VATIS Update Waste Management . Jul-Aug 2011

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Waste Management Jul-aug 2011

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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Raising metal recycling rates key to ‘green economy’

According to a recent report from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), recycling rates of metals are in many cases far lower than their potential for re-use. Less than one-third of some 60 metals studied have an end-of-life recycling rate of 50 per cent or more, while 34 elements are below 1 per cent recycling. Yet, many of them are crucial to clean technologies such as batteries for hybrid cars to magnets in wind turbines, according to Recycling Rates of Metals: A Status Report compiled by UNEP’s International Resource Panel.

The weak performance is especially frustrating because, unlike some other resources, metals are “inherently recyclable”, says the study released by Mr. Achim Steiner, UNEP’s Executive Director. Therefore, raising levels of recycling worldwide can contribute to a transition to a low-carbon, resource-efficient ‘green economy’ while assisting to generate ‘green jobs’, said Mr. Steiner.

The report says lead is the most recycled metal: nearly 80 per cent of products that contain lead – mainly batteries – are recycled when they reach the end of their useful lives. More than half of the iron and other main components of steel and stainless steel, and some the precious metals such as platinum, gold, silver are recycled. There are, however, wide variations; for example, 70-90 per cent of gold in industrial applications get recycled versus only 10-15 per cent of gold from electronic goods. Meanwhile, globally there is virtually no recycling of metals like indium employed in semiconductors, energy-efficient light emitting diodes (LEDs), advanced medical imaging and photovoltaics.

Smarter product designs, support for developing country waste management schemes, and encouraging developed country households not to ‘squirrel away’ old electronic goods in drawers and closets could help boost recycling of metals worldwide, the report suggests. Another recommendation is to improve recycling technologies and collection systems to keep up with ever more complex products created with an increasingly diverse range of metals and alloys.

China to set stricter emission norms for thermal power plants

E-waste is emerging as a major source of pollution in India. Based on a survey by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), 147,000 t of e-waste is estimated to have been generated in the country in 2005. This is forecast to increase to about 800,000 t by 2012. According to the Minister of State for Environment and Forests (independent charge), Ms. Jayanthi Natarajan, her Ministry has taken a number of steps to ensure environmentally sound management of e-waste in the country.

Hazardous Wastes (Management, Handling and Transboundary Movement) Rules, 2008, have been notified for appropriate management and handling of hazardous wastes including e-waste. Under these, e-waste recycling can be carried out only in facilities authorized and registered with State Pollution Control Boards/Pollution Control Committees. Waste generated is required to be sent or sold only to a registered or authorized recycler or re-processor having environmentally sound facilities. E-Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 2011, have been notified in May 2011, and these will come in to effect from 1 May 2012.

The CPCB publication Guidelines for Environmentally Sound Management of E-waste provides the approach as well as methodology for environmentally sound management of e-waste. Import of e-waste for disposal is not permitted in the country. Such wastes may be imported for reuse, recycling or reprocessing only with the permission of the Ministry of Environment and Forests and the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT). A coordination committee has been constituted for the effective implementation of the provisions related to import and export of e-waste. The committee has been also sensitizing the Customs authorities regarding enforcement of these Rules to check illegal import of e-waste into the country.

Fiji gets a national strategy on solid waste management

Fiji’s Cabinet has endorsed a National Solid Waste Management Strategy (NSWMS) for 2011-2014. The Strategy sets out a medium to long-term programmes to address waste management issues in the country, so as to avoid adverse environmental and health effects. The Cabinet based its decision on a submission by Col. Samuela Saumatua, the Minister for Local Government, Urban Development, Housing and Environment. The Minister said that poor waste management practices adversely affects health, tourism, natural resources and the environment, and weaken the country’s resolve to achieve the millennium development goals. He added that Fiji recognizes waste management as an important environment issue at the forefront of national policies and one that requires sustained and highly prioritised actions.

The first NSWMS and Action Plan 2008-2010 had brought in some improvements in solid waste disposal in Fiji, Col. Saumatua pointed out. NSWMS 2011-2014 aims to assist Fiji in moving towards the development of sustainable waste management systems to address specific national needs. The National Solid Waste Management Committee will monitor programmes under the new Strategy.

E-waste is a major pollutant in India

E-waste is emerging as a major source of pollution in India. Based on a survey by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), 147,000 t of e-waste is estimated to have been generated in the country in 2005. This is forecast to increase to about 800,000 t by 2012. According to the Minister of State for Environment and Forests (independent charge), Ms. Jayanthi Natarajan, the Ministry of Environment & Forests (MoEF) has taken a number of steps to ensure environmentally sound management of e-waste in the country.

Hazardous Wastes (Management, Handling and Transboundary Movement) Rules, 2008, have been notified for appropriate management and handling of hazardous wastes including e-waste. Under these, e-waste recycling can be carried out only in facilities authorized and registered with State Pollution Control Boards/Pollution Control Committees. Waste generated is required to be sent or sold only to a registered or authorized recycler or re-processor having environmentally sound facilities. E-Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 2011, have been notified in May 2011 and will be effective from 1 May 2012.

The CPCB publication Guidelines for Environmentally Sound Management of E-waste provides the approach as well as methodology for environmentally sound management of e-waste. Import of e-waste for disposal is not permitted in the country. Such wastes may be imported for reuse, recycling or reprocessing only with the permission of the Ministry of Environment and Forests and the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT). A coordination committee has been constituted for the effective implementation of the provisions related to import and export of e-waste. The committee has been also sensitizing the Customs authorities regarding enforcement of these Rules to check illegal import of e-waste into the country.

Sri Lanka’s e-waste collection shifts gear

Over 2,000 tonnes of e-waste had been collected in Sri Lanka under the National E-waste Management Programme, according to a Central Environmental Authority spokesman. He said that 1,400 tonnes had been collected in 2010 after the commencement of the programme and 600 tonnes had been collected up to July 2011. He said that the collected e-waste was exported to Hong Kong, Republic of Korea, Singapore and Germany and recovery certificates were obtained from these countries. “Sri Lanka does not possess recycle facilities for e-waste. Therefore, partner organizations export these hauls for recycling,” he said.

China meets pollution control targets for 2006-2010

China met two important pollution control targets from 2006 to 2010, according to the country’s Ministry of Environmental Protection. The index for sulphur dioxide (SO2) emissions, the main one for measuring air pollution, dropped 14.29 per cent in 2010 compared with the level in 2005, said the Ministry in a recent statement. The index of Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD), a measure of water pollution, decreased 12.45 per cent from the level in 2005.

China’s 11th Five-Year Plan (2006-2010) set out to reduce COD and SO2 levels by 10 per cent over this period. COD totalled 12.38 million tonnes in 2010, a decrease of 3.09 per cent from 2009, the statement said. The volume of SO2 emissions totalled 21.85 million tonnes, a drop of 1.32 per cent from 2009.

The Ministry attributed the progress to the installation of desulphurizing facilities in thermal power plants and the building of more sewage plants. In 2010, 82.6 per cent of the thermal power generators across China were equipped with desulphurizing facility, up from 12 per cent in 2005, the statement said. In addition, 75 per cent of urban sewage was processed in 2010, up from 52 per cent in 2005. In those five years, China significantly increased its capacity to process wastewater and sewage. The country also moved to close high-pollution factories and small thermal power plants.

Nepal gets ADB assistance for waste management

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved US$500,000 as assistance for waste management in Nepal under a 14-month project that will focus on policy, strategy, analysis, capacity-building and regulations. The Government of Nepal will contribute another US$100,000 for the recently launched project, said the Ministry of Local Development (MoLD).

Mr. Sushil Ghimire, MoLD Secretary, said waste management was a challenge in the country. “The new Waste Management Act has provisioned a strong action against the violators, but it should be effectively implemented for expected results.” On 26 May, Nepal’s Parliament approved the Waste Management Act that includes provisions for waste segregation system at homes, waste management, treatment of hazardous waste by producers themselves, public-private partnership, and environment protection. Public will be prohibited from throwing waste wherever they like, and the Act prescribes jail sentence of up to three months for those disrupting waste disposal.

Philippines intensifies waste segregation

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) of the Philippines has pledged to strengthen its partnership with the local government units (LGUs) and civic society to generate greater public compliance with the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act, 2000. Mr. Ramon Paje, Environment Secretary, said: “DENR will level up its partnership with other government agencies and other well-meaning civic groups to get people really undertake waste segregation and other measures to reduce the garbage, particularly in Metro Manila.”

Mr. Paje termed household waste management as a big environmental concern of the government. “In the analysis of the country’s environmental problems, it always boils down to garbage as the main contributor.” He noted that DENR has linked up with 11 LGUs for the establishment of an ecological solid waste management system in sub-divisions and condominiums in the National Capital Region. The project will initially target 4,717 house owners’ associations that have been identified earlier by the LGUs, he said.

“Sub-divisions and condominiums are critical in our advocacy for solid waste management because the residents here are organized and they are governed by their respective home owner associations. Getting them to practice waste segregation and composting will hopefully not be difficult, as they will feel immediate benefits in terms of a cleaner and greener surrounding,” Mr. Paje said, noting that residents in sub-divisions and condominiums use their biodegradable waste to make compost for their gardens.

Republic of Korea revises e-waste regulation

The Republic of Korea has notified World Trade Organization (WTO) about the revision of “The Act for Resource Recycling of Electrical/Electronic Products and Automobiles”. The revised Act now aims at enhancing recycling and reducing environmental risks from electrical and electronic products as well as from automobiles. The deadline for comments on the proposed revisions is 22 October 2011, and the proposed date of entry into force for the revised Act is 1 January 2013.

The main content of the revised Act are the following:

  • Enforcement notice and/or administrative measure taken if the amount of hazardous substances (6 types) in electrical and electronic equipment in vehicles exceeds the content standards;
  • Mandatory report on the performance of improvement recommendation of materials and structure;
  • Change of the recycling target management system of electrical and electronic equipment (kilograms per population); and
  • Clarification of the recycling dues from manufacturers and importers of automobiles.


Japan supports Viet Nam’s waste treatment efforts

Japan has provided full support to Viet Nam in terms of infrastructure and technical cooperation to develop public sewerage and wastewater treatment sector, stated Mr. Toshio Nagase, Senior Representative of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in Viet Nam. He was addressing the International Conference and Exhibition on “Sewerage and Wastewater Treatment in Southeast Asia – Towards Sustainable Development” held recently in Vung Tau, Viet Nam.

As a result of Official Development Assistance (ODA) projects funded by Japan through JICA, a number of wastewater treatment plants have been built in metropolitan areas like Hanoi, Haiphong, Ho Chi Minh City and Danang, Mr. Ngase said. He added that by sending experts and organizing trainings, Japan is helping Viet Nam to build institutions and human resources to meet infrastructure requirements in the sewerage and wastewater treatment sector.

China imposes controls on scrap tyre

New rules on imported solid waste came into force in China 1 August 2011, with a ban on importing scrap tyres reinforced and stricter controls as well on the storing and stockpiling of waste tyres. China intends to increase its consumption of used tyres to 80 per cent from the current level of 65 per cent during the current five-year plan. According to a report on the website of China Rubber Industry Association, the country produced 256 million scrap tyres in 2010.


Recycling bumpers of end-of-life vehicles

Mazda, the global auto manufacturer based in Japan, has developed what it claims to be a world-first recycling technology that enhances the process it uses to recycle bumpers of end-of-life vehicles into raw plastic resin for use in making new bumpers. The technology is initially being used to make rear bumpers for the Mazda “Biante” mini van. The new technology is also claimed to be the first to enable recycling of old bumpers from different manufacturers at the same time. Additionally, by automating processes to remove metal attachments, it is claimed to notably raise recycling efficiency.

Previously, unwanted materials such as metal attachments had to be removed by hand before the bumpers were subjected to visual inspection. In collaboration with Satake, agricultural sorting machine developer in Japan, Mazda developed technologies that automate the processes to overcome this labour-intensive process. Used bumpers are crushed into pellets and a machine similar to those used to separate contaminants from cereal grains removes unwanted metal pieces by shaking the pellets and directing airflow over them.

Mazda’s new technology also resolves another limitation of previous methods. Depending on the vehicle manufacturer and age of the vehicle, the bumpers vary considerably in terms of the composition of polypropylene plastic and the adhesive properties of paint. The new technology enables all bumpers to be recycled together. The process uses a kneading machine that applies a powerful shear force to the crushed bumper pellets, effectively stripping off the paint regardless of the plastic composition or paint properties, without having to heat the plastic. Mazda claims that its process can separate crushed bumper pellets and achieve an average paint removal rate of 99.85 per cent.

Innovative plastics sorting technique

Veolia ES, a subsidiary of Veolia Environnement based in France, has unveiled a new ‘economically viable’ approach to sorting, which it claims will allow the collection of a wider range of plastics from households without having to use more containers. The technology, dubbed ‘The Magpie’, is set to be installed at the 30,000 tonne-a-year capacity materials recycling facility (MRF) that Veolia is building in the United Kingdom. The company then plans to retro-fit it in its 10 existing MRFs nationwide.

The Magpie involves commingled recyclables being repeatedly sent under a single optical separating machine, instead of using several machines to sort different materials. The machine uses an infra-red beam to look at the molecular structure of materials and identify the most valuable materials first. These are then separated off onto another belt using an air nozzle.

According to Veolia, the approach that uses both TiTech and Pellenc optical sorting technology has particular benefits for sorting a number of types of plastics and allowing the collection a wider range of plastics using a single bin. Veolia also believes that ‘The Magpie’ can be particularly effective for sorting metals. Mr. Richard Kirkman, Veolia’s Head of Technology, claims that, because the technology could be set to sort an ever-changing range of materials, it was “future proof” against developments in packaging, such as ‘lightweighting’.

Turning used tyres into useful products

Tire Recycling & Processing LLC (TRP), a new company in the United States, converts discarded tyres into useful products such as carbon black, rubber pellets and biofuel. Carbon black is used in paint, belts and car bumpers, while rubber pellets are used to make tyres, auto parts, etc. TRP uses pyrolysis – a process that employs high temperatures to chemically break biomass – after shredding and grinding the tyres to granules. A large magnet yanks out the steel, which is also recycled. The whole process is “zero emissions and zero waste”, says Ms. Marta Martinez, TRP’s Vice President.

Converting plastic back into oil

In Ohio, the United States, a new plant plans to divert old bottles from landfills and churn out petroleum oil. The new facility is built by Greenstar Recycling and Vadxx Energy. Vadxx manufactures synthetic crude oil and natural gas, employing raw material feedstock from petroleum-based plastics and other materials. The process called thermal depolymerization can create a small domestic supply of oil and natural gas. Feedstocks include e-waste, scrap tyres, synthetic fibres, recyclable and non-recyclable plastics, used industrial solvents, waste oil and heavy refinery bottom oil.

“Vadxx has figured out how to create the lowest sulphur content crude oil in the world, from a commodity that might otherwise occupy space in landfills,” said Mr. Jim Garrett, CEO of Vadxx. The facility is set to begin producing crude oil – as much as 80,000 barrels per year – by mid-2012.

Recycling of waste epoxy-polyester for foam production

Four researchers from University of Rome “Tor Vergata,” Italy, have proposed a novel foaming technology (solid-state foaming) that can produce structural foams from waste thermosetting resins. The new technology is easy to use and does not require specific and costly equipment. Solid tablets are produced by cold compaction of resin powder and foam by heating in an oven. Composite foams can be produced by mixing fillers and resin powder before the cold compaction.

In the experiment, an epoxy-polyester (EP-PE) resin powder, derived from the waste of a domestic appliances manufacturer, was used with montmorillonite (MMT) particles. Resulting foams with a filler content ranging from 0 to 10 wt per cent were characterized in terms of physical and mechanical properties (by compression tests). Although the effect of the MMT content is apparently negative for the adopted resin, the researchers have demonstrated the feasibility of producing composite foams by recycling waste industrial powders. The research team reports that the properties of the unfilled foams are sufficient for many industrial applications.

Recycling process for mixed plastics from appliances

Mitsubishi Electric Corp., Japan, has developed technologies to recycle plastic from shredded refrigerators, television sets, air-conditioners and washing machines into 99 per cent pure polypropylene (PP), polystyrene (PS) and acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), all used in new Mitsubishi air-conditioners. Green Cycle Systems Corp, a unit of Mitsubishi, is already in operation in Chiba, Japan, using the new process to annually recycle 9.9 million kg of shredded appliance plastics to produce 6.4 million kg of purified plastics.

The first stage of the technology involves wet separation of commingled plastic flakes into three densities: unfilled PP with specific gravity below 1.0 separated by float/sink; a mixture of PS and ABS with specific gravities of 1.0 to 1.1 separated by oscillating water flow; and all other plastics that have specific gravities above 1.1 burned to recover energy. PS and ABS are then separated from each other electrostatically.

New wave bottles from ocean trash

Method, the “green chemistry” soap manufacturer based in California, the United States, has come up with an innovation that recycles the trash plastic trapped in the North Pacific Gyre, a swath of ocean covering 20 million square kilometres. Working with Envision Plastics, also based in California, Method came up with a model for the collection and upcycling of the plastic debris that is swirling in the currents of the Gyre. In some areas, the ratio of plastic to plankton is at present 10 parts of plastic to 1 part of plankton, says Mr. Jared Blumenfeld, who heads the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the Pacific Southwest.

The “ocean bottle” that Method and Envision developed is 100 per cent high-density polyethylene plastic, 25 per cent of which comes from plastic from the Gyre, according to Mr. Adam Lowry, who co-founded Method 10 years ago with Mr. Eric Ryan. Method plans to start marketing the bottle early 2012. Nearly all the bottles the company uses are made from 100 per cent recycled post-consumer plastic, Mr. Lowry said.


Rechargeable battery recycling

Umicore, Belgium, has inaugurated a recycling facility for rechargeable batteries. The facility will enable the company to recycle rechargeable lithium ion (Li-ion) and nickel metal hydride (NiMH) batteries and battery packs, transforming end-of-life rechargeable batteries into new batteries. The technology will permit Umicore also to test its suitability for recycling other new streams of materials. The innovative recycling process uses Umicore’s patented ultra high temperature (UHT) smelting technology, enabling environmentally sound and cost-efficient battery recycling process with very high recovery rates and minimum waste.

The technology is claimed to have several proven advantages such as:

  • Input materials are injected into a furnace without pre-processing, minimizing all hazardous risks;
  • A gas cleaning installation equipped with the new technology to preclude the formation dioxin and furan;
  • Controlled melting conditions to produce a clean slag that can be used in construction or for concrete;
  • A cobalt and nickel refining installation to further treat the metal-containing alloys to get pure cobalt and nickel; and
  • A process to convert cobalt into lithium cobalt dioxide, for use in the production of new Li-ion batteries.


