VATIS Update Waste Management . May-Jun 2010

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Waste Management May-Jun 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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New UNEP study focuses on climate change and POPs

The Stockholm Convention Secretariat of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has announced a major international study into the influence of climate change and persistent organic pollutants (POPs) on human health and the environment. The study – which was announced to coincide with the 5th Environment and Health Ministerial Conference in Parma, Italy, on 10-12 March 2010 – will involve more than 10 organizations in five countries reviewing the latest science to inform the assessment of current and new POPs.

Some data suggest that higher temperatures can make wildlife more sensitive to exposure to certain pollutants, Dr. Fatoumata Keita-Ouane, the UNEP scientist leading the study of POPs and Climate Change, said. The study will provide an overview to give the scientific community as well as the policy makers a better understanding of the effects of climate change on emissions, environmental distribution, toxicity and exposure to POPs. The outcomes of the 12-month study are expected to result in policy recommendations on how to mitigate the impacts of POPs under changing climate.

The study will be conducted with partners from institutions including: the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP), based in Norway; Environment Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, and Laval University of Canada; the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology; University of Bern, Germany; the European Monitoring and Evaluation Programme (EMEP); University of Texas, the United States; University of Concepción, Chile; and the International POPs Elimination Network (IPEN). Contact: Dr. Fatoumata Keita-Ouane, Head, Scientific and Technical Section, Secretariat of the Stockholm Convention, International Environment House, 11-13, chemin des Anémones, CH-1219, Châtelaine, Geneva, Switzerland. Tel: +41 (22) 917 8161; E-mail:

Report finds waste recycling preferable

A report prepared for the government of the United Kingdom refutes persistent claims that recycling is a waste of time: recycling is almost always the best way to get rid of waste, even when exported abroad, the report states. It also supports a suggestion in another recent report published by the United Kingdom’s Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs that biopolymer plastics made from crops must be recycled rather than composted, despite being widely marketed as “biodegradable”.


The government’s waste and packaging agency, Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP), said it had analysed 200 reports covering seven different materials: paper and cardboard, plastics, biopolymers, food, garden cuttings, wood and textiles. The experts then looked at the evidence for seven methods of disposal, including composting, recycling, incineration and landfill, using four different criteria: energy use, water use, other resource use, and greenhouse gas emissions.

In more than four out of five cases, recycling was the clear winner. But there were “different messages” for different materials. For example, the preferable option for biopolymers is recycling, while anaerobic digestion seems preferable for food and garden waste, followed by composting and incineration with energy recovery. For textiles, the available limited statistics show reuse is the optimal way, followed by recycling and then incineration with energy recovery. For plastics and wood, recycling is the better and preferable option. The study also considered the impact of transporting waste to other countries, often to China, for recycling. Overseas transport was better than sending waste to landfill. Mechanical recycling is the best waste management option overall.

India to collect real-time emission data from incinerators

To ensure timely corrective measures, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) of India would soon collect real-time emission data from common hazardous waste incinerators (CHWIs) installed in three industrial sites in Maharashtra and Gujarat states. CPCB is setting up a system for online transmission of data from the three CHWIs – in Bharuch and Surat in Gujarat, and Raigad in Maharashtra, which are among the recently identified by the government as critically polluted sites in the country.

Explaining the method, a senior environment official said that the data of parameters like sulphur dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, etc. will be captured from the online monitors, transmitted to CPCB Central Server and, in turn, will be integrated with CPCB’s existing system. CPCB has already been successfully running a pilot project on transmission of real-time emission data from Pragati Power Corporation Ltd. in Delhi and data is being received regularly for the last three years. Following Bharuch, Surat and Raigad, the project could be replicated in many more sites where pollution has reached alarming levels, the official added.

Tianjin, China, considers total recycling technology

Tianjin, the biggest port city in northern China, was once known as “foggy city” due to its high pollution levels. Today, trucks transporting coal for electricity are banned from passing through downtown, while some high polluting businesses have been ordered to move to suburban industrial parks.

In response to a national call for environmental protection, the Tianjin Municipal Government invested 24 billion yuan (US$3.51 billion) from 2007 to 2008 with over 14 billion yuan (US$2.05 billion) going to eco-friendly infrastructure construction. In 2008 alone, 16 billion yuan (US $2.3 billion) was spent on environmental protection, accounting for 2.5 per cent of Tianjin’s gross domestic product (GDP).

An initial estimate by the National Bureau of Statistics said the per unit GDP energy consumption of Tianjin in 2009 was 0.836 tonnes of standard coal, down 6.03 per cent over the same period last year. Great efforts have been made in terms of financial input and technology development for reducing the city’s pollution. More work is expected to lure low polluting businesses and in reducing emissions for older enterprises.

The Tianjin Economic-Technological Development Area (TEDA) will begin using a form of total recycling called industrial symbiosis (IS) – a fresh concept to many producers in China. IS can help reduce waste, energy consumption and operational costs by recycling raw materials, by-products, energy, transportation or storage space among producers, even in different businesses. The by-products of one company can be raw materials for another; utilities or infrastructures of businesses can be shared and a joint provision of services can be enjoyed.

The four-year programme is expected to save 50 million yuan (US$ 7.32 million), reduce 3,000 tonnes of hazardous waste, and 99,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions, according to officials. It is also expected to bring additional private investment in reprocessing and sales to those businesses involved.

Pilot projects on waste-to-energy in the Philippines

Greenergy Solutions Inc., a start-up international biotechnology company based in the Philippines, has announced its ten-year blue print for “Zero Waste Philippines”. With the adoption of a more workable strategy, the company has embarked on getting landfill operators as its partners in the development of waste-to-energy (WTE) facilities. The WTE facilities will be registered as Renewable Energy Developers that will enjoy fiscal and non-fiscal incentives under the Renewable Energy Act of 2008. These facilities will be registered also for the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) under the United Nations Framework Convention for Climate Change (UNFCCC) that would generate carbon credits as part of the revenue streams of the proposed project.

A ‘Special Purpose Corporation’ (SPC) shall be created for the development of every WTE Facility, which involves Greenergy becoming the majority owner of the arrangement, and undertaking the tasks of developing, designing, building, operating and owning WTE gasification facilities. Its minority partner, the landfill operator, will enter into contracts with towns and cities as municipal partners. Financing firms, banks and equity participants, as investors, will be parties to SPC.

The landfill operator and the municipalities would be responsible for: contributing suitable land for the development of WTE facility; providing right of way and security for the facility; guaranteeing supply of long-term waste feedstock, including the payment of tipping fees for disposal of waste feedstock at the facility; and facilitating, where necessary, community involvement and education, and the procurement of the required local permits and licenses. Greenergy seeks 25 per cent equity investments and 75 per cent debt financing to fund the fabrication, cost of equipment, commissioning as well as construction of the project on a leveraged basis.

Malaysian firm goes for latest technology in marine effluence

KB Enviro Sdn. Bhd., Malaysia, is to spend up to M$30 million (US$ 9.4 million) to acquire latest technology in the processing and recycling of marine effluence – sludge and slop. KB Enviro’s processing plant on a 10.4 ha site in Pengerang is expected to commence operation in April 2010.

The company’s CEO Datuk Megat Fairuz Megat Junid expects encouraging response from shipping firms and agents as the service charges offered by the company are about 40 per cent cheaper as compared with Singapore. His company would utilize desludging technology from Europe. After recycling, KB Enviro, the sole licence holder in Peninsular Malaysia to recycle waste oil, will re-sell the oil to customers as “recycled oil”. Datuk Megat Fairuz believes the company’s recycling plant in Pengerang, licensed by the Department of Environment (DOE), would help reduce pollution in and around the waters of Pengerang, a coastal fishing town in Johor.

China and Norway cooperate to protect the environment

China and Norway linked up for a seminar on environmental protection on 8 March 2010, thus kicking off the Sino-Norwegian Project on Competence Building on Environmental Management. The seminar was the result of an agreement signed in April 2009, outlining the Competence Building Project (CBP). This project will be jointly implemented by the Foreign Economic Cooperation Office (FECO), under China’s State Environmental Protection Administration, and Norway’s Climate and Pollution Agency (Klif), under the Ministry of Environment.

Klif is responsible for coordinating the inputs of three other Norwegian organizations: the Norwegian Directorate for Nature Management (DN), the Norwegian Institute for Water Research (NIVA) and the Norwegian Foundation for Scientific and Industrial Research (SINTEF). The project aims to continue cooperation on five areas: pollution control, co-processing of hazardous waste in cement kilns, biodiversity, water management, as well as mercury management.

CBP aims to establish a training and exchange programme, based on experiences gained through the five projects. It also provides a framework for policy discussions and other workshops. Another aspect of CBP is to train the trainers. Experts from Norway and Guizhou will share their knowledge with colleagues from other parts of China who will then train people in their hometowns and other provinces. More than 13 different training modules will be held, on topics ranging from climate change and air pollution to biodiversity.

Indian government decides to fund e-waste facility

The Indian government has decided to fund establishment of e-waste treatment facilities as part of its waste management programme for 140 highly contaminated sites in the country, Environment Minister Mr. Jairam Ramesh revealed. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved a Rs 3.5 billion (US$75 million) World Bank-aided programme at two sites in Andhra Pradesh and eight in West Bengal on pilot basis for a period of four years, Mr. Ramesh said.

The Minister said the objective of the project was to develop a national programme for rehabilitation of 140 polluted sites identified by Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). The need for such a programme has been felt to treat the 6.2 million tonnes of hazardous waste generated annually in the country, of which roughly 3.5 million tonnes is recyclable. Of the balance, only about 1.5 tonnes/year is treated, stored and disposed of in 33 facilities set up in various states. By 2012, India is estimated to generate more than 800,000 tonnes of e-waste every year in view of increasing demand for laptops, refrigerators and mobile phones.

The project is expected to yield environmental benefits like improvement in water and air quality, improved hygienic conditions, health benefits such as reduction in water-borne and vector-borne diseases and economic benefits like employment generation. “Human and technical capacity in all state pollution control boards will also be built up as part of this project,” the Minister added. The project will also support public awareness and community education measures. It would facilitate the development of a National Plan for Rehabilitation of Pollution Sites, sustaining the process beyond the project period.

Philippines dumps large amount of waste plastic bottles

Citing a report of the Ocean Conservancy’s “Marine Debris Index”, the EcoWaste Coalition, a waste and pollution watchdog in the Philippines, said the Philippines registered the highest number of littered beverage plastic bottles in Southeast Asia, based on marine debris collected during the International Coastal Cleanup Day in 2008. The Philippines accounted for 20,238 pieces, followed by Singapore at 4,932, Thailand 3,216, Malaysia 2,046 and Indonesia 681.

Per capita consumption of bottled water in the Philippines rose from 16.3 litres in 1999 to 17.1 litres in 2004, according to data from the Beverage Marketing Corp. “To turn the tide against bottled water, Filipino consumers further need to assert their right to drink healthy and safe water straight from the tap and insist that bottled water is no sustainable solution to our thirst for water,” the EcoWaste Coalition said.


High-purity materials from tyre recycling

Danish recycling industry equipment supplier Eldan Recycling A/S has developed three different tyre recycling systems enabling recovery of up to 99.9 per cent pure rubber (free of steel and textiles), and 95-97 per cent, 97-98 per cent and 98-99 per cent, respectively, of pure steel. This level of purity is obtained through equipment such as classifiers and aspirators that operate using the “air flow” principle. The systems are of modular design, which enables them to be installed either in-line with an existing plant or as a stand-alone system.

The first of these three solutions is a very “low-energy” solution, where the steel fraction is passed through a screening system. The oscillating screening system produces a clean steel fraction, which is then passed over a magnet system to further increase the steel’s purity. The second solution has the advantage of being installable as a stand-alone unit. It has a multi-purpose rasper that reduces the steel further while simultaneously liberating more of the rubber content, and a specially designed magnet system that “flings” the steel and liberates the impurities during the process. In the final step, the steel passes over a zigzag separator where the air flow removes any light textile impurities. The third solution is the “Delux” version, which offers optimal cleaning of the steel fraction. This system also includes the multi-purpose rasper as its first stage. After this, the steel passes over a screening system as installed the first solution. By combining selected elements from the two first solutions, it is possible to obtain 98-99 per cent steel purity, according to the company.

Production of fuel from cellulose-plastic mixture

In the Netherlands, Qlyte Technologies B.V. and two inventors are patenting a method for processing a mixture of cellulose and thermoplastic materials. The thermoplastic material constitutes a minimum 10 weight per cent of the total weight of the waste mixture.


The cellulose-plastic waste mixture is first dried by treatment with a medium at a temperature of 50°-150°C, wherein the exit temperature of the drying medium is at a temperature of 115°C or less. The dried waste mixture is then subjected to a purification stage. The purification stage comprises at least one separator selected from among wind separator, sieve, metal separator, separator for separating out chlorine-containing components, or a combination thereof. Contact: Qlyte Technologies B.V., Haaksbergweg 7, NL-1101 BP Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Tackling difficult-to-separate plastics

Germany-based Hamos GmbH has developed a system for recovery of high-grade plastics from sources that are difficult to separate, such as automotive shredder residues, and waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE). The Hamos KRS recycling system runs entirely automatically and has been designed for three-shift operation, claims the manufacturer. It employs a processing method that is claimed to be able to accommodate widely different mixtures of plastics.

The system first removes any metal pieces, which is followed by a classification and treatment stage and light fraction separation. Plastics are removed according to their specific weight in a subsequent wet separation stage. Recovered resins are then thermally dried. Downstream electrostatic separators convert the mixed plastics – mixtures of polystyrene and acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, or polyethylene and polypropylene – into clean single divisions.

Turning waste plastics into energy

The Polymer Energy™ system from Polymer Energy LLC, the United States, is an award-winning, innovative, proprietary process to convert waste plastic materials into renewable energy. The system employs catalytic pyrolysis process to efficiently convert plastics (primarily polyolefins) to crude oil. It provides an integrated plastic waste processing system that offers an alternative to landfill disposal, incineration and recycling. It is also an economical and environmentally responsible waste management solution.

The Polymer Energy system has a modular design. One module can produce up to 775 litres of crude oil for every tonne of typical plastic waste processed. System capacity can range from 200 tonnes to 400 tonnes of plastic wastes per month. Overall plant capacity can be easily scaled up by adding additional modules.

The system is very robust by design, and can handle plastic that is contaminated with other kinds of waste such as metals, glass, dirt, water, etc. It can tolerate up to 25 per cent of other waste in the input plastic waste stream. As a result, a key advantage of this process is that the plastic wastes do not need to be sorted, cleaned or dried prior to processing, which in turn significantly reduces the overall cost of operation. The output crude oil is high-grade and can be further processed in a refinery or used to power low-rpm machines such as electric generation turbines.

New life for old tyres

Used tyre rubber is hard to recycle because it is vulcanized by adding sulphur and other compounds to the material’s long molecular chains. Small chunks of used tyres can be partially melted and used as filler in asphalt, but devulcanizing rubber involves expensive chemical and thermal processes. Lehigh Technologies, the United States, has developed a process for rejuvenating discarded rubber that could open up new recycling opportunities. If the technology catches on, it could carve out a billion-dollar market for high-performance recycled rubber.

Lehigh Technologies shatters rubber into a fine powder using a process that involves shredding used tyres into half-inch chunks using conventional shredding equipment, mixing the rubber pieces with liquid nitrogen to cryogenically cool them to -100°C, and pulverizing the frozen pieces in a high speed turbomill into particles no more than 180 microns in size. PolyDyne and MicroDyne rubber powders from Lehigh can be used to replace as much as 40 per cent of the polymers that normally go into plastic.

Creating such fine powder transforms the rubber from a highly inert filler material to one that can bond with other materials. “We deliver a huge increase in surface area relative to size, and that allows for a much more intimate mixing with other materials,” explains Mr. Alan Barton, CEO of Lehigh Technologies. The company has developed ways to make recycled rubber bind to surrounding materials via non-covalent, inter-molecular bonds. Contact: Lehigh Technologies Inc., 120 Royal Woods Court SW, Tucker, Georgia, GA 30084, United States of America. Tel: +1 (678) 495 2200; Fax: +1 (678) 49 2201; E-mail:; Website:

Continuous thermolysis of waste

BL Laboratories, Poland, has filed for patent on an apparatus and method for thermolysis of waste plastics, especially polyolefins, wherein the reaction feedstock, products and residuals are removed continuously. The apparatus for thermolysis of waste plastics includes a plastic feed-in system (including a shredder and an extruder), a pyrolysis reactor and a discharge system. The pyrolysis reactor is equipped with dual high-speed propeller.

Thermolysis is conducted using an inert gas (nitrogen) and hydrocarbon vapours as heating medium. The plastic waste is continuously fed to the extruder where it is plasticized at 180°C and then fed to the pyrolysis reactor. In the reactor, thermolysis is carried out at 350°-450°C using mixers running at 30-1500 rpm, in continuous two-step fractional condensation, where the light product boiling below 180°C goes to a cold-jacketed storage tank and the heavy product boiling above 180°C goes to hot-jacketed tank.

Basic advantages of the invention are the small size of the process equipment, continuous thermolysis, and repeatable production of end products at lower temperature, without using catalysts. There is little difference between the temperature of molten plastic and the working temperature of the thermolysis reactor. This positively affects the overall energy consumption and lowers feedstock residence time in the reactor.


Recycling precious and rare metals

In Japan, efforts have been accelerating to recycle precious and rare metals, including gold and palladium, essential for high-tech products by recovering them from scrapped electronic devices. At a Mitsubishi Materials Corp. (MMC) refinery in Kagawa Prefecture, about 10,000 tonnes of scrap electronic devices including 2-4 tonnes of cell phones, equivalent to 20,000 to 40,000 units, are brought every month from Tokyo metropolitan area and elsewhere.

At the MMC refinery, scrap mobile phones are crushed and fed together with copper ore into a furnace designed to make copper. They are heated at 1,200°C, with non-copper impurities later separated through electrolysis. From the muddy impurities, 0.6 to 1.6 kg of gold and 1.6 to 3.6 kg of silver are extracted per month, according to the refinery.

Recycled metals are turned into bars or plates, which get processed into electronic parts by component and part makers. Currently, the only materials recovered at the MMC refinery are gold, silver, copper and palladium. Should mineral prices rise further and the amount collected increase, making the recycling more profitable, the refinery said it might increase the types of materials recovered.

NTT Docomo Inc. collected 3.76 million cell phone units from its 2,400 outlets nationwide in fiscal 2009, and sold them to companies that deal in non-ferrous metals. The company said the amount it collects is increasing each year. At an NEC plant in Saitama Prefecture, electronic parts and components sent by part makers are being built into cell phones.

According to the National Institute for Materials Science in Tsukuba, Ibaraki Prefecture, 6,800 t of gold (equal to 16 per cent of the world’s reserves), 60,000 t of silver (22 per cent) and 1,700 t of indium (61 per cent) are estimated to be lying idle as unused cell phones in Japan. Through cooperation with academic and industrial institutions, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry is developing technology that uses a special solution to extract metals such as indium. Exploring ways to effectively recycle rare metals is now an essential task for resource-poor Japan.

Innovative disc recycling technique

In the Taiwan province, China, researchers at the Da-Yeh University have made a breakthrough in recycling CD/DVD ROM discs by using a leaching technique that can clean all the coating from the discs in a few minutes without damaging them. The patented technique, involving alcohol and nitric acid leaching and supersonic cleaning, was developed mainly by Mr. Yang Yu-hao, a Master’s Degree student from Da-Yeh University’s Department of Environmental Engineering under the guidance of department head Prof. Lee Ching-hua.

According to Prof. Lee, the two sides of each DVD disc have to be separated then soaked in alcohol for one minute and moved into a supersonic washing machine to get rid of the memory dye and ink. The discs are then placed in a nitric acid bath and afterwards in another supersonic cleaner to remove the protective coating and metal reflective layers. The second leaching is followed by a water wash, which leaves clean, transparent polycarbonate discs.

CDs can be cleaned the same way, but the processing period would be even shorter, as CDs have only one side to be separated, Prof. Lee said. The patented technique won a gold medal at the 2009 Taipei International Invention Show.

Integrated recycling of cathode-ray tubes

Two French companies, Recupyl and Techni Environment Services, have jointly filed for a United States patent on a method for integrated recycling of cathode-ray tubes (CRTs). The method enables CRT glasses and luminophores deposited on the internal surface of screens to be recycled through the following steps: opening CRTs by means of a laser source; dry-cleaning by means of surface treatment agents; and recycling the luminophores by acid-base means, in the presence of fluorides. The invention claims that the well-chosen combination of the laser-based opening method, dry surface treatment and hydrometallurgical treatment of luminophores results in a process enabling both protection of the environment and a high material valorization rate.

The laser source used for opening the CRTs could be a carbon dioxide laser with a power between 300 mW and 3 kW and a wavelength between 10 µm and 11 µm. The method is faster as it does not require an initial notch to be made on the CRTs. The power of the laser is sufficient to destroy the seal totally, providing an opening at the junction between the faceplate and the cone.
All CRT coatings are on the internal surface of the faceplate and on the internal and external surfaces of the cones. The oxides are removed by dry treatment using a solid cleaning agent, such as steel shots, sodium bicarbonate or calcite. The luminophore powders are treated by a method that does not involve either oxalate or ammonia. The electroluminescent assembly comprises an aluminium sheet and a layer of luminophore powders. A very large majority of the powders are able to be separated by screening at 500 microns.

The powder resulting from the treatment described above is treated in a series of chemical steps such as sulphuric acid treatment, filtration, neutralization of liquor to a pH of about 3.4, mixing with an alkaline fluoride solution and precipitation of solids, followed by separation and washing. The solids are then suspended in a soda solution, precipitated, filtered and dried.

E-waste conversion recycling process

Environmental Conversion Recycling, the United States, has developed an e-waste recycling process that generates reusable materials, returning them back to their respective industries. The process destroys the reuse capability of the electronic waste and recycles it, generating several scrap-grade materials, reusable components, and hazardous materials and components.

The scrap materials generated include, but are not limited to plastic, steel, circuit boards, copper bearing materials, aluminium, wood, and a combination of ferrous and polymer balance. All residuals are characterized in accordance with state and federal laws and regulations and shipped to proper recycling or disposal facilities.

The ferrous metal and polymer balance separation process involves shredding, separation and screening equipment and generates polymer and “cobble steel” streams. Cobble steel is introduced into the brass furnace operation and used as an addition for brass alloy ingots, while the polymers are shipped to plastic extruders.

The copper bearing materials are converted using another shredding and separation technology, specific for non-ferrous metals such as copper, generating pure copper ready for introduction into the brass foundry furnace. Contact: Environmental Conversion Recycling, 5700 South San Pedro Street, Los Angeles, CA 90011, United States of America. Tel: +1 (323) 432 4343; Fax: +1 (323) 432 4346; E-mail:


Automated e-recycling station

In the United States, Coinstar Inc., known for automated coin counting and deposit machines, is extending its reach even further with an undisclosed investment in EcoATM, maker of kiosks that pays for old electronic gadgets and collects them for recycling. EcoATM automates the whole process: it quickly inspects and assigns real-time secondary market value, collects/bins portable devices, provides payment (in cash or coupons) to the consumer, and administrates any additional trade-in promotions/discounts loaded by the retailer or the original equipment manufacturer.

EcoATM kiosks use visual identification techniques to determine how much should be doled out. EcoATM has partnerships with 50 companies around the world that retrieve the waste either to resell, or to properly recycle the components.


Innovative X-ray lead glass from e-waste

A new innovation from Stena Metall AB, Sweden, makes it possible to convert old cathode-ray tube (CRT) monitors into X-ray protection glass. “The new lead glass product protects against radiation and can be used, for example, at hospitals,” says Mr. Detlef Oertel, responsible for R&D in GRIAG Glasrecycling, a part of the Stena Metall Group.

With the new technology, “it will be possible to convert glass from television and computer monitors to a new product with environmental advantages,” according to Mr. Staffan Johansson, President, GRIAG. Independent tests have reportedly shown that the radiation protection is comparable to that of existing products on the market. One of the benefits of the new recycled X-ray glass is that it is fully transparent, which is unique in the market. It can also be manufactured in many sizes. Contact: Mr. Staffan Johansson, President, GRIAG Glasrecycling AG, Stena Metall AB, Box 4088, SE-400 40 Gothenburg, Sweden. Tel. +46 (705) 647029; E-mail:



Green solution to medical waste management

Trinova Medical Waste Solutions LLC, a Canadian on-site medical waste solutions provider, has unveiled what is reported to be the first patented environmentally friendly solution for the treatment and management of regulated medical waste. The Monarch Green Machine converts biologically hazardous materials including surgical instruments and waste generated by hospitals and medical facilities into a sanitized material that is safe for the environment and employees.

The Monarch Green Machine sanitizes medical waste using a proprietary dual-action green technology. First, the waste is pulverized and then instantly submerged in an aqueous solution of chlorine dioxide, held for a short period and sanitized, dewatered and the final product is a benign confetti-like material that is approved by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for landfill disposal along with regular solid waste. The machine is appealing because:

  • The low carbon footprint reduces transportation fuel consumption and the resulting air pollution, while promoting water conservation;
  • It is safe for hospitals, processors, employees, landfills and the environment;
  • It is the first patented green technology and clean sanitation process that can replace current dirty burn/steam technologies; and
  • It is priced competitively with current technology, it also eliminates costly hazardous materials handling and transportation fees.

Sporting a shiny, clean, glistening stainless steel exterior, the Monarch Green Machine is packed with many useful features. It is convertible from stationary to mobile, and allows electronic/web-based monitoring. Each load is weighed and processed in batch after scanning for radiation. There is no need to wait for the machine to cool down before loading. Contact: Trinova Medical Waste Solutions, 2690 East Cedar Street, Ontario, ON 91761, Canada. Tel: +1 (909) 226 0195; Fax: +1 (909) 972 1655; E-mail:


Conversion of medical waste into new products

Sharps Compliance Inc., the United States, has unveiled the first of its kind, patent-pending GREEN Waste Conversion Process™, eliminating medical waste going into landfills by 100 per cent. The process transforms discarded medical waste into a new product called PELLA-DRX™ – a clean raw material used in the manufacture of industrial resources for everything from highways to high-rise buildings.

“With our ground-breaking, conversion process, medical waste throughout the world can now become a sustainable product managed in the most effective, environmentally thoughtful means possible,” said Dr. Burton Kunik, Chairman and CEO of Sharps. “Our process renders medical waste to be as sterile as sterile medical instruments,” added Mr. Kunik.

The Sharps Waste Conversion Process creates a sustainable product and a much needed green method to treat medical waste while creating a useable, safe and clean raw material. PELLA-DRX is said to be 99.99 per cent sterilized, and completely safe to handle. It is ideally suited for energy intensive industries like cement, lime, steel and power plants. Contact: Mr. David P. Tusa, Executive Vice President, Sharps Compliance Inc., 9220 Kirby Drive, Suite 500, Houston, Texas 77054, United States of America. Tel: +1 (713) 660 3514; E-mail:


Treatment of hospital wastewater effluent

Mr. Silvio Beier and colleagues from RWTH Aachen University, Germany, have studied the efficacy of membrane bioreactor (MBR) technology as a suitable pre-treatment approach for hot spot wastewater for the subsequent advanced treatment by high pressure membrane systems such as nanofiltration (NF) and reverse osmosis (RO). The research study investigated a full-scale MBR for separate treatment of hospital wastewater in Germany, testing an NF and an RO module for further treatment of the MBR filtrate. The removal efficiencies were assessed using the following target compounds: bezafibrate, bisoprolol, carbamazepine, clarithromycin, diclofenac, ciprofloxacin, ibuprofen, metronidazole, moxifloxacin, telmisartan and tramadol.

In summary, the results of this study confirmed that MBR technology followed by an advanced treatment for trace pollutant removal is adequate for the specific treatment of hot spot wastewater such as hospital wastewater. In particular, it was shown that – comparing the tested NF and RO – only a two-stage RO would be appropriate to remove the target pharmaceutical residues fully from hospital wastewater. The recommended yield of the two-stage RO is 70 per cent, which results in a retentate side-stream of 9 per cent. The investigations proved that RO is a highly efficient treatment approach eliminating trace pollutants. Contact: Mr. Silvio Beier, RWTH Aachen University, Institute of Environmental Engineering (ISA), Mies-van-der-Rohe Straße 1, Aachen, 52074 Germany. E-mail:


On site conversion of medical waste

Ompeco Converter H series from Officine Meccaniche Pejrani Srl., Italy, is an apparatus specifically designed for the treatment and sterilization of pathogenic/hazardous sanitary waste. The process used allows total sterilization, no matter what the waste microbial load is. The patented process is based on the transformation of mechanical energy into thermal energy, and the system reaches elevated temperatures. While Converter H series machines apply moist-heat sterilization method, they are not autoclaves. They don’t need pressure to reach a temperature of 151°C and don’t require specialized operators for their operation.

The final product is sterilized, dry and odour-free, with a reduction of 70 per cent in volume, 30 per cent in weight. The sterilization cycle is performed in a fully-automatic way. Converter H doesn’t generate any kind of pollutants, such as gases wastewater released into the environment. No change in the usual rules of sanitary waste collection is required for adopting the Converter H series equipment.

The Converter H series equipment always allows the work to be completed, even in case of mechanical or electrical failure. An on-board emergency system ensures that the sterilization is completed, making the final product manageable. The series features a powerful rotor that grinds the waste down and supplies, via friction and impacts, the energy required to carry out sterilization.
The final product is dry and inert and can easily be stored for a long time before its next destination (energy recovery, incineration, assimilation into municipal solid waste, and so on). Contact: Officine Meccaniche Pejrani srl., Strada Moncalieri 99/36, Frazione Tetti Caglieri, 10048 Vinovo, Torino, Italy. Tel: +39 (11) 993 5111; Fax: +39 (11) 993 5133; E-mail:

Device for recycling medical waste

Saraito SL and inventor Mr. Silverio Dueñas Sanchez from Spain have jointly applied for patent on a device for destroying and sterilizing medical waste. The device is composed of a casing or body that has a lever for applying pressure to various movable cutters, which in turn act as a guillotine together with various fixed cutters. Medical sharps, such as hypodermic needles and scalpel blades, are introduced between the cutters so as to be cut up into a number of fragments corresponding to the number of movable cutters. The device has a metal or metal alloy store bin with a combined gas or chemical agent sterilizing system to sterilize the cut sharps. Contact: Saraito SL, C/ Angel Ganivet 6 Esc. Izq. 2°B Drcha, E-18009 Granada, Spain.

Medical waste grinder

The M-Series ReTech “MW” series rotary grinders, from Vecoplan LLC in the United States, are designed especially for size reduction of sterilized medical waste. Features such as drip plates and extreme close tolerances allow the MW series to process material, even sharps, to an unrecognizable consistency for landfill placement.

The Vecoplan MW Series grinders excel in processing small objects, such as sharps. Needles, gauze tape, fabric, paper, syringes – items that would slip through a conventional grinder – are processed to an unrecognizable state.

The Vecoplan MW series grinders have been designed specifically for the processing of sterilized medical waste with features such as drip trays to catch sterile fluids from the machine during the grinding process. The MW series grinders are provided with built-in tramp metal protection. Should the rotor come across tramp metal – such as titanium artificial joints – the grinder shuts down before damage occurs. Contact: Vecoplan LLC, P.O. Box 7224, High Point, NC 27264, United States of America. Tel: +1 (336) 861 6070; Fax: +1 (336) 861 4329; E-mail:


Increasing membrane bioreactor efficiency

Increased recycling of water that has been contaminated by manufacturing processes would help to significantly reduce industry’s carbon footprint, according to research by De Montfort University (DMU) in Leicester, the United Kingdom. The researchers have found a method to boost the energy efficiency of an industrial wastewater recycling process, which would help companies reduce the overall amount of water they buy.

The study marks the first time that the efficiency of membrane bioreactors (MBRs) has been assessed using computer-modelling techniques. The academics leading the project believe initial results show MBR plants can be made between 10-15 per cent cheaper to operate. The three-year project aimed to use the latest modelling techniques together with sensor measurements and biochemical laboratory testing to increase the energy efficiency and cost effectiveness of these advanced wastewater treatment plants.

“We hope that the results will encourage industry to take advantage of these treatment systems, as it could help them to be more environmentally friendly and reduce their operating costs at the same time,” said Mr. Parneet Paul, Coordinator of the project. DMU’s Process Control-Water Software Systems (PC-WSS) research group carried out the project in collaboration with industrial partners, including ITT Sanitaire, Aquabio and Northern Ireland Water.

Innovative pharma wastewater treatment

Four chemical engineering students at Ryerson University, Canada, have discovered a potential solution to the rising levels of pharmaceuticals ending up in the water supply. They have designed an advanced wastewater treatment system that would remove 90 per cent of pharmaceuticals as well as endocrine-disrupting compounds utilizing commercially available technology.


As part of their final-year undergraduate project, the students used research data from academic and industry sources to design an award-winning simulated wastewater treatment plant to deal with the potentially harmful waste. The innovative design employs two processes in combination. First, wastewater is passed through membrane biological reactor (MBR). This increases the amount of bacteria already present in the treatment process and makes them “hungrier”. From there, the effluent goes through an advanced oxidization process that destroys toxins.

While most wastewater treatment plants use chlorine as a disinfectant, the students proposed using ultraviolet (UV) light and hydrogen peroxide for disinfection and oxidation. After going MBR, the wastewater was clear enough to permit the use of UV light. Afterwards, the students concluded, the wastewater would be clean enough to be discharged into drains or public water bodies such as lakes.

MBR microfiltration membrane module

The Japanese company Sumitomo Electric Industries Limited and its subsidiary, Sumitomo Electric Fine Polymer Inc. (SFP), have launched a microfiltration membrane module designed for membrane bioreactors (MBRs). The module uses SFP’s POREFLON, a porous membrane material manufactured using polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). Membrane has numerous micro-pores, each approximately 0.1 µm, on its surface. In terms of strength and chemical resistance, it surpasses polyvinylidene difluoride and other synthetic resins, permitting easy cleaning of the membrane surface and continuous, stable operation.

“Our water-treatment membrane has outstanding features that can be applied even to oil-containing wastewater and other complicated wastewater treatment,” stated Mr. Akito Kubo, President and CEO of SFP. The SFP module has a double-layer PTFE structure consisting of a skin layer (filtration) and support layer to offer superior resistance to fouling. A hydrophilic treatment provided by means of hydrophilic macromolecule fixation allows this product to be transported in dry condition. In addition, the hydrophilic property will be retained throughout dry storage after use. PTFE’s superior resistance to chemicals allows cleaning with high-concentration alkali and other chemicals.

New regeneration method for Zn-Ni electrolytes

To ensure best results, plating process baths containing zinc-nickel (Zn-Ni) alloys have to be discarded after being used for a certain period of time. But a new recycling process developed by Christ Goema, a German business unit of Christ Water Technology Group of Switzerland, permits regeneration of such baths without the need for chemicals, thus making the regular preparation of new baths unnecessary.

For this, the rinsing water containing the Zn-Ni alloy is passed through a specially designed vacuum evaporator. This process is not based on filtration, but on thermal separation under vacuum at a temperature below 50°C. Organic waste substances – dirt particles and the valuable metals – form phases and are separated from each other for separate disposal or re-use. The distilled water and the Zn-Ni electrolyte are returned to the bath, to form a fully closed circuit.

About 90 per cent of the valuable substances are recycled, while retaining their constant high electrolyte quality. Furthermore, no other chemicals are needed. The system doesn’t need additional rinsing water and generates no wastewater. The compact, space-saving system is constructed from stainless steel and is available in various versions with outputs of up to 5,000 litres/hour.

The continuous regeneration of the Zn-Ni electrolyte ensures uniform precipitation of the Zn-Ni alloy and a consistently good bath and coating quality. The vacuum evaporator operates independently, either with its own heat pump or from the mains supply. The complete system, which is based on a modular design, runs automatically, using a programmable logic control unit. Contact: Ms. Beate Scheiffelen, Christ GOEMA GmbH, Steinbeisstrasse 41-43, D-71665 Vaihingen/Enz, Germany. Tel: +49 (7042) 910261; Fax: +49 (7042) 910 151; E-mail:

Catalytic oxidation of wastewater

Dr. M.I. Pariente and colleagues from the Department of Chemical and Environmental Technology, Rey Juan Carlos University, Spain, have investigated the continuous catalytic wet hydrogen peroxide oxidation (CWHPO) for the pilot-scale treatment of wastewater from a petrochemical industry. The installation, based on a catalytic fixed bed reactor coupled with a stirred tank reactor, shows an interesting alternative to intensive continuous CWHPO treatment. Agglomerated iron oxide with SBA-15 (ordered mesoporous silica) support (Fe2O3/SBA-15) was used as Fenton-like catalyst. Several variables, such as temperature and hydrogen peroxide concentration, and the capacity of the pilot plant for the treatment of inlet polluted streams with different dilution degrees were studied.

Notable results in terms of total oxidizable carbon (TOC) reduction and increased biodegradability were achieved using 160°C and moderate hydrogen peroxide initial concentration. Further, the catalyst showed a good stability for 8 hours of treatment with low iron leaching (below 1 mg/litre) under optimum operating conditions. Contact: Dr. M.I. Pariente, Department of Chemical and Environmental Technology, ESCET, Rey Juan Carlos University, 28933, Móstoles Madrid, Spain E-mail:

A process for treating wastewater

Along with two of its researchers, Malaysia’s Universiti Putra Malaysia has applied for patent on a process for treating wastewater. The process includes the steps of:
  • Mixing different constituents of wastewater inside a container;
  • Withdrawing the wastewater from the container;
  • Feeding the wastewater into a bioreactor;
  • Contacting the wastewater with an isolated microorganism or microorganism consortium;
  • Aerating a suspension of the wastewater with the microorganism or microorganism consortium;
  • Withdrawing the suspension of wastewater with microorganism or microorganism consortium from the bioreactor;
  • Filtering and receiving the flow from previous step to separate a concentrate stream from a permeate stream;
  • Returning the separated concentrate stream to the bioreactor; and
  • Removing permeate stream.

Generally, the new process could be used to treat oilfield wastewater (like hypersaline wastewater) in a sequencing batch bioreactor under aerobic condition for the degradation of the hydrocarbon pollutants (emulsified/non-emulsified) present. An isolated microorganism consortium culture capable of biodegrading crude oil in wastewater was used to demonstrate the biological process. High quality wastewater is separated from suspended solids, which are removed from the bioreactor and fed to a membrane.

In this process, an isolated tropical halophilic microorganism consortium culture capable of biodegrading crude oil in brine containing at least 3.5% w/v total dissolved solids was used to demonstrate the biological process. A membrane with a low pressure was used to retain sludge in bioreactor and remove large hydrocarbon components.


Biofilm-based bioremediation

In the United States, Frac Biologics Inc. has licensed proprietary biofilm technologies from Allegheny-Singer Research Institute (ASRI), a non-profit, independent research institute, for the treatment of frac water and acid mine drainage (AMD).

Natural gas is accessed by drilling horizontal wells at a depth of thousands of feet, and then fracturing the shale to release the natural gas. This fracturing requires pumping of several million litres of fluid (frac water) down into the wells. As the frac water returns to the surface, it brings with it heavy metals such as cadmium, uranium, strontium, nickel, radium and barium. The safe disposal of the contaminated frac fluid is a serious challenge. AMD results when atmospheric oxygen penetrates rock and oxidizes pyrites (ferric sulphides), to form sulphuric acid, which then etches the rock and liberates iron salts.

Frac Biologic’s on-site technology for frac water remediation employs naturally occurring bacterial biofilms, which are complex, slime-enclosed communities that are found in all ecosystems. The removal of dangerous metals by biofilms is rapid and highly efficient. The company’s AMD treatment technology utilizes natural soil microorganisms to prevent oxidation of mine tailings and waste rock.

Bioremediation process using LPG

Camp, Dresser & McKee Inc., the United States, has filed for patent on a method for stimulating anaerobic degradation of a subsurface perchlorate contaminant, consisting of the steps of vaporizing liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) to form a treating gas and injecting it to a below-surface site that is contaminated. The treating gas stimulates anaerobic degradation of the subsurface contaminant. The vaporized LPG may be mixed with one or more supplemental gaseous electron donors to form the treating gas.

The present invention is claimed to provide an improved bioremediation process, using LPG as a treating gas, thus providing a treatment that is economical, practical for field use, well distributed horizontally and vertically in soil, and promotes biodegradation of a perchlorate and/or other contaminants. Contact: Camp, Dresser & McKee Inc., 50 Hampshire Street, Cambridge, MA 02139, United States of America.

Combined microbe-plant bioremediation

Researchers led by Mr. G. Zhou from Central South University of Forestry and Technology, China, have studied the effect of micro-organism-plant combined bioremediation on contaminated soil in an industrial district, hoping to provide an effective bioremediation technique for soil contaminated with heavy metals. They used five screened resistant rhizosphere microorganism strains combined with Ligustrum quihoui for pot experiments.

Results demonstrated that all the five strains promoted seedling growth in the soil contaminated with heavy metals, and root and fresh growth weight were all higher than that of the control seedling groups. The combined microorganism-plant bioremediation system improved plant remediation of zinc and cadmium, particularly when the five strains coexisted and were co-active. The absorption coefficient for zinc was 0.51 and the transmission coefficient 1.55. For cadmium, the absorption coefficient was 0.41, and the transmission coefficient 0.48 in soil affected by both metals.

Oxygenated water as a sustainable remediation option

Mr. Eric Bergeron from Canada’s Golder Associates Limited recently made a presentation on injection of oxygenated water as a sustainable option to remediate hydrocarbon contamination at a former tank farm in a residential area. Bioremediation of hydrocarbon contaminants – total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), and benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylene (BTEX) – was performed through the injection of super-oxygenated water (SOW) and oleophilic nutrients. This efficient and cost-effective oxygen delivery technology needs minimal maintenance, involves low construction costs, and has a high transfer coefficient of gaseous oxygen into groundwater.

The installed system comprised an oxygen generator, a recirculation system (extraction/injection wells, pump), a hydraulic barrier, and a SOW system with a capacity to inject 120 l/min of super-oxygenated water. After only a few months of operation, the oxygen concentration in the plume increased to about 40 ppm, the hydrocarbon-degrading bacteria counts increased by 3 to 4 orders of magnitude, and the dissolved total TPH, PAH and BTEX concentrations in groundwater fell significantly. System operation typically required one visit per month, as a set-point failure alarm linked by a phone line allowed remote control of the key equipment.


First plant to capture CO2 in algae

Global cement production alone is responsible for roughly 5 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions per annum, both as a by-product of limestone decarbonization (60 per cent) and from the burning of fossil fuels in the cement kilns (40 per cent). Pond Biofuels in Canada is capturing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from a cement plant in microalgae, which the company would dry and use later to make biofuel.

The algae will be grown at a facility adjacent to the stacks, harvested, dried using industrial waste heat from the cement plant, and then used along with the fossil fuels that are currently utilized in its cement kilns. Pond Biofuels says that it hopes to demonstrate the scalability of the industrial pilot project and to show that it can be employed on virtually any industrial stack.

Advanced emission control system

One of the world’s largest fertilizer-grade phosphoric acid plants will be utilizing cutting edge semi-cross flow scrubber technology (SXF™) developed by Kimre Inc., the United States. Ma’aden Phosphate Company (MPC) of Saudi Arabia has taken delivery of three exhaust gas cleaning units designed by Kimre to set new industry standards for emission control.

When construction is completed, the integrated phosphate and fertilizer granulation complex expects to produce 3 million tonnes per year of diammonium phosphate fertilizer. Kimre’s uniquely designed scrubbers, with their proprietary KON-TANE® packing and B-GON® mist eliminators, will significantly reduce particulates, dust and noxious gases typically associated with the wet phosphoric acid process being used at the facility.

Very low pressure drops and high liquid feed rates make Kimre scrubbers suitable for high production facilities like the MPC Phosphate Project. Contact: Kimre Inc., 16201 SW 95 Avenue, Suite 303, Miami, FL 33157, United States of America. Tel: +1 (305) 233 4249; Fax: +1 (305) 233 8687; E-mail:

Carbon mineralization technology for CO2 capture

Skyonic Corporation, the United States, has started operation of its carbon mineralization demonstration facility at Capitol Aggregates Limited in San Antonio, one of the largest cement plants in the state of Texas. Using the scalable, environmentally safe SkyMine® carbon-mineralization process, pioneered by Skyonic to profitably reduce the harmful carbon dioxide (CO2) emitted from flue gas stacks, the demonstration facility will act as a pilot to support the construction of a large-scale commercial plant at the site. The by-products of the mineralization process (such as carbonates and benign chemicals) will be analysed under site-specific conditions to qualify mineral products that will be sold by the full-scale plant.

SkyMine technology is designed to support scalable CO2 removal configurations that provide refineries, distilleries, power generators and other industrial manufacturers the possibility to be carbon negative. With marketable by-products efficiently produced using the SkyMine process, companies can realize return of their investment in three years, Skyonic claims. SkyMine also removes heavy metals and “acid rain” gases from flue gas streams. As SkyMine captures CO2 as solid carbonate compounds ideal for long-term storage or reuse, the environmental concerns associated with CO2 pipeline and groundwater contamination are avoided. Contact: Ms. Stacy MacDiarmid, Skyonic Corporation, 1221 South MoPac Expressway, Suite 340, Austin, TX 78746, United States of America. Tel: +1 (512) 436 9276; Fax: +1 (512) 436 9779; E-mail:; Website:

Breakthrough on hydrocarbon lean NOx catalyst process

General Electric Company (GE), the multinational conglomerate headquartered in the United States, has announced a key milestone in the development of Hydrocarbon Lean NOx Catalyst (HC-LNC), a proprietary silver-based after-treatment solution designed to reduce harmful nitrogen oxide (NOx) emission from diesel engines. Through a joint development with Tenneco Inc., in the United States, and Umicore in Belgium, GE scientists have demonstrated NOx conversions on an engine between 85-95 per cent across a temperature window of 325°-425°C, using E85 (85 per cent ethanol and 15 per cent petrol) as the reductant.

The HC-LNC system reduces NOx emissions as effectively as urea-based selective catalytic reduction (SCR) systems, and provides an option to those market segments seeking an alternative to such SCR technology. “E85 opens up a variety of diesel engine markets where a small on-board tank of readily available E85 will supply the reductant. This has real potential to provide a simple solution to meet the coming NOx regulations,” said Mr. William Kernick, GE Technology Ventures’ Vice President.

“E85 is showing comparable NOx conversion rates as seen with urea-based SCR systems. E85 has the ability to enhance NOx conversion performance beyond that of traditional HC-LNC technologies, showing very promising potential for the future of NOx after-treatment,” said Mr. Robert Goodnight, Umicore’s Director, Heavy Duty Diesel North America. The three companies are collaborating on the production of fully integrated systems ranging from line haul trucks (>250 hp) to small tractors and forklifts (<100 hp), and are on track to deliver commercial after-treatment systems in 2011.

CO2 capture unit

The Ministry of Natural Resources, Canada, has launched CanCO2, the first mobile carbon dioxide (CO2) capture and compressor system to measure and analyse power plant emissions. CanCO2, tucked inside a semi-trailer, can remove pollutants from a sampling of fossil fuel-fired plants’ emissions, while purifying and compressing CO2 for transport, storage or use. The data generated in field tests may then be used to scale up the technology. “By generating data, we can address some of the unknowns about carbon capture and storage still concerning people,” such as costs, what kinds of gases can be processed and how best to process them, explained Mr. Kourosh Zanganeh, leader of the Zero-Emission Technologies Group of the Ministry. The new technology is reported to be suitable also for separating CO2 generated by oxy-fuel (pure oxygen and fuel) burning power plants.

New catalyst for diesel exhaust

In the United States, General Motors researchers have shown that perovskites – a class of mixed oxide minerals – can perform as well as platinum in certain types of catalytic converter for removing pollutants from diesel exhaust. The discovery could lead to cheaper, more robust catalytic converters for diesel engines that do not rely on expensive and scarce platinum group metals.

Two main pollutants that need to be removed from vehicle exhaust are nitric oxide (NO) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2), which can be rendered harmless by reducing the gases to nitrogen. But since diesel engines run ‘lean’ (with an excess of oxygen in the fuel mixture) the oxygen-rich environment makes the reduction step difficult. One solution is a lean nitrogen trap. Here, NO is catalytically oxidised to NO2, which is then chemically combined with an alkali or alkaline earth component to form metal nitrates and nitrites. Once the storage system is saturated, the engine switches to a fuel-rich burn, enabling the nitrogen compounds to be reduced by hydrocarbons from the fuel, forming nitrogen, which is expelled.

The oxidation of NO to NO2 requires a platinum group metal catalyst, as does the fuel-enriched reduction cycle, where the hydrocarbons are oxidised to eliminate oxygen from the exhaust to allow the reduction step. These metals are costly and scarce. Now, a team of scientists at General Motors Global Research and Development has shown that catalysts based on the perovskite oxides La1-X SrXCoO3 and La1-xSrx MnO3 can convert NO to NO2 in simulated diesel exhaust as efficiently as platinum. The oxides are, says team member Dr. Wei Li, very simple to manufacture and process, and are much cheaper and more durable to heat than their platinum counterparts.

The new catalysts are less efficient at oxidising hydrocarbons and are prone to sulphur poisoning – deactivation by the presence of sulphur in the fuel. However, the research team found that the presence of palladium helped alleviate these problems. Dr. Li says that the team is working to clarify precisely how the catalyst works, and in the meantime will study the performance in real diesel exhaust.

Air protection technologies

Nalco Mobotec Inc. in the United States has demonstrated the ability of its Rotating Opposed Fire Air (ROFA®) and ROTAMIX® air protection technologies at the power plant of PGE Elektrownia Opole, Poland. These technologies have reduced nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions from the plant’s Unit 3 generator below stringent new European Union (EU) limits of 200 mg/nm3. This is the first modernization project in Poland to reduce NOx emissions to meet the EU standard.

ROFA technology sets the furnace air in rotation through an asymmetric boosted over-fire air system, resulting in superior mixing and temperature distribution for NOx reduction, while optimizing combustion. The ROTAMIX system combines air injection nozzles with automatically regulated lances for the injection of chemicals into the furnace where the temperature is most favourable. Contact: Nalco Mobotec Inc., 2540 Camino Diablo Boulevard, Suite 200, Walnut Creek, CA 94597, United States of America. E-mail:


Oxy-fuel Combustion for Power Generation and Carbon Dioxide Capture

This publication critically reviews the basic principles, processes and technology of oxy-fuel combustion, including advanced concepts for its implementation. Chapters also cover the economics and development of oxy-fuel combustion, as well as reviewing combustion characteristics in oxy-fuel environments and their implications on burner design, and advanced oxy-fuel concepts and developments.

Contact: Woodhead Publishing Ltd., Abington Hall, Granta Park, Great Abington, Cambridge, CB21 6AH, United Kingdom. Tel: +44 (1223) 891358; Fax: +44 (1223) 893694; E-mail:

Plastics Fabrication and Recycling

The book covers different types of moulds and dies, including compression moulding, injection moulding, reaction injection moulding, blow moulding, thermoforming, extrusion and pultrusion. It discusses processes such as spinning, foaming, compounding and coating, and techniques such as powder moulding, adhesive bonding and plastics welding. The authors also explore the decoration of plastics, including hot stamping, painting operations, printing processes, in-mould decorating, embossing, electroplating and vacuum metallizing. They conclude with an overview on key aspects of plastics recycling, developments in the field, and waste recycling problems.


Contact: CRC Press, United Kingdom. Tel: +44 (1235) 400524; Fax: +44 (1235) 400525; E-mail:

Biological Treatment of Industrial and Hazardous Wastes

This volume provides in-depth coverage of environmental pollution sources, characteristics of wastes, control technologies, management strategies, facility innovations, process alternatives, effluent standards and future trends in biological processes. It delineates methodologies, technologies, and the regional and global effects of important pollution control practices. The book focuses on new developments in innovative and alternative technologies, design criteria, effluent standards, managerial decision methodology and biological processes that aid in remediation.

Contact: CRC Press, United Kingdom. Tel: +44 (1235) 400524; Fax: +44 (1235) 400525; E-mail:


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