VATIS Update Waste Management . Nov-Dec 2008

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Waste Management Nov-Dec 2008

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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Sri Lanka to collect 'eco' tax

Sri Lanka's Central Environmental Authority (CEA) has introduced a series of taxes on people who own cars, mobile phones and standard light bulbs, as well as on firms that use telecom transmission towers. People who use vehicles for personal transport, such as owners of motor cycles, will have to pay SL Rs 100 (US$0.88) a year, while petrol vehicle owners will be levied SL Rs 200 to 500 (US$1.75-4.40) and diesel vehicle owners SL Rs 300 to 800 (US$2.60-7.00) per vehicle. Commercial vehicles such as buses and trucks will not be taxed. CEA is also charging a two per cent on top of ten per cent mobile subscriber levy.

Mr. Udaya Gammanpila, the CEA Chairman, said that the money collected ? SL Rs 500-800 million a year ? will be used to properly dispose of unused or broken handsets that contain metals and chemicals harmful to persons and the environment. Telecom and broadcasting firms that use transmission towers will also be taxed. CEA also wants to add a tax of SL Rs 3 (US$0.03) on every incandescent bulb over 40 W to encourage the public to use energy-efficient bulbs.


China adopts recycling law

China's top legislature passed a law to promote circular economy at the closing of the fourth session of the Standing Committee of the 11th National People's Congress. The draft law was ratified after its third reading, and the President Mr. Hu Jintao signed it into law. It will come into force on 1 January 2009.

Under the law, the government will closely monitor high-consumption and high-emission industries, such as the steel and non-ferrous metal production, power generation, oil refining, construction and printing industries. Government departments will map out a system for recycling, and will improve energy-saving and waste reutilization standards.

Industrial enterprises will have to introduce water-saving technologies, strengthen management, and install water-saving equipment in new buildings and projects. The law orders enterprises and government departments to adopt renewable products in new buildings, such as solar and geothermal energies. Enterprises, farmers as well as rural departments need to recycle and reuse waste materials.

Companies and government departments that employ prohibited technologies, equipment and material will attract heavy fines. The central government will allocate funds and capital to enterprises to encourage innovation in recycling technologies. Enterprises will get tax breaks for introducing and using technologies/equipment that are energy-efficient.


Viet Nam to address AO/dioxin issues

The Viet Nam-United States Joint Advisory Committee (JAC) on Agent Orange (AO) has decided to establish environmental task forces to speed up activities to address AO/ dioxin consequences in Viet Nam, Dr. Le Ke Son, JAC Co-Chairman, has said. The task forces will comprise scientists and several JAC members, and will be advised by local and foreign experts and donors.

The task forces will outline programmes and identify priorities related to defining levels and scope of contamination, selecting appropriate treatment methods and building projects to gradually stamp out dioxin contamination in Da Nang, Bien Hoa and Phu Cat, Dr. Son said. They will also join in formulating a programme framework and activities targeting people's health, which include the care of people with disabilities, including AO/dioxin victims, and the counselling on reproductive health and hereditary issues to reduce the number of newborns with congenital deformity.

With assistance of Ford Foundation and the United States Environment Protection Agency, Viet Nam has worked to prevent spread of dioxin contamination, Dr. Son stated. The two sides had discussed and shared information and experiences, and chosen technical solutions suitable for treating dioxin contamination in Viet Nam. According to the United States Ambassador in Viet Nam Mr. Michael Michalak, his government has pledged US$3 million via USAID to help Viet Nam mitigate AO/dioxin effects.


Recycling of waste declared a success in Malaysia

Recycling programmes carried out by local authorities in Malaysia have been a success, said Datuk Robert Lau Hoi Chew, Deputy Housing and Local Government Minister. The collection of waste paper, newspaper, boxes, glass, metal (aluminium and steel) and plastic cans and batteries rose from 511,000 kg in 2001 to 51 million kg in 2007, he said.

The Ministry has begun intensifying its campaign against the use of nonbiodegradable plastic bags, Datuk Lau said. It has enlisted the co-operation of the Malaysian Plastics Manufacturers Association and six hypermarkets in this regard. The Ministry will tackle the issue using the Solid Waste and Public Cleansing Management Act 2007.


Vehicular emission control stepped up in Pakistan

In Sindh province of Pakistan, the Director General (DG) of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Dr. Mohammad Ali Shaikh, has ordered the removal of all bottlenecks in the implementation of the Vehicular Emission Control Programme (VECOP) to get the project started soon. VECOP will be used to monitor and control polluting emissions from vehicles plying on the roads of three major cities ? Hyderabