 2014, after increasing at a CAGR of 8.8 per cent (2009 value – US$7.5 billion). The recycled plastics segment (2009 value – US$976 million) is expected to increase at a CAGR of 10 per cent to reach nearly US$1.6 billion in 2014. Recycled silica, the smallest segment of the market, is projected to grow at a CAGR of 7.1 per cent (2009 value – US$4.9 million) to US$6.9 million in 2014. What is remarkable is that e-waste was not recognized before 1989, and now it is the fastest-growing waste stream in the world. The BCC Research report describes e-waste as discarded, surplus, obsolete or broken electrical or electronic devices. This includes all components of the waste stream (metals, silica, plastics and other materials). On average, e-waste equals 3 to 5 per cent of the solid waste stream in developed countries. Of that, about 75-85 per cent ends up in landfills or is incinerated and not recycled. In 2009, the global municipal solid waste (MSW) stream was an estimated 400 million tonnes. A concerted effort to reclaim discarded e-waste from MSW is being undertaken by virtually all countries, with varying degrees of success.

Viet Nam’s three dioxin hot spots benefit from GEF

Supported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and other agencies, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of Viet Nam has been successful in securing US$5 million funding from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) to address the persisting dioxin problems in the most contaminated areas of the country.

The fund would be used to implement “Environmental Remediation of Dioxin Contaminated Hot spots in Viet Nam”, a new project with a focus on three main hot spots – Bien Hoa Airport in southern Dong Nai province, Da Nang Airport in central Da Nang City and Phu Cat Airport in central Binh Dinh province. The dioxin concentration in these three places is much higher than permitted by national and international standards.

Japanese firms hawk green tech to global polluters

Japanese engineering companies are selling their energy-saving expertise directly to the world’s biggest carbon dioxide (CO2) emitters, including China, carving a niche in a market potentially worth at least US$100 billion. Leading the pack is Nippon Steel Engineering Co., with its coke dry quenching (CDQ) system, a hot ticket item with steel mills in China that is also selling well in the Republic of Korea, Brazil and Taiwan, China, and is entering Germany and India.

Nippon Steel Engineering and other Japanese clean tech firms, such as Kawasaki Plant Systems Ltd., offer an alternative and lucrative export model for clean technologies compared with solar, nuclear and advanced coal power – markets that are cumbersome, costly and difficult to enter without government support. Forced by high energy costs in Japan, the clean tech firms had to develop energy-saving know-how and, turning adversity to advantage, have applied it in the export of steel, cement and other plants, industrial motors, boilers, and systems such as CDQ.

Kawasaki Plant Systems is selling energy-saving equipment to cement plants in China, while rival Chiyoda Corp. has seen demand for its know-how in petrochemical complexes reach as far as Europe. Kawasaki’s power generating system employs waste heat from cement making process cuts power bills by about 30 per cent for a typical cement plant with an output of 5,000 t/d. The system currently has a 50 per cent share of the niche market, mainly in China, of about 30 billion yen (US $350 million). The company expects the sales of its latest waste heat recycling system – combining a kiln with an incineration plant, developed jointly with China’s Anhui Conch group – to rise by more than 10 fold to about 16 billion yen (US$187 million) by 2020. Japan’s exports of its clean tech expertise could not have been better timed with the market likely to grow further. While chances look slim for a United Nations summit to agree on a climate treaty this year, the Group of Eight have agreed to support a goal of at least halving global emissions by 2050. A sum of US$ 30 billion pledged for 2010-2012 in Copenhagen Accord to help developing nations cope with changes in climate could mean that a part of the money would be used in energy-saving technologies. According to a Japanese government estimate, transferring energy-saving devices from the steel sector alone could save 340 million tonnes of CO2 per year globally. That would create a potential market for the sector of about US$100 billion, based on the prices of large-sized CDQ systems, each of which cut some 200,000 t/year of CO2 emissions.

Power-from-waste project in India

In 2011, some homes in the capital city of India will be lit up with power generated from household waste – the result of a project launched by the Delhi government to generate clean power from waste. The public-private partnership project between the government and Jindal Ecopolis costs about US$43 million and will generate 16 MW of power by the end of 2011. Jindal has signed an agreement to sell electricity to Delhi at US$0.05 per unit. The project will not only generate clean power but also help dispose off more than 25 per cent of the 7,000 t/d of municipal solid waste generated.

The project is being developed as an integrated waste management system with a power plant. It is registered under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) for earning carbon credits. For the project, the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) and the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) have both agreed to make available 1,950 t/d of solid waste free of cost. The plant will convert 1,950 t/d of waste – equal to 200 truckloads – into 16 MW of power. This project is the first of its kind and, on completion, will be the largest such plant operational in the country. It will address both biodegradable and non-biodegradable waste. The plant will also have an effluent treatment unit. Another plant will be set up by Delhi International Airport Ltd. at Ghazipur, and this will produce around 8 MW power from 1,300 t/d of waste.

Federal government takes over waste management

The Federal Government of Malaysia will take over the responsibility of solid waste management as well as cleansing of public areas from local authorities. With this federalization, local authorities will be able to focus on performing their core functions of licensing, enforcement, planning and development. During the 10th Malaysia Plan, the government will fully privatize the collection of household solid waste to three concessionaries. Other private operators will be licensed to operate solid waste management and public cleansing services. Their payment will be linked to achievements of key performance indicators such as coverage of service and frequency of waste collection. Contract negotiations with concessionaries are expected to be completed by the end of 2010.

Waste collection frequency will be according to the type of premise – for example, twice a week for households and seven times a week for wet markets. The government will introduce sanitary handling methods with modern handling trucks and 120 litre standard bins for households. This is aimed at reducing the problem of leachates while improving the overall hygiene conditions.

More than 5,600 shared premises – including wet markets, parks and food courts – will be provided with reliable cleaning services. The government will close and rehabilitate the existing 112 unsanitary landfills nationwide and upgrade some into sanitary landfills. To facilitate recycling and recovery of wastes, the government will review options to make it mandatory for house owners to segregate their waste.

“Green Indices” to evaluate officials

China is mulling using environmental indices as a yardstick to assess the performances of local governments and officials, as the country seeks to convert its development mode to a green one. The new assessment criteria are proposed in a draft of China’s 12th five-year plan (2011-2015), on which the government is currently working. The draft is tipped to be approved in March 2011 by the National People’s Congress the nation’s top legislature.

According to Mr. Hu Angang, a top policy advisor, “This means local governments will have to implement more effective measures to upgrade industries, save on energy and cut emissions, rather than simply focus on GDP growth.” With GDP as the most significant indicator for evaluating the performances of local governments and officials, many tend to neglect the environmental factors while concentrating on economic growth. “The 12th five-year plan will not only be China’s first national plan for ‘green development’ but also the historical starting point on the nation’s path towards a green modernization”, stated Mr. Angang, who was a member of the research team to draft the 10th, 11th and 12th five-year plans.

Altogether, 24 indices in the current draft are about green development, covering more than half of the total index number of 47, some of which would be used to assess local governments and officials. For instance, indices on ‘water consumption per unit GDP’, ‘proportion of clean coal consumption’, ‘decrease in natural disaster-resulted economic losses’, and ‘proportion of GDP invested in environmental protection’ are in the category of assessment criteria in the draft. Several countries have turned to ‘green recovery’ by developing new energies, protecting environment and recycling the economy. In China’s 4 trillion yuan (about US$570 billion) economic stimulus plan, funds for energy savings, carbon reduction and ecological construction reached 210 billion yuan (US$30 billion). Adding on the 370 billion yuan (US$53 billion) used for innovation, restructuring and coping with climate change, ‘green investment’ accounted for 14.5 per cent of the stimulus plan. It indicates the government is shifting its values from traditional ‘profit maximization’ to ‘welfare maximization’.

Pakistan acts against recyclers of lead batteries

The Sindh Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) in Pakistan has successfully taken action against illegal recycling of lead batteries in Hyderabad and is now planning to take such action in Karachi. SEPA had demolished around 150 units in Hyderabad, where worn out lead batteries were being recycled. The lead from old batteries was extracted and used in new batteries. SEPA officials suspended one of its officers for patronizing the illegal practice, and demolished such recycling facilities along River Indus in Hyderabad.

Recycling lead batteries is a profitable business. Scrap dealers sell used batteries to unauthorized recycling shops, which extract valuable materials such as lead and plastic, and sell those to industrial units. Some experts replace the lead of used batteries with new ones and sell it to customers who cannot afford purchasing new batteries from reputed companies. Environment and health experts deem the practice of lead extraction through melting highly hazardous, as it can cause lead poisoning in humans and generates over 3,000 carcinogens.

Strict norms for plastic recycling units

In India, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MoCI) is likely to issue strict norms for Special Economic Zone (SEZ) units engaged in recycling of plastic in response to the concern of the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) on illegal import of hazardous waste. Businesses interested in establishing new plastic recycling units in SEZs would have to invest a minimum of around US$215,000 in plant and machinery and export 80 per cent of the turnover by the fifth year of their operations. At present, the government is not considering fresh proposals for such units.

MoCI is also of the view that the existing plastic waste recycling units should export 50 per cent of their turnover. Currently, units are allowed to supply goods to domestic tariff area (DTA). “The quantum of sale in the DTA can be gradually reduced… and they (units) should gradually increase physical exports to the level of 50 per cent of their total turnover in the fifth year,” the draft policy for setting up of units for recycling of plastics in SEZs stated. Additionally, all units would have to comply with the environment laws.

MoEF had sought the assistance of MoCI for improving the implementation of the Hazardous Waste (Management, Handling and Trans-boundary Movement) Rules 2008. MoEF had expressed apprehensions that certain export-oriented units and units in SEZs handling wastes were operating without the mandatory consent and authorization. MoCI also proposes to seek changes in certain European regulations to ease imports of plastic wastes. European countries are the largest exporters of such waste to India, which along with China is the primary recycler of plastic waste.

HP donates patents to cut antioxidant coatings on boards

The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), with its headquarters in Switzerland, has announced that Hewlett-Packard (HP) has joined the Eco-Patent Commons. HP has contributed three patents to this unique initiative aimed at making patents freely available to enable the development of products that protect the environment.

The three HP patents are:

  • A convenient self-contained battery recycling station that will encourage consumers to exchange their used batteries for new ones or for credit;
  • A weld process monitoring system that will reduce the resource and energy consumption associated with bad welds on assembly lines; and
  • A process that eliminates the need for antioxidant metal coatings (such as gold) during certain stages of microchip and circuit board assembly.



Polyurethane recycling technology

In the United States, a new technology developed by InfiChem Polymers converts scrap polyurethane foam into polyols. The process – developed with project aid from several sources including the Department of Energy, the Council for Automotive Research and the Automotive Group of the American Chemistry Council – is being used for the first time in a new production facility. The glycolysis technology of InfiChem chemically depolymerizes polyurethanes into liquid initiators to produce the polyols. The company says these polyols are the first of their kind to be commercially available. Their recyclate content is said to exceed 60 per cent. The polyols can also be used in spray foam applications, flexible foams, elastomers and other traditional polyurethane applications.

Tackling the waste plastic menace

Dr. Vilas Ganpat Pol, at the Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) of the United States Department of Energy, has developed a technique to convert a mixture of waste plastics into micro-spheres of a form of carbon called carbon black. These micro-spheres can be used in paints, tyres and lubricants, and even incorporated into the anodes of lithium-ion batteries. The ANL breakthrough is expected to help mitigate issues related to the management of waste plastics. The fact that Mr. Pol’s process uses no catalyst is a major plus, says Dr. Geoffrey Mitchell, a material scientist at the University of Reading in the United Kingdom. The technique can be used to recycle the growing mountain of low-value, mixed plastic waste.

Meanwhile, Dr. Scott Phillips and Dr. Wanji Seo at Pennsylvania State University, the United States, have developed self-destructing plastics which could lead to packaging that is more easily recycled and wildlife-friendly. Working with the polymer poly(phthalaldehyde), the scientists attached one of two chemical end groups or “triggers” – a silyl ether or an allyl ether – to each phthalaldehyde building block. When a square of the polymer was exposed at room temperature to fluoride ions, the central section (where molecules were capped with silyl ether) underwent rapid depolymerization and broke down. Those sections capped with the allyl ether remained unchanged. The technique could be modified to develop plastic products that quickly degrade when exposed to triggers in the environment. For example, if a bag made of such plastic reaches the ocean, microbial enzymes in the water would depolymerize the material and the bag will just disappear. By capping all the polymer sections with an end group that responds to a certain chemical, the technique could also be used as a low-energy method for recycling plastic waste. The resulting monomers would have to be re-polymerized to create a new plastic, but this may prove cheaper than separating different polymers before recycling can begin. So far, the team has developed polymers with end groups that react with fluoride ions, palladium and hydrogen peroxide, and they are also hoping to develop polymers that respond to enzymes.

Production of food-grade recycled PET

The established methods to produce food-grade recycled polyethylene terephthalate (PET) from cleaned, post-consumer recycled flake are solid-state polymerization, vacuum decontamination and some depolymerization methods. These remove contaminants and also increase the intrinsic viscosity (IV) or molecular weight.

An alternative process promoted by PTP Group, the Netherlands, entails the use of a silicone modifier to recycle post-consumer PET into food-grade, chemically modified PET-M™. The silicon-based modifier acts as a catalyst to integrate low-molecular weight oligomers into the PET chain. The resulting PET-M resin has a slightly different molecular structure than conventional PET, but is competitive with virgin PET and recycled PET. PTP plans to offer the silicone modifier in master-batch form as well as liquid form. PET-M sports better elasticity and better oxygen barrier property. Elongation at break is 250 per cent versus about 120 per cent for standard food-grade recycled PET (rPET).

PTI Recycling Systems LLC, the United States, is promoting LNO™C process that reduces plastic flakes to an extremely small particle size, allowing more efficient decontamination by vacuum devolatilization. Phoenix Technologies, also of the United States, is a worldwide leader in the manufacture of rPET. Using a proprietary technology, developed together with its sister company, PTI, the Phoenix process palletizes and crystallizes post-consumer PET for direct sale and reuse back into consumer packaging applications. The patented fine mesh filtration process enables the production of rPET that is similar to virgin PET but requires less energy to manufacture. Since it runs like virgin PET, no special process changes are needed to use this rPET. The technology produces rPET with superior colour and yield compared with other methods. In addition, it has lower acetaldehyde levels that positively impact taste properties. Another benefit is its higher IV that closely matches the IV of virgin resins.

Krones, Germany, has developed complete PET recycling systems for bottle-to-bottle recycling. Krones’ process produces PET flakes that are suitable as a recyclate for reuse in direct contact with foods and beverages and meet the guidelines of both the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) and the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Krones’ system can be used for outputs of 500 kg/h or 1,000 kg/h. The PET recycling process comprises a washing module and a bottle-to-bottle module. The steps in this process are material preparation, soaking/washing/rinsing, separation into polyolefins and PET, mechanical/thermal drying, thick/thin separation, and finally the removal of migrated constituents in a “super-cleaning” function..

An alternative method to increase IV and restore properties of condensation polymers is to add chain extenders during melt processing. Joncryl® ADR chain extenders from BASF, Germany, are epoxy oligomers that react with the acid end groups of PET, “bridging” them back together to rebuild the molecular weight. Joncryl ADR is added at low levels (<1 per cent) to recycled PET during melt processing to restore mechanical properties of recycled PET to levels.

Allinco™ CBC (carbonyl-bis-caprolactam) chain extender from DSM, the Netherlands, can be used in polyamide to upgrade properties of industrial regrind in products such as carpet fibres and film. CBC was found to react too slowly for use in PET, but a new developmental product, Allinco PBOX, reacts faster in PET without any emission by-products. This chain extender reacts with carboxylic end groups and also improves hydrolytic stability – important in some industrial PET yarn and monofilament markets.

Taking the stress out of recycling jobs

MBM Maschinenbau, Germany, has won several awards for its integrated, product-to-product injection compression moulding (ICM) system that recycles fibre-reinforced thermoplastic waste into new moulded parts. The ICM system shreds the waste, which is then fed into a single screw extruder (L/D ratio 14). Next, the smaller parts are melted and mixed with reinforcing fibres. This material passes into a non-intermeshing twin-screw extruder (L/D ratio 20-25), where additives and additional fibres and fillers can be added if required. Finally, using the force of a piston, the melt is fed through a single-nozzle injection point into a partly closed mould. The finished parts are then injection-compression moulded at low pressure, typically 250-300 bar.

The process is suitable for recycling thermoplastics with a wide range of fibre reinforcements, such as glass fibres, natural fibres and carbon fibres. The most productive ICM 15050 duplex version has two melting lines and two moulding machines, each equipped with two full size palette moulds. The machine processes up to 1,000 kg to produce 50-60 palettes in an hour. The moulds are designed by MBM and manufactured by external mould makers. The process makes palettes that are very strong because it can work with dense materials. One notable feature of the process is its ability to compact materials, enhancing the strength of the final product. The machine increases density by 14 per cent for natural fibre-reinforced plastics and by about 38 per cent in the case of honeycomb-reinforced output, for which density has increased from 0.956 g/cm³ to 1.403 g/cm³.

Biodegradable plastic from linseed stalk

Using the stalk of linseed plant that is regarded as useless, a scientist at the Chandra Shekhar Azad University of Agriculture and Technology in Kanpur, India, has developed eco-friendly biodegradable plastic sheets. Manufactured by blending the linseed stalk powder with high-density polyethylene (HDPE), the biodegradable plastic sheets can be used for manufacturing conduit pipes, bathroom partitions as well as plastic boards.

After extracting the seed from the linseed plant, the stalk is usually thrown as waste, according to Dr. Om Prakash Mathuria. However, the new technology uses the stalk to develop eco-friendly plastic sheet. The stalks are tied in bundles that are soaked in a small pond for four to five days. Once the bundles begin to smell rotten, they are dried under the sun and then grinded into a fine powder. The entire process of extracting the powder from linseed stalk takes seven to eight days. The linseed powder is then blended with HDPE to manufacture the plastic sheet. Testing of the plastic quality was carried out at the Central Institute of Plastic Engineering and Technology, and the test results revealed that the eco-friendly plastic sheets are lighter in weight, more durable than normal plastic sheets and have an improved tensile strength. Surprisingly, the new product also has water-absorbing qualities.


E-waste used to cultivate algae for biofuel

Students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the United States, have simultaneously utilized e-waste and provided a renewable energy solution through a device recycled from different computer parts that could grow algae for biofuel production. The photobioreactor called Bio-Grow reused hardware from Dell and Apple computers to create a tank for algae cultivation. The algae tank of the device was made from the side panels of the CPU of an Apple G4, while an iMac cathode ray tube emitted light and heat to grow the algae. A Dell Latitude CPX laptop was modified to serve as the tank’s control panel. Bio-Grow won the second place in the International Electronic Waste Competition at the university.

Algae are used in biofuel production but the process is largely expensive, experimental and not ready for commercialization. The students’ project offers a new vision – a world where consumers can grow algae and sell these to energy companies. Through Bio-Grow, the team hopes to empower households with the capacity to generate sustainable fuels and pave the way for lower production costs. It helps that Bio-Grow is handy and small enough to adorn end tables in homes.

Recovering metal from waste printed circuit boards

Researchers at the School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China, have investigated a set of automatic equipment for recycling waste printed circuit boards on an industrial scale without negative environmental impact. Technology industrialization was the final goal of the research. Independent technologies were integrated and many problems in the technology industrialization process were solved.

The technology comprises four key parts – multiple scrapping, material screening, multiple-roll corona electrostatic separator and dust precipitation. The output of this automatic line reached 600 kg/h, with a copper recovery rate of 95 per cent. After separation, the metal and non-metal products were fully reused. Compared with other production lines (such as fluid bed production lines), the automatic line has lower energy consumption and better technology rationale. The cost of this automatic e-waste processing line was at a level acceptable to local processors. Contact: Mr. Zhenming Xu/Mr. Jia Li, School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, 800 Dongchuan Road, Shanghai 200240, China.

Recovering valuable raw materials

Untha Shredding Technology, Austria, offers a four-shaft system that allows for a cost-effective, customer-specific shredding solution. Untha four-shaft shredders are frequently used in refrigerator disposal plants, where shredders reduce complete refrigerators to granules of no more than 40 mm in just a few seconds. The patented system not only enables the physical separation of metal and foam so that the materials can be sorted at a later stage, but also ensures that the chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) contained in the foam are extracted at the same time.

The Untha four-shaft shredder can be relied on to shred dishwashers, electric cookers, washing machines, TV sets, computer equipment (including monitors, CPU casing and printed circuit boards) and many other electrical and electronic appliances. The uniform, small granule size is particularly advantageous for the recovery of valuable precious metals in re-melting furnaces. Contact: Untha shredding technology, Moldanstraße 141, A-5431 Kuchl, Austria. Tel: +43 6244 7016-0; Fax: +43 6244 7016-1; E-mail:

Bioleaching of e-waste with thermophilic microbes

At the University of Crajova, Romania, researchers have investigated a process for metal recovery from e-waste using bacterial leaching. A mixed culture of moderately thermophilic micro-organisms was enriched from samples of acid mine drainages (AMDs) collected from several sulphide mines in the country. Bioleaching of e-waste was conducted both in shake flask and bioreactor.

Results showed that in the shake flask, the mixture could tolerate 50 g/l scrap after being acclimated to gradually increased concentrations of scrap. Copper extraction increases with moderately thermophilic micro-organisms supplemented with 0.4 g/l yeast extract at 180 rpm: 74 per cent copper could be extracted in the pulp of 50 g/l scrap after 20 days. Compared with copper extractions of mesophilic culture, unacclimated culture and acclimated culture without addition of yeast extract, that of acclimated culture with addition of yeast increased by 53 per cent, 44 per cent and 16 per cent, respectively. In a stirring tank reactor, the mass fractions of copper and total iron extraction reach up to 81 per cent and 56 per cent, respectively. The results also indicate that it is necessary to add a large amount of acid to the pulp to extract copper from e-waste effectively. Contact: Mr. R.C. Ivanus, University of Craiova, Calea Bucuresti Street, No. 107, 200512, Craiova, Romania. E-mail:

Production of copper powder from PCBs

Researchers at the School of Chemical Engineering, National Technical University of Athens, Greece, have investigated production of copper powder from waste printed circuit boards (PCBs) through electrodeposition. In their study, PCBs were cut and treated thermally at 500°C for 1 hour in both air and nitrogen atmosphere. The obtained material was then dissolved in three different aqueous acid media – nitric acid, hydrochloric acid and sulphuric acid – to extract copper. The copper recovery percentages achieved were 97.5 per cent, 65 per cent and 76.5 per cent, respectively, for the three acid media. Electrodeposition technique was applied to recover copper in powder form. More than 98 per cent of copper was recovered by the application of high current density resulting in dendritic structure of copper. The applied process was characterized by a high current efficiency and led to the production of copper powder of 80 µm mean diameter appropriate for powder metallurgy applications.

New technologies for material recovery

Researchers at the School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China, report new technologies for recovering valuable components from waste. The first is technology and theory for multi-level shredding and separating waste electric and electronic equipment. On the basis of physical and chemical properties of e-waste (printed circuit boards, toner cartridges and batteries), dynamics of different processes and the principle minimum energy consumption, combinations of different crushing and multi-level shredding methods are established. Various parameters such as rotor radius and speed are determined by physical and mathematical models, which are based on minimum energy consumption principle. Key technologies of multi-level cooling (including air cooling) and material recycling are assessed to solve problems during shredding of e-waste, such as heat generated during crushing, emission of harmful gases, transportation and conversion of toxic and hazardous substances, and other environmental issues.

The second development involves reutilization of non-metallic materials (including their valorization) and new technology for hazardous substances. These involve the following:

  • Based on composition, particle size and shape, physical chemistry and environmental characteristics of the non-metallic powder from pulverized printed circuit board (PCB) waste, its micro-bonding and micro-reinforcing mechanisms are determined for use as filler in the phenolic moulding compound (PMC), regeneration plate and highway asphalt modifier. Valorization of harmful substances (such as brominated flame retardants) is also studied to get a theoretical basis for the comprehensive utilization of non-metallic powder; and
  • The non-metallic powder from pulverized PCB is used to replace wood powder in wood-plastic composite with excellent performance, achieving high resource utilization.
Contact: School of Environmental Science & Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, No. 800, Dongchuan Road, Minhang, Shanghai, China 200240. Tel: +86 (21) 5474 1065; Fax: +86 (21) 5474 0825; E-mail:


Technology for reuse of wastewater

Aquabio, the United Kingdom, specializes in industrial water reuse. Aquabio uses its own cross-flow membrane bioreactors (MBRs) as the core process in its three wastewater treatment alternatives using ultrafiltration (UF). All three Aquabio MBR plants have UF membranes mounted outside of the bioreactor in dry conditions, enabling hygienic operation, ease of maintenance and non-immersion of parts in the biomass. AMBR™ uses high cross-flow to achieve high flux rates. The bioreactor can be operated at high biomass suspended solids concentrations (MLSS).

The technology is aimed at low-flow, high-strength wastewaters. Plants are extremely compact, with very low membrane area. The membrane banks are operated automatically based on level in the bioreactor and hence are utilized, as required, to match the inlet flow. When not required, individual membrane banks are automatically shut down, auto-flushed to remove biomass and set for re-start. AMBR plants are modular and are relatively low in capital investment cost.

AMBR LE™ uses intermittent back-flushing for controlling membrane fouling and thus allows a reduction in cross-flow velocity and a significant saving in energy. Medium/high MLSS concentrations are accommodated and AMBR LE aims at medium/high flow and low/high strength wastewater. With variable-speed recirculation pumps, the system allows for a ‘managed’ flux rate that is used to optimize energy consumption relative to the plant load. AMBR LE plants too are compact with a low membrane area. Plants operate on a direct link to level in the bioreactor, automatically adjusting membrane permeate production (and energy use) to suit the inlet flow conditions. AMBR LE is particularly suited to applications with inconsistent or variable wastewater flows, high peak or seasonal loads or when power costs are moderate to high.

BIOVERT® incorporates vertically mounted modules and utilizes air injection to further reduce energy consumption. This process allows for medium MLSS concentrations and is aimed at high flows and low/medium strength (i.e. mainly larger municipal applications). The plants have more installed membrane area. The plants operate on a more constant level in the bioreactor, with controlled air injection at either the top or the bottom of the membrane tubes. Air scour and turbulence reduce surface fouling and energy use is very low. BIOVERT plants are suited to applications with large steady wastewater flows and when electricity costs are high. Contact: Mr. Steve Goodwin, Aquabio Ltd., Unit No. 10, Ball Mill Top Business Park, Hallow, Worcester WR2 6LS, United Kingdom. Tel: +44 (1905) 641 966; E-mail:

Industrial wastewater purification process

In the Republic of Korea, the Korea Environmental Industry & Technology Institute (KEITI) has announced the development of technology to promptly and efficiently remove nitrogen, phosphorus and fluorine in wastewater from the semiconductor industry. This technology was the outcome of a joint project by Sung Jin Engineering Co. Ltd. and the Department of Environmental Engineering of Chungbuk National University, with support from the Ministry of Environment and KEITI.

The newly developed removal facility for high concentration nitrogen, phosphorus and fluorine is more compact than previous facilities and processing time is shorter. The technology crystallizes nitrogen, phosphorus and fluorine into calcium fluoride (CaF2) and struvite before removing them. It improves water quality and Struvite, an organic by-product, can be used as compost. Dr. Jeong-hun Lee from Sung Jin Engineering said the high-concentration nitrogen, phosphorus and fluorine removal technology can also be applied to other industries that discharge serious wastewater.

Bioreactor for detoxification of wastewater

Microbac Ltd., the United Kingdom, offers bioreactors designed specifically for the biological treatment and detoxification of industrial and municipal wastewater streams. In addition, these units can be used for bioremediation of oily sludges, oil spills or land polluted with organic residues and for the decontamination of polluted groundwater.

The bioreactor unit consists of a steel tank incorporating a submerged, structured, rigid plastic matrix and a membrane air distribution system. It also has provisions for effluent discharge to maintain a fixed operating liquid level in the tank. This unique system provides an excellent growth environment for bacteria. The bioreactor tank is full of rigid matrix, excepting the water freeboard above the matrix and the small water-filled space below the matrix. In the latter space, several air distribution membranes cross the width of the tank to supply air from blowers through header pipes.

In the standard bioreactor system, the rigid plastic matrix provides 150 m2 of surface per cubic metre. The high surface area to volume ratio of the bioreactor allows for the accumulation of substantial concentrations of bacteria in a film in a relatively small treatment unit. Furthermore, the accumulated viable bacteria are fixed in the system and do not need to be recycled, unlike in conventional biological treatment plants such as activated sludge systems. In actual operation, the biological film will be in a state of dynamic, continuous growth and sloughing, so that at any given time, portions of the matrix are always at some points between forming a new film and sloughing. The effluent from the bioreactor will contain the sloughed biological solids but will be relatively free of soluble organic chemicals. Contact: Microbac Ltd., Unit 30C, Werdohl Business Park, Number One Industrial Estate, Consett, County Durham DH8 6TJ, United Kingdom. Tel: + 44 (1207) 593610; Fax: + 44 (1207) 593742; E-mail:

Oil and solids separation system

RGF Environmental Group in the United States has announced the inclusion of a centrifugal coalescing clarifier (CCC) to its oil water and solids separator line. RGF’s new CCC-400 and CCC-600 tanks provide a robust separation system for liquid waste streams. With fully automatic operation, CCC-400 and CCC-600 tanks remove free oil and heavy solids as pre-treatment to sanitary sewer or for reclamation. The transportable units are adaptable for chemical additions such as flocking and pH control, and require minimal maintenance and support. Cone Tank drains particulates into gravity bag filter for collection and removal.

RGF’s oil water and solids separation line is suited for heavy equipment repair shops, fleet depots and mining equipment wash facilities. Contact: Mr. Bill Svec, RGF Environmental Group, 3875 Fiscal Court, West Palm Beach, Florida 33404, United States of America. Tel: +1 (561) 8481 826; Fax: +1 (561) 8489 454; E-mail:; Website:

Microbes produce hydrogen from wastewater

In the United States, Dr. Prathap Parameswaran and his colleagues at the Biodesign Institute of Arizona State University (ASU) have studied a process that uses wastewater as a feedstock to generate hydrogen for fuel cell use. Microbial electrochemical cells (MXCs) are able to utilize bacterial respiration for liberating electrons that can be used to generate current and make clean electricity. With minor reconfiguring, MXCs can also become microbial electrolysis cells (MECs) for hydrogen production.

In an MEC, like that used in the current study, the electrons produced at the anode join positively charged protons in the cathode chamber to form hydrogen gas. The study demonstrates that the level of electron flow from the anode to the cathode can be improved by selecting additional bacteria, homo-acetogens, in the anode chamber. These bacteria capture the electrons from hydrogen in the wastewater, producing acetate, which is a very favourable electron donor for the anode bacteria. The study shows that under favourable conditions, the anode bacteria could convert hydrogen to current more efficiently after forming a mutual relationship with homo-acetogens.

Hot sewage recycling solution

A Ph.D. project by a student at the Victoria University, New Zealand, is undergoing commercial development as a means to reclaim water, high-pressure steam, fertilizers and acetic acid from wastewater. The project offers a sustainable management solution for wastewater and run-off from dairy farms, wineries and meat works. The high-pressure steam and acetic acid give the New Zealand venture an edge. The process is called Wetox – wet oxidation for removing suspended solids from wastewater using oxygen and heat under high pressure. Until now, the process had not come into more widespread use, in part due to its expense. The Victoria researchers have developed a method which is more cost-effective. The by-products could be used on-site to help offset the cost, or sold off-site.


New bacteria could help clean up oil spill

In the United States, researchers at Oregon State University (OSU) have found a new strain of bacteria that could help clean up some of the nastiest pollutants. The bacterium can produce non-toxic, comparatively cheap ‘rhamnolipids’ that help degrade polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) – pollutants that form one of the most harmful aspects of oil spills. OSU is patenting the NY3 strain of the common bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa, which was isolated from an oil-contaminated site in Shaanxi province, China.

Some strains of P. aeruginosa have useful properties, including the ability to produce rhamnolipids, a group of biosurfactants. The OSU scientists have found that NY3 has an “extraordinary capacity” to produce rhamnolipids that could help break down oil and degrade PAHs. Since rhamnolipids are non-toxic and completely biodegradable, they offer compelling advantages over their synthetic chemical counterparts made from petroleum. Most strains of P. aeruginosa now being used have a low yield of rhamnolipid. But strain NY3 has been optimized to produce a very high yield of 12 g/l, from initial production levels of 20 mg/l. NY3 is easy to grow and cultivate. It might therefore be available for commercial use in a fairly short time.

On-site, anaerobic bioremediation

Etec LLC, the United States, offers its In Situ Delivery (ISD™) equipment and anaerobic bioremediation products to address the governing principles that control the success or failure of any on-site anaerobic bioremediation. A primary limitation of in situ remediation processes – such as chemical oxidation or bioremediation) is the lack of contact between delivered amendments and the contaminants. Unfortunately, many pilot-scale and full-scale in situ processes are implemented using slug injections that are often ineffective because they have minimal radius of influence. Hence, they fail to maintain appropriate subsurface conditions or deliver the mass of amendments required.

To overcome the above limitations, Etec has developed automated recirculation systems that can deliver liquid and slurry phase substrates, nutrients or chemical oxidants to the subsurface on a scheduled, consistent basis. The ISD equipment platforms are fully automated and programmable, allowing for optimized delivery of remediation products based on site-specific remediation needs.

The ISD equipment may be customized to deliver a wide range of electron donor substrates. The substrates will be automatically mixed with the extracted groundwater and re-injected throughout the site to achieve maximum contact. The ISD equipment is designed specifically for delivery of Etec’s CarbStrate™ electron donor substrate as part of the company’s anaerobic bioremediation system, but it can also be used to deliver ethyl lactate, oils or other electron donor substrates. Chemical oxidants (hydrogen peroxide, permanganate, persulphate) are used to oxidize a broad range of organic compounds. Because of the very high oxidant costs, minimizing these costs via efficient subsurface injection is imperative. The efficiency of pump and treatment systems diminish much over time, leading to extended treatment time frames. The automated delivery of surfactants can increase the amount of contaminants captured by existing extraction systems. The ISD equipment can move surfactant-amended groundwater through the site to help encourage free product and residual contaminant recovery. Any surfactant can be used, but Etec recommends its non-ionic PetroSolv™ biosurfactant for enhanced contaminant recovery. Contact: Etec LLC, 6635 NE 59th Place, Portland, OR 97218, United States of America. Tel: +1 (971) 2223 580; E-mail:

Bioremediation products for clean-up operations

EnSolve Biosystems, the United States-based world leader in maritime bioremediation technology, has introduced a new line of products designed to facilitate clean-up of oil from shorelines, beaches, marshes and open waters. The ShoreClean products from EnSolve are designed to release concentrated levels of naturally occurring, oil-degrading microbes and nutrients onto the waters and beaches along a contaminated shoreline. The microbes break down the oil particles, converting it to water and trace quantities of carbon dioxide.

The ShoreClean products include booms and bags that are filled with oil-consuming microbes and slow-release nutrients. When properly deployed, wave action releases the microbes and nutrients to stimulate oil degradation in the environment. The floating booms contain a natural oleophilic, hydrophobic sorbent capable of absorbing eight times its weight in oil. The microbes inside the booms break down the absorbed oil, permitting the boom to continue soaking up more oil. The bags are anchored on the beach along the tidal line and are effective for two to four weeks, after which they can easily be replaced.

Enhanced bioremediation using electron donors

Environmental Bio-Systems (EBS), the United States, offers enhanced bioremediation that relies on the general availability of naturally occurring microorganisms to consume contaminants as a nutrient source (petroleum hydrocarbons in aerobic processes) or as an electron acceptor (chlorinated solvents). In addition to microbes being present, in order to be successful, these processes require nutrients (carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus equalling 100:10:2 or 100:10:1). EBS evaluates geochemical and redox conditions in aquifers as well as microbial counts for biofeasibility studies (anaerobic, aerobic and co-metabolic). It will perform nutrient calculations, and provide the design and liquids for site-specific nutrient mixes. Sometimes, the microbes necessary to provide the proper enzymes are not present in volumes capable of reasonable degradation rates. In such cases, EBS works with laboratories to develop microbe cultures for specific contaminants such as perchloroethylene (PCE), trichloroethylene (TCE), methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) and other compounds.

Although bioremediation is generally a slow process, taking a few months to start yielding results, it can be an effective and low-cost remediation strategy, usually in the residual remediation management zone. If the source of contamination has been removed through excavation, two-phase extraction (or soil vapour extraction for the soil source zone), chemical oxidation (ozone, perozone, Fenton’s reagent, persulphate, etc.) or another method, enhanced bioremediation is a good choice to reduce the residual concentrations of petroleum hydrocarbons to levels that will allow case closure.

EBS works in the laboratory and in the field with a variety of rapid, immediately bioavailable (hydrogen gas) to moderate (lactate) to slow and long-lasting electron donors (edible soybean oil) for a full range of carbon substrates to encourage microbial degradation and abiotic reduction processes to degrade a wide variety of chlorinated solvents, heavy metals, perchlorate, nitrates and other pesticides/herbicides. Edible soybean oils can be made into a micro-emulsion, allowing for better migration through the pore throat openings of the aquifer. As documented on a New Mexico site, when fermentable edible oils were combined with hydrogen infusion using the gas infusion products gPRO or HiSOC (from inVentures), chlorinated solvent dehalogenation results were found to be up to 50 per cent greater than just the use of fermentable oils alone. Contact: Environmental Bio-Systems Inc., Corporate Office, 707 View Point Road, Mill Valley, California, United States of America. Tel: +1 (415) 3815 195; Fax: +1 (415) 3815 816; E-mail:

Patented products for oil spill clean-up

In the United States, Dr. Joseph A. Resnick, a scholar and scientist at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), has submitted his patented inventions – Bio-Boom, Bio-Sok, PRP, WAPED, Oil-Buster, Well-Boom and E-SeaKleen – to handle the highly disastrous Gulf of Mexico oil spill. The Alternative Response Technology Team and BP’s Operations Command Centre report that Dr. Resnick’s bioremediation products have been escalated to Stage 3 of the triage process for further consideration and possible deployment. There are only four stages, with deployment taking place in Stage 4.

The products are subject of a United States patent issued to Dr. Resnick and are listed on the National Contingency Plan Product Schedule. Dr. Resnick’s bioremediation products are the only biological products permitted for use in watersheds and the waterways of the Chesapeake Bay and the waters of the State of California. The basic component in the products are called petroleum remediation product and water pollution eradication device (PRP/WAPED). It comprises microscopic balls, made from 100 per cent beeswax and ranging in size from 0.25 µm to 0.65 µm. The balls contain oil-eating Psuedomonads bacteria. The machine used to manufacture the microcapsules is also an invention of Dr. Resnick. Psuedomonads have a voracious appetite for hydrocarbon compounds like those found in crude oil spilling into the Gulf of Mexico. Dr. Resnick said that the products are ideally suited to treat impacted eco-sensitive areas, such as wetlands, marshes, mangroves, nesting areas and grasslands where conventional clean-up methods are impossible. Contact: Dr. Joseph A. Resnick, United States of America. Tel: +1 (724) 224 2606; E-mail:

High-pressure gas infusion system

The groundwater Pressurized Remediation Optimizer (gPRO®) High Pressure (HP) system, is based on patented Gas inFusion technology developed by inVentures, Canada. The equipment infuses higher stabilized concentrations of dissolved gas into water compared with any other technology. Major enhanced bioremediation applications of gPRO HP include: hydrocarbon remediation; chlorinated hydrocarbon remediation; ammonia reduction; nitrate remediation; perchlorate remediation; and 1,4 dioxane remediation.

The gPRO HP system comes with several useful features and benefits. It can diffuse any miscible gas into water. For a gas such as oxygen, as much as 3.6 kg can be dissolved into water using a gPRO HP4 unit. The system is easily retrofitted to pump and treat systems to reduce pump and treat times drastically. It can be used for cometabolic treatment with alkane gases. Automatic controls are provided to shut down and start up the system as necessary. Trailer or truck-mount setup allows for easy mobility to different injection points. For oxygen applications, an oxygen generator can be integrated, in place of oxygen cylinders. With gPRO HP system, there is issues of gas loss, vapour intrusion, off-gassing or gas entrapment.

The gPRO HP is a versatile tool for groundwater remediation that provides high rate of gas infusion into groundwater pumped through microporous hollow fibre cross-current flow modules. It compliments the capabilities of inVentures’ HiSOC and iSOC systems for gas infusion applications. Contact: inVentures Technologies inc., P.O. Box 1296, Stn A, 670 Wilsey Road, Fredericton, New Brunswick E3B 5C8, Canada. Tel: +1 (647) 477 2394; E-mail:

Biotreatability protocol for soil impacted by crude oil

Bioremediation is often the preferred method for remediating crude-oil contaminated soil at exploration and production facilities because it is proven, cost-effective, robust, and performed on location. However, some soils are not amenable to this treatment. At Chevron, Australia, Mr. R. Hoffmann and colleagues developed a four-step protocol to assess the feasibility of ex situ bioremediation for soil contaminated crude oil, opening the possibility to forego costly and time-consuming biotreatability trials.

First, representative samples are tested for conditions that would preclude bioremediation or necessitate pre-treatment, special management or up-front lab treatability studies. The source crude and soil-based residual hydrocarbons are characterized geochemically to determine the inherent biodegradability of the crude and amount of hydrocarbon that has already been passively biodegraded or removed by an abiotic mechanism such as volatilization.

In steps two and three, compositional and rate data are utilized to estimate the duration of treatment and endpoint achievable by ex situ bioremediation. The predictive endpoint equation is derived from first principles, empirically corrected by means of field-scale data, and validated at full scale for source condensates and crude oils ranging from 14 to 45° API. The degree of validation suggests the predictive equations are suitable for making decisions on bioremediation potential, thereby eliminating the need for lab and pilot treatability studies.

If the removal duration and extent predicted would fulfil the project’s objectives, the final configuration (land treatment or composting) is selected in step four, considering schedule and spatial constraints and the properties the bioremediated soil needs to possess to support the designated end use.


Eliminating VOCs in metal fabrication

Kroff Process Technologies Inc., the United States, has developed technology to eliminate volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that are a by-product of metal fabrication process, without compromising the process. A typical metal fabricating facility produces 22,700 kg to 45,400 kg of VOCs per year. With the new technology, it is possible to completely eliminate VOCs.

Kroff has eliminated certain chemical components that historically have been part of the make-up of cutting fluids. By doing so, fabricators can truly cut with the lubricant components of the fluid, resulting in as much as a 10 per cent life extension on tooling. Eliminating the VOCs from cutting fluids improves air quality, reduces fabricator issues with the cutting fluids and results in fewer reportable incidents.

Rotary oxidizer

Ceco Environmental Corp. in the United States has launched its new R-Series rotary oxidizer. This device can operate as a regenerative thermal oxidizer (RTO), a regenerative catalytic oxidizer (RCO) or a thermally efficient selective catalytic reduction (TESCR) system. While oxidizers destroy volatile organic compounds (VOCs), selective catalytic reduction helps remove nitrogen oxides from airstreams.

This new equipment is suitable for use in industries such as painting, coil coating, food processing, chemical processing, pharmaceuticals and composites production, fibre glass manufacturing, semiconductor manufacturing, petrochemical and hydrocarbon processing, etc. Contact: Ceco Environmental Corp., 3120 Forrer Street, Cincinnati, OH 45209. United States of America. Tel: +1 (513) 458 2600; Fax: +1 (513) 458 2647; E-mail:; Website:

Road surface purifies air by removing NOx

Researchers from the Technology University of Eindhoven (TU/e), the Netherlands, carried out three air purity measurements, at heights of between 0.5 m and 1.5 m, in the municipality of Hengelo. As part of the project, around 1,000 m2 of the road’s surface were covered with air-purifying concrete paving stones. For comparison, another area of 1,000 m2 was surfaced with normal paving stones. Over the area paved with air-purifying concrete the nitrogen oxides (NOx) content was found to be 25-45 per cent lower than that over the area paved with normal concrete.

Prof. Jos Brouwers at the Department of Architecture, Building and Planning sees numerous potential applications, especially at locations where the maximum permitted NOx concentrations are now exceeded. The concrete stones used in the tests are jointly developed with and made by paving stone manufacturer Struyk Verwo Infra. The product is already available for use. For roads where an asphalt surface is preferred, the air-purifying concrete can be mixed with open asphalt. It can also be used in self-cleaning and air purifying building walls. The use of air-purifying concrete does not have a major impact on the cost of a road. Although the stones themselves are 50 per cent more expensive than normal concrete stones, the total road building costs are only 10 per cent higher.

NOx abatement

FLSmidth A/S, Denmark, is offering Selective Non-Catalytic Reduction (SNCR) technology for abatement of nitrogen oxides (NOx). Salient features of SNCR are:
  • It is a proven technology in the cement industry and can be implemented virtually without affecting kiln operation;
  • The capital costs are considerably lower than those of selective catalytic reduction (SCR) and there is no catalyst that needs to be replaced and disposed of;
  • It does not need Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) modelling or a lengthy pilot study prior to the final design; and
  • It causes no pressure loss and does not require standstill heating or bypass.

The fully mechanized and automated SNCR system consists of a storage system with one or more ammonia solution tanks and a pump module for filling. A pump module for reductant supplies a number of control and measuring modules (CMMs), which control the flow of reductant to the respective groups of injection modules. The control system consists of a standard FLSmidth Sub Control System (SCS) with a number of power and network distribution boxes and a touch screen. SCS calculates the flow of reductant required to comply with the NOx limit, provides set points for the CMMs and communicates with the central control room computer.

Two SNCR systems commissioned by FLSmidth in 2009 have shown the following results:

  • In-Line Calciner (ILC) type kiln 2,800 t/d uses four injectors with a pressurized air consumption of just 5 kg/h/injector. NOx emission per day was reduced from 1,015 mg/Nm3 to 390 mg/Nm3 (10 per cent O2) at an average AUF of 70 per cent; and
  • Separate Line Calciner (SLC) type kiln producing 6,300 t/d uses eight injectors. NOx emission per day was reduced from 1,290 mg/Nm3 to 500 mg/Nm3 (10 per cent O2) at an average AUF of 68 per cent while maintaining the level of unreacted ammonia below 20 mg/Nm3/day (10 per cent O2).

FLSmidth’s SNCR test rigs have achieved NOx reduction above 95 per cent, and figures below 200 mg/Nm3/day (10 per cent O2) could be achieved. Contact: FLSmidth A/S, Vigerslev Alle 77, DK-2500 Valby, Copenhagen, Denmark. Tel: +45 3618 1000; Fax: +45 3617 1520; E-mail:

Ultra-low NOx burner

Zeeco Inc., the United States, offers a process that achieves ultra-low nitrous oxide (NOx) emissions in ethylene cracking furnaces. Attaining ultra-low NOx emission levels in ethylene cracking furnaces – where the operating temperatures routinely range from 1,093ºC to1,204ºC – can prove to be a difficult task. In addition, the harsh environment in these furnaces – high temperatures, low fuel quality and difficult-to-predict furnace currents – often create other problems, such as burner tip plugging and poor flame patterns. The Zeeco® ultra-low NOx free-jet burner also reduces maintenance costs. NOx emissions have been reported at a sustainable 0.04 lb/MMBtu to 0.05 lb/MMBtu (31 to 39 ppmv corrected to 3 per cent O2 dry) in an ethylene cracking furnace where Zeeco’s burner has been installed. This is impressive, given that this application has high temperatures near the furnace floor. To achieve low emissions, the Zeeco burner technology entrains, recirculates and mixes inert furnace gases into the combustion zone, without using external flue gas recirculation. To reduce NOx production, this free-jet technology also delays combustion and lowers flame temperatures.

Alternative carbon capture technology

In Canada, a Saint Mary’s University researcher has developed new compounds for removing carbon dioxide (CO2) from industrial gas emissions. Dr. Jason Clyburne has been awarded US$25,000 in Proof-of-Principle funding from a federal centre focused on commercializing “green technologies” developed by academics. The GreenCentre Canada grant will enable Dr. Clyburne to further develop his “ionic liquids”, which have shown promise for the efficient and safe removal of all environmentally hazardous substances in gaseous emissions from industrial processes such as burning coal.

The specialized ionic liquids can, for example, trap CO2 from waste streams using much less energy than that used by traditional scrubbing technologies. The CO2 can then be separated from the ionic liquid and stored, allowing the ionic liquid to be recycled to remove additional CO2 from the waste stream. Dr. Clyburne’s research includes examining the long-term ability of these compounds, improving gas selectivity and developing methods to produce the compounds in sufficient quantities to be used in large-scale CO2 removal processes. Contact: Mr. Steve Proctor, External Affairs, Saint Mary’s University, Canada. Tel: +1 (902) 4205 513; E-mail:; Website:

Wet scrubber combines compact size, efficient design

TecHarmonic, the United States, offers a low-cost-of-ownership wet scrubber that combines compact size and efficient design. ‘Monsoon’, measuring 1.7 × 2 × 3 ft. (w × b × h), provides an exhaust scrubbing capacity of 400 lpm for etchers or 12,000 lpm for fume hoods. It consumes just 7.5 lph to conserve water usage, while currently available wet scrubbers consume up to 7.5-11.5 lpm. The scrubber’s design solves the challenge of exhaust clogging by integrating a 10 cm inlet, which can be heated up to 300°C. Often, wet bench fumes can form solid by-products to cause production loss (i.e. ammonium hydroxide and hydrogen chloride form troublesome aluminium chloride crystals). By removing hydrogen chloride, the scrubber minimizes maintenance and production loss. Contact: TecHarmonic Inc., 19 Great Oaks Blvd., Suite 30, San Jose, CA 95119, United States of America. Tel: +1 (408) 3608 780, ext. 222; E-mail:; Website:


Sustainable Textiles: Life Cycle and Environmental Impact

Environmental issues play a major role in the textile industry, both from the point of view of government regulation and consumer expectations. This book reviews ways of achieving more sustainable materials and technologies as well as improving recycling in the industry. The first part of the book discusses ways to improve sustainability at various points in the supply chain. The second part examines consumer perceptions of recycled textiles, eco-labelling, organic textiles and the use of recycled materials in textile products.

Contact: Mr. Chris Woodthorpe, United Nations Shop, United Nations Headquarters, First Avenue at 46th Street, New York, NY 10017, United States of America. Tel: +1 (212) 963 8321; Fax: +1 (212) 963 8321; E-mail:

Solid Waste Management in the World’s Cities

This book provides a fresh perspective and new data on one of the biggest issues in urban development. Using the framework of Integrated Sustainable Waste Management (ISWM), the report brings together unprecedented research from 22 cities in six continents. It uncovers the rich diversity of waste management systems that are in place throughout the world, and draws out the practical lessons for policymakers.

Contact: Earthscan Ltd., Dunstan House, 14a St. Cross Street, London EC1N 8XA, United Kingdom. Tel: +44 (20) 7841 1930; Fax: +44 (20) 7242 1474; E-mail:

Introduction to Green Chemistry

Since the publication of the first edition of this book, interest in green chemistry and clean processes has grown so much. Copiously illustrated with over 800 figures, this second edition provides an update from the frontiers of the field. The book covers traditional green chemistry topics, including catalysis, benign solvents and alternative feedstock. It also discusses relevant though less frequently covered topics with chapters such as “Chemistry of Longer Wear” and “Population and the Environment”.

Contact: Taylor & Francis Group, 130 Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon OX14 4SB, United Kingdom. Tel: +44 (1235) 400 524; Fax: +44 (1235) 400 525; E-mail:


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