Reclamation of metals from e-waste

Mr. James R. Akridge, an inventor in the United States, has patented a process and system for removing metals from waste, particularly e-waste. The process includes the steps of dissolving at least some of the metals from the waste and then causing them to precipitate as metal oxides and/or metal nitrates. It can also reclaim nitrous oxide (N2O) for nitric acid (HNO3) regeneration. Non-metallic waste (such as phenolic circuit boards, wire insulation bundles, electronic chips, etc.) can also be reclaimed as clean raw materials that can be returned to commercial use.

The e-waste that can be processed include, but not limited to, primary alkaline and carbon-zinc batteries, fluorescent lighting tubes, as well as printed circuit boards. The invention uses HNO3 to dissolve most metals (excluding gold and platinum) and cleans (or destroys) non-metallic components in an acid bath. The non-soluble but clean material – be it plastic, glass or any other material – not dissolved by HNO3 may be separated by filtration or other suitable method and reused or disposed of. The metallic nitrates contained in solution in HNO3 are selectively precipitated as oxides, carbonates or nitrates using appropriate chemical treatment for selling or further processing. Contact: Mr. James R. Akridge, #4435 South Paseo Melodioso, Tuscon, Arizona 85730, United States of America.

New technology to recycle old CRTs

Hot Band technology developed by MRT System International AB from Sweden is a proven process for the separation of cathode ray tubes (CRTs) from obsolete television (TV) sets. MRT’s CRT Separator using Hot Band technology is a thermal forced system for the disassembly of CRTs. The equipment is used for processing CRTs of various types and sizes that are clean and free from covers, electronics and stickers. The Hot Band technology has excellent heat transfer on the tube, thereby achieving an accurate separation of front and panel glass.

MRT offers two types of Hot Band systems: automatic, up to 35 pieces per hour, depending on CRT size (12-30 inches); and manual, up to 12-30 pieces per hour, depending on CRT size (8-40 inches). MRT systems produce different fractions such as panel glass, funnel glass, metal mask glass dust and rare earth powders. Implosion protection removal station, buffering conveyors and disassembly tables are available as optional equipment.

End-to-end recycling of electronic goods

Attero Recycling, India, claims to be the only company in India which has got end-to-end recycling capability starting from the collection of e-waste to disassembly, mechanical separation of complex materials and metallurgical treatment. Attero is patenting a metallurgical process, says Mr. Nitin Gupta, who owns the facility. Obsolete electronic goods can be processed to extract metal used in those goods (such as gold, nickel, zinc, copper and lead) with 99.99 per cent purity.

Attero Recycling has a capacity of recycling 36,000 tonnes of e-waste per year. The complete operation is recorded on closed-circuit camera so that clients can verify whether the waste has been properly recycled or not. After extracting the non-ferrous composition, the leftovers are moved to government-approved landfill sites for safe disposal. Attero operates an integrated e-waste recycling facility in Uttarakhand.


Vacuum evaporation for the concentration of wastewater

Wastewater treatment often poses a problem because of the complexity of the contamination. Typical of such types of wastewater is that the pollutant contamination is in a high degree of dilution – sometimes 90 per cent or more being water. Concentrating the wastewater and separating the contaminants would help save treatment costs and recover valuable substances from it. Distillation – evaporation and condensation – is a common process for material separation and offers a solution to this problem. The evaporation temperature depends on the pressure – the temperature is reduced when the pressure drops (vacuum).

In Germany, Fraunhofer Institute for Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology (IGB) has developed on this concept and prototyped, jointly with Maschinenbau Lohse GmbH, an inexpensive and modular vacuum evaporation process. Because of the reduced boiling temperature, a temperature of about 40-50°C (from even waste heat or solar heat) can be used for the process. The energy set free again during vapour condensation can be used, for example, to pre-heat the wastewater or production processes. The removed water can, in many cases, be re-used in production or for rinsing processes. Organic solvents can be, in principle, separated and re-used in this process. Even wastewater contents of varying volatility can be separated and recovered individually by condensing the vapour in several steps at different temperatures.

The system employs simple technologies that entails low investment and operating costs, and requires very little maintenance. An innovative plant design was developed, especially for small and medium-sized companies. Evaporation of the wastewater is carried out in the disposal container, thus minimizing the expenditure for decanting and cleaning. In addition, deposits or encrustations in the plants and the resulting stoppages are avoided. Contact: Dipl.-Ing. Mike Blicker, Fraunhofer Institut für Grenzflächen und Bioverfahrenstechnik (IGB), Nobelstr. 12, 70569 Stuttgart, Germany. Tel: +49 (711) 970 3539; Fax: +49 (711) 970 3994.

A less wasteful way to deal with wastewater

Emefcy Ltd., an Israeli company, has developed a process that promises to decrease the energy drain of wastewater treatment. By using the conventional microbial fuel cell technology and its own proprietary engineering, Emefcy harvests energy from wastewater, generating enough to power the entire treatment process. In the treatment of carbon-rich industrial wastewater, the process produces excess electricity that can be fed back into the grid at a profit. The company says its process reduces the total cost of wastewater treatment by 30-40 per cent by eliminating spending on energy, and also reduces the quantity of sludge left to be trucked away by up to 80 per cent.

Traditional wastewater treatment involves forcing air through the water to aerate it. This is also important to the activity of the microbial cells. Emefcy exposes more wastewater to air but without the energy intensive process of pumping air through water. Instead, the wastewater flows through a “biogenic reactor” made of tubes 1.7 m in diameter and 4 m high. Inside the tubes, water and air flow alongside each other, separated by a membrane but linked to an electrically conductive surface on which the bacteria grow.

The electrons produced by the bacteria flow towards the oxygen in the air through nanowires made of pili, the hair-like projections found on the surface of the microbes. Under these reactor conditions, the bacteria develop the ability to convert the pili to become electrically conductive and behave like a metallic wire. The electrodes used are made of a coated plastic, which makes them cheaper, and easier to maintain. Each stack can process 10 m3 of wastewater a day, and has an expected lifespan of 15 years. Stacks can be added on a modular basis, avoiding the need for a large up-front investment in infrastructure.

Efficient processing of oil-containing process water

H2O GmbH, a Germany-based manufacturer of energy-saving vacuum distillation systems, has been granted patent for the innovative ClearCat® technology by the European Patent Office. The technology allows processing of oil-containing process wastewater and spent emulsions in one process step. Quality of the processed water allows disposal into public sewer system in almost all cases. In addition, the clean water can be reused in the workshop to create a zero liquid discharge production. ClearCat technology is said to replace other cost-intensive and space-consuming additional process steps required to achieve the same result. More than 50 per cent of the Vacudest® vacuum distillation systems sold by H2O are equipped with the ClearCat technology.

Combined system for dye wastewater treatment

Teijin Limited, Japan, is supplying Multi-Stage Activated Biological Process (MSABP) and Electrocatalytic Treatment (ELCAT) – two technologies from its business partner Aquarius Technologies Inc. in the United States – to Zhaoyuan Advanced Chemical in China for the treatment of wastewater at a fluorescent dye factory. The combination of MSABP and ELCAT enables a wide variety of persistent organic substances (POPs) to be efficiently decomposed and eliminated, offering a wastewater treatment system that complies with all environmental regulations and significantly reduces dilution-water requirements.

MSABP system, which features special biological carriers packed with high concentrations of micro-organisms, uses multi-stage aeration tanks to enable microbes in the tanks to be changed in an orderly manner, thereby forming a food chain in which even highly concentrated or persistent effluent is decomposed. The system enables wastewater treatment with reduced sludge, less energy consumption, low maintenance and reduced cost.

ELCAT is a two-stage wastewater treatment system that decomposes and treats POPs by making them easier to decompose. It comprises an electrolytic tank that generates easily decomposed intermediates by forming hypochlorous acids by the addition of salt and oxidizing organic substances, and a catalytic tank that gasifies and decomposes the intermediates and surplus hypochlorous acids by means of oxidoreduction reactions. ELCAT effectively treats dyes, herbicides, phenols, cyanide and other organic matter that cannot be eliminated biologically.

Treatment of selenium-containing wastewater

Envirogen Technologies, the United States, has readied a portfolio of treatment solutions for selenium-containing coal mining wastewater using a fluidized bed reactor (FBR) biological treatment, augmented, where appropriate, with its High Efficiency Ion Exchange technology. Envirogen claims that its FBR technology has features that make it ideal for selenium and nitrate treatment in the coal mining industry, and that the capital, operating and lifecycle costs are significantly lower than competitive fixed-film biological systems such as packed bed bioreactors.

The noteworthy features of Envirogen’s FBR technology include its ability to consistently reduce selenium levels to less than 5 µg/litre, shorter residence times required for treatment and a smaller overall footprint. Its flexibility in the choice of electron donor chemicals can trans-late into capital and operating cost savings with reduced solids generation. The FBR also responds well to changes in feed flow and composition, achieving discharge limit conditions consistently. Further, these systems can be modular, with all-weather protection where desired. Recent tests on selenium-bearing wastewater showed that the Envirogen FBR system performed well at influent water temperatures as low as 4°C.

Envirogen FBR is an active, fixed-film bioreactor that fosters the growth of micro-organisms on a hydraulically fluidized bed of fine media. Installations typically feature one or more vessels, depending on influent water characteristics and discharge limits. Pre-fabricated FBR vessels range from 2 ft to 14 ft in diameter and up to 30 ft in height. Envirogen FBR systems function effectively over a wide range of feed flow rates and influent composition, and are far more tolerant of high feed water nitrate, suspended solids (TSS) and metals concentrations when compared with its competing systems. They also have the ability to treat water with high total dissolved solids (TDS), and recover very quickly from upsets such as power outages and loss of chemical feeds.

Fuel cell that cleans wastewater and produces power

Mr. Yanbiao Liu and his colleagues from Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China, have created a photocatalytic fuel cell that can clean wastewater and produce electricity from it. The photocatalytic fuel cell, which uses sunlight as the energy source, is composed of a titanium dioxide nanotube-array anode and a platinum-based cathode. The scientists replaced the electrodes with semiconductors (such as cadmium sulphide) to allow the system to use visible and regular sunlight. The process of degrading the organic material in wastewater will generate electrons, which will pass through the cathode and then through the load.

Mr. Liu explained that when used on a large scale, the device could be a solution to the problem of industrial wastewater treatment. The scientists tested the fuel cell’s efficiency in their laboratory and concluded that it is able to completely separate clear aromatics (perfumes), azo dyes and pharmaceuticals from the organic material thus producing clean water. Moreover, if this technology is used to purify water in remote places, people living there will also benefit from the electricity that would be produced in the process.

HiPOx system decomposes POP

Teijin Limited, Japan, has announced that a wastewater treatment system that it designed based on the HiPOx advanced oxidation process, developed by APTwater Inc., the United States, has proven its effectiveness in decomposing 1,4-dioxane, a highly persistent organic solvent. The HiPOx process combines ozone and hydrogen peroxide chemistry to produce the hydroxyl radical, the most powerful oxidant available for water treatment. Utilizing a multistep injection process, HiPOx creates an efficient and well controlled oxidative chain reaction to remove harmful substances and pollutants from wastewater.

A joint development project that is currently being conducted by Teijin and PUB, Singapore’s national water agency, has shown that HiPOx significantly reduces persistent pollutants such as endocrine-disrupting compounds and pharmaceutical residues. In recent tests using Teijin-designed equipment, the technology proved that it decomposes 1,4-dioxane steadily without generating harmful by-products. The water-soluble organic solvent 1,4-dioxane dissolves numerous organic materials, making it suitable for a wide range of industrial applications. However, the International Agency for Research on Cancer of the World Health Organization has classified the solvent in category 2B (possibly carcinogenic). Being stable biologically and chemically, 1,4-dioxane requires the use of special degrading bacteria for biological treatment. Adsorption is difficult in treatments that use activated carbon, and the substance is hard to break down even with oxidation treatments that use ozone. In view of the extreme difficulty of treating 1,4-dioxane, the Japanese government is carefully now considering the introduction of discharge regulations in the near future.

New technology for treating dye wastewater

A new technology for recycling the hazardous wastes generated by dyeing units could help more than 100,000 people get back their jobs in factories in Tirupur, India’s knitwear capital. The technology – which can help re-open the units closed following a court order against the discharge of hazardous effluent into a local river – was developed by the Tamilnadu Water Investment Company, a partnership between the Tamilnadu state government and Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services Limited (IL&FS).

The new technology helps in taking the effluent back to the dyeing units for further use in dyeing of apparels. This helps not only in having ‘zero discharge’ regime, but also in saving energy that would otherwise be required to evaporate the effluent. The system is currently under trial at one of the 18 common effluent treatment plants (ETPs) in the area. If it results in zero discharge, the technology will be permitted to be used by other ETPs, said Tirupur Exporters Association’s President, Mr. A. Sakthivel.


Oil waste treatment using bacteria

Two Cuban research centres have started using bacteria to treat the oil wastewaters in several parts of the island in order to reduce the presence of hydrocarbons in soil and waters of Cuba. The Centre for Environmental Studies of Cienfuegos (CEAC), in association with the Centre for Bioactive Marine (CBM) in Havana, is implementing the process in Cienfuegos, Pinar del Rio and Matanzas provinces, said Mr. Alain Munoz, CEAC’s Director.

The bioremediation process consists of applying selected bacteria over the damaged area to eliminate the chemical components of oil in a maximum of 180 days, Mr. Munoz said, adding the treatment can be developed both in land and in off-shore waters. The work carried out is adjusted to the physical, chemical and geo-morphological characteristics of the area. Prior to inoculating in the damaged area, it is subjected to a process of growth called Bioil-FC, a product that degrades crude oil that contaminates the seas after an oil spill, prepared by CBM.

Electrified bacteria to remove uranium from groundwater

Hair-like filaments called pili enable some bacteria to remove uranium from contaminated groundwater. The discovery by Ms. Gemma Reguera and her co-researchers at Michigan State University, the United States, could aid in developing radioactivity clean-up technologies. Some bacteria, such as Geobacter sulfurreducens, are known to get their energy from reducing (or adding electrons to) metals in the environment. When uranium dissolved in groundwater is reduced in this way, the metal becomes much less soluble, reducing the spread of contamination.

Researchers have been trying to find out how the process works. They suspected that the pili might be the answer, but because G. sulfurreducens produces pili only in certain environments, the process has proved tricky to study. Key to the discovery was getting the bacteria to make pili under laboratory conditions, for example, by lowering the temperature. Ms. Reguera and her colleagues were then able to show that the pili significantly increase the amount of uranium that G. sulfurreducens is able to remove. Without pili, the bacterium reduces uranium within the cell envelope, but this poisons the cell in the process. When pili are present, however, most of the precipitation occurs around the pili, which extend away from the cell. This provides a greater surface area for electron transfer, say the researchers, as well as keeping the radioactive uranium at a safe distance.

Earlier this year, Mr. Derek Lovley, a microbiologist at the University of Massachusetts (UMass) Amherst and the former supervisor of Ms. Reguera’s post-doctoral study, had shown that the pili on G. sulfurreducens are a type of ‘nanowire’, because they conduct electricity. The pili help to power the bacterium by transferring electrons produced during the cell’s metabolism to external acceptors such as iron. That the pili can also reduce a metal such as uranium “provides further evidence for long-range electron transfer along the pili,” Mr. Lovley says. Ms. Reguera sees a potential for widening the reach of Geobacter pili. In theory, she says, they could help to precipitate out the radioactive isotopes of other elements, such as technetium, plutonium and cobalt. She also envisages fine-tuning the properties of the pili – “Because these nanofilaments are made from protein, we can easily add different functional groups,” she says.

Bacteria that consume mercury

Mercury pollution of water and soil by industrial spills or gold mining is a significant hazard because the chemical accumulates up the food chain, and tackling the problem is prohibitively expensive. Scientists led by Mr. Oscar Ruiz of the Inter-American University of Puerto Rico have now engineered bacteria that can mop up mercury – a step aimed at using bioremediation to cleansing the environment of various toxic chemicals.

The scientists inserted two mercury-friendly genes into the common intestinal germ, Escherichia coli. The genes controlled a protein named metallothionein and an enzyme called polyphosphate kinase, both of which bind to metals to prevent toxicity in cells. The researchers immersed the engineered bugs in a nutrient solution to which high doses of mercury had been added. After five days, the germs were spun in a centrifuge. Chemical analyses showed the bacteria had absorbed up to 80 per cent of the mercury to which they had been exposed. Mr. Ruiz said the work could lead to a way not only to clean up mercury but also to recycle it, using electrochemistry to extract the chemical from the bacteria.

Recombinant bacterium that degrades PCBs

Universidad Tecnica Federico Santa Maria, Chile, has secured a United States patent on a recombinant bacterium that is capable of completely degrading or mineralizing pollutants like polychlorobiphenyls (PCBs). The recombinant bacterium corresponds to Cupriavidus necator strain JMS34, deposited under the access number NRRL B-30817, incorporated into a product for the bioremediation of environment contaminated with PCBs. The patent covers a bacterial inoculum of this recombinant strain and a bioremediation method targeting monochlorinated and dichlorinated biphenyls.

The bioremediation method comprises the stages of: (1) adding the recombinant bacterium, which was previously cultivated in the presence of an compound that induces the xylXYZL genes, to the environment contaminated with PCBs that contain 1-3 chlorine atoms bound to the biphenyl backbone; and (2) incubating the bacterium in the contaminated environment for a time needed for the complete degradation of the PCBs.

Bioremediation of persistent organic pollutants

In Japan, scientists from National Institute for Agro-Environmental Sciences (NIAES) and Tokyo University of Agriculture have jointly developed a bacterial method for the bioremediation of certain persistent organic pollutants (POPs). The scientists led by Mr. Kazuhiro Takagi from the NIAES Organochemicals Division isolated Nocardioides species strain PD653, a novel aerobic bacterium that degrades pentachloronitrobenzene (PCNB), from an enrichment culture in a soil-charcoal perfusion system. The PD653 strain degraded hexachlorobenzene (HCB) also with liberation of chloride ions to carbon dioxide under aerobic conditions. It is the first aerobic bacteria capable of mineralizing HCB.

The researchers also isolated an aerobic dieldrin-degrading fungus, Mucor racemosus strain DDF, from soil containing endosulfan. The DDF strain was able to degrade dieldrin more than 90 per cent for 10 days incubation, whereas previous reports showed dieldrin degradation to be less than 50 per cent. On the other hand, the application technology to the contaminated sites is still inadequate to remediate s-triazine-contaminated soil.

The researchers therefore developed a novel method to introduce a bacterial consortium into the contaminated soil using a special type of charcoal material enriched with a methylthio-s-triazine-degrading bacterium and a chloro-s-triazine-degrading bacterial consortium CD7. The enriched material was capable of degrading the chloro-s-triazines simazine and atrazine as well as the methylthio-s-triazines simetryn and dimethametryn simultaneously in sulphur-free medium. Moreover, using enriched charcoal with CD7 in situ bioremediation study was conducted in a contaminated site, where simazine is routinely applied for preservation of turf. The material was effective for preventing penetration of simazine into sub-soils and aquatic environments nearby for approximately two years.


Emission removal from aluminium plant flue gases

In Norway, the technology centre of Norsk Hydro ASA (Hydro) is installing a unit for the removal of sulphur dioxide (SO2) from the flue gas of aluminium production. The desulphurization unit, which forms the first industrial application of this technology, will reduce emissions of SO2 from the technology centre by 200 tonnes per year. The technology that was developed in cooperation with France-based Alstom can be implemented on full scale. Mr. Are Dyrøy, who is responsible for environmental technology in the technology unit in Hydro’s Primary Metals division, said that the new solution will remove at least 95 per cent of the SO2 emissions.

SO2 is a by-product of aluminium production and the consumption of anodes in the electrochemical process. Anodes contain petroleum coke, and coke contains sulphur, which forms SO2 when the anode gets consumed. Mr. Knut Omholt Austreid, Director of Technology at Hydro’s Primary Metals, said that the unit will be installed during full operation at the technology centre and it would help learn how to run aluminium production with anodes containing more sulphur.

Advanced emission control technologies

Tenneco Inc., the United States, has readied a full suite of innovative exhaust after-treatment solutions to help its customers meet stringent emissions regulations while optimizing vehicle comfort and performance. For instance, XNOx Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) combines Tenneco’s expertise in calibrating urea dosing systems with components such as XNOx injector to deliver an optimized solution with more than 95 per cent nitrogen oxides (NOx) conversion efficiency. The process uses a chemical reaction to convert toxic NOx from engine emissions into harmless nitrogen and water.

Thermal Regeneration Unit for Exhaust (T.R.U.E.-Clean) system has diesel particulate filter regeneration feature, with reduced fuel penalty and improved back-pressure engine performance, especially with cold-duty cycles in city traffic. T.R.U.E-Clean offers automatic active regenerating capabilities, and is unique in featuring flame stability control due to ion sensing. The thermal regeneration technology continuously monitors the diesel particulate filter’s temperature and soot levels. When the system senses a need for the filter to be cleaned, it automatically initiates the regeneration process while maintaining proper temperatures and controls until the regeneration cycle is complete.

An enhanced CO2 scrubbing process

Over the long term, coal will be the cornerstone of energy supply focused on sustainability, both on global and national scales, and will entail carbon capture and storage (CCS). In the medium term, scrubbing technology is the only retrofit option available for capturing carbon dioxide (CO2). Therefore, RWE AG of Germany made an early decision to develop advanced CO2 scrubbing technology, which is the only current carbon capture technique that allows retrofitting into existing power plants and industrial plants in the medium term.

As CO2 scrubbing used successfully in the chemical, petroleum and gas industries differ considerably from that used in power plants, RWE worked with the Germany-based BASF and Linde to optimize CCS technologies. A new CO2 solvent developed by BASF and optimized capture plant technology developed by Linde is the basis of RWE’s optimized CO2 scrubbing technology. The use of the technology will permit power plants to capture 90 per cent of CO2 of the flue gas and either utilize it to make other products or store it underground.

A pilot CO2 scrubbing plant (40 m) erected by RWE has shown that, depending on the test parameters set, up to 300 kg CO2 per hour can be separated from a flue gas bypass (corresponds to a capture rate of 90 per cent). Compared with the customary processes used today, energy consumption can be reduced by some 20 per cent with this innovative technology. In addition, the new solvents feature far higher stability towards oxygen, so that the solvent consumption is lowered substantially. With a plant availability above 97 per cent, the pilot plant has exceeded all expectations.

In Phase 2 of the test programme, RWE will start with the implementation of further process optimizations in the plant. The design of the CO2 absorber, where the CO2 is separated from the flue gas, will be improved to ensure even more efficient scrubbing of CO2 from the flue gas, employing a new high-performance packing. The honeycombed metal packing will increase the exchange surface and thus enhance the contact time between liquid scrubbing agent and CO2. The CO2 in the power plant’s flue gas can then be bound more easily by the scrubbing liquid.

Shipboard SCR NOx removal system

A consortium of companies in Japan – Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK), Oshima Shipbuilding Co. Ltd., Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd., Akasaka Diesels Limited and Sakai Chemical Industry Co. Ltd. – will soon begin shipboard tests of selective catalytic reduction (SCR) nitrogen oxide (NOx) removal equipment installed on “Initial Salute”, NYK’s new bulk coal carrier built by Oshima Shipbuilding. Following earlier shipboard trials of SCR NOx removal equipment, it was decided to leave the equipment in place to collect more data through tests to be conducted during actual operational voyages.

Installation of equipment for SCR NOx removal after turbo-charging on board Initial Salute is the world’s first trial on low-speed marine diesel engine. The new SCR NOx removal equipment will meet the Tier III NOx emission control requirement stipulated by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) by further reducing emissions, while maintaining the superior combustion efficiency that is the major feature of a low-speed marine diesel engine.

It was initially thought that SCR NOx removal equipment would find it difficult to respond to future NOx emission controls because in an atmosphere of low-temperature exhaust gases below 300°C, ammonium hydrogen sulphate (acid ammonium sulphate) – generated by the chemical reaction of the sulphur in fuel oil with the ammonia in the reducing agent – poisons catalysts. However, the new SCR NOx removal equipment has been improved to reduce catalyst poisoning to a minimum level by suppressing the sulphur in fuel oil to approximately 0.1 per cent. As a result, in an atmosphere of low-temperature exhaust gases at 250°C after turbocharging, stable denitration effects were observed during a test on land, which led to shipboard tests on an operational vessel.

A new non-carbon reagent for mercury emission control

Novinda Corp., the United States, has introduced a new generation of Amended Silicates™ – an innovative, non-carbon product that delivers superior performance in removing mercury from coal-fired power plant flue gas emissions. Aiming for a more economical, consistent and robust performance across a wide variety of power plant configurations and operating conditions, the company pioneered the concept of a reagent for removing mercury with chemical reactions, instead of absorption process. In sustained, full-scale power plant testing, Novinda’s Amended Silicates met the mercury removal rates required by the Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT) standards proposed by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Amended Silicates is now the first commercial non-carbon mercury control product that is fully compatible with fly-ash use in concrete products.

Amended Silicates uses a natural mineral compound as its base component and is therefore manufactured without excessive emissions and energy consumption. This novel chemical make-up not only enables the product to effectively remove mercury from coal plant emissions, but also affords the benefits of being non-inflammable and non-abrasive – properties that protect the physical plant investments. Containing no carbon compounds, Amended Silicates also provides the benefit of protecting fly ash for use within concrete products, preserving the beneficial recycling of fly-ash, and minimizing its disposal into landfill. Amended Silicates is fully compatible with most of the sorbent injection systems.

Technologies for particulate control

Southern Research Institute, the United States, has extensive experience in primary air pollution control technologies, including electrostatic precipitation and fabric filtration for particulate control. The standard electrostatic precipitator performance model was originally developed at Southern Research and has been improved over the past four decades. The company has conducted on-site testing of hundreds of full-scale electrostatic precipitators, both cold-side and hot-side. Its research has focused on understanding special performance problems, such as sodium depletion and back corona.

For more than 30 years, Southern Research has studied baghouses (fabric filters) applied to coal-fired flue gases, covering both low-ratio (reverse-gas, reverse-gas-sonics, and shake-deflate) and high-ratio (pulse-jet) types of baghouses. It has conducted on-site testing at a number of full-scale fabric-filter installations, and has conducted a number of utility-industry surveys on baghouse applications for the Electric Power Research Institute. Southern Research has developed industry-standard computer models for particulate control systems, including:

  • EPA/SRI ESP Model;
  • Fly Ash Resistivity Model; and
  • Fabric Filter Pressure Drop Prediction Model.

The models assist in analysing performance problems by determining if a control device is performing as it should; also, they provide a cost-effective means to evaluate strategies for upgrade. Contact: Southern Research Institute, #2000 Ninth Avenue South, P.O. Box 55305, Birmingham, AL 35205-5305, United States of America. Tel: +1 (205) 581 2000; E-mail:

NOx removal system for biogas engines

Nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions from combustion of biogas generated by anaerobic digestion facilities are a serious problem that significantly impedes expansion of biogas utilization for electricity generation. Biogas & Electric LLC, the United States, has patented a NOx removal system for biogas engines at anaerobic digestion facilities. The invention comprises methods, devices and systems comprising a reactor that is operatively connected to: (a) a biogas production unit for converting waste to a biogas stream; and (b) an engine that utilizes the biogas stream from the biogas producing unit to produce energy and an engine exhaust.

The reactor reduces NOx emissions from the engine exhaust by contacting it with a liquid waste stream provided from the biogas production unit. The engine exhaust is operatively connected to the reactor. The operable connection between the engine and the reactor contains an injection inlet for the introduction of a reactive chemical agent to contact the engine exhaust prior to the engine exhaust’s entrance into the reactor. Exhaust from the reactor contains an amount equal to or less than about 0.4 g of NOx per horsepower-hour of energy produced by the engine.

Semi-dry scrubber for SO2 reduction

To comply with new environmental regulations, Norcem AS, Norway, installed a gas suspension absorber – FLS-GSA® semi-dry scrubber from FLSmidth A/S, Denmark – at its Brevik cement plant as an alternative to the more expensive wet scrubber for reducing emission of gaseous sulphur dioxide (SO2) by 400 tonnes per year. The plant uses two different raw mixes to make three types of clinker. One of the raw mixes produces a negligible SO2 emission, while the other raw mix produces SO2 emission of up to 400 mg/Nm³ dry. Therefore, the plant required a technology that only needs to be used when operated with the raw mix producing high SO2. After reviewing potential solutions, the company decided to install FLSmidth’s gas suspension absorber technology.

Because there were two separate gas streams from the kiln system, it had to be decided if two separate semi-dry systems were required. With one gas stream passing via the raw mill system, which is a natural SO2 scrubber, it was decided to only install a semi-dry scrubber system in the gas stream not passing through the raw mill. The scope of the project included the complete semi-dry scrubber system. An existing 60 tonnes silo was reused for burnt lime storage. A new booster fan was installed to handle the extra pressure drop across the system. The reactor dimensions are 3.65 m in diameter by 14.2 m height and each of the two cyclones is 4.0 m in diameter.

The FLSmidth semi-dry scrubber system installed at the Brevik plant has exceeded its designed performance, achieving 97.3 per cent reduction of SO2 emissions and 95.2 per cent reduction of hydrogen chloride (HCl) emissions – reductions similar to what can be achieved in the more expensive wet scrubber. Emissions testing has shown that the system also gives the plant the capability to reduce mercury (Hg) emissions by 90 per cent. Contact: FLSmidth A/S, Vigerslev Alle 77, DK-2500 Valby, Copenhagen, Denmark. Tel: +45 3618 1000; Fax: +45 3617 1520; E-mail:


Microbial Bioremediation of Non-metals: Current Research

Microbial biodegradation of non-metals pollutants plays a pivotal role in the bioremediation of contaminated soil and groundwater sites. Such pollutants include chloroethenes, steroids, organophosphorus compounds, alkanes, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and poylchlorinated biphenyls. In this important new book, expert international authors exhaustively review this topic from biochemical and genetic viewpoints, providing an overview of current research. In addition, the book contains detailed reviews on the application of the state-of-the-art molecular technologies to study biodegradative processes: community fingerprinting, molecular detection of degradative genes, and metagenomics for the analysis and monitoring of micro-organisms in situ. These are complemented by the fascinating reviews of the catabolic plasmids and mobile genetic elements involved in bioremediation, including discussions on the origin and evolution of these catabolic pathways to different genera.

Contact: Horizon Scientific Press, Rowan House, 28 Queens Road, Hethersett, Norwich, NR9 3DB, United Kingdom. Tel: +44 (1953) 603068; Fax: +44 (1953) 606952.

Waste: A Handbook for Management

Waste: A Handbook of Waste Management looks at all the types of waste being generated in the world and includes chapters on waste generated in space and medical, urban, industrial, electronic, mine, radioactive, textile, paper, glass, battery, tire, metal paper, and agricultural waste. Other chapters cover landfills, waste collection, waste regulations, risk assessment and accountability, green engineering of waste, air and marine pollution, as well as dangerous household chemicals. Key to the usefulness of this handbook is its attention to the scientific challenge of how to achieve sustainable solutions to the management and elimination of waste. The book highlights the severity of each of the problems identified and offers the best solutions and recycling processes. The authors of the different chapters are upfront about uncertainties, and about areas in which advances and future research are needed.

Contact: Reed Elsevier India Pvt. Ltd., 14th Floor, Building 10B, DLF Cyber City, Phase-2, Gurgaon, Delhi 122 002. Tel: +91 (124) 477 4444; Fax: +91 (124) 477 4100; E-mail:


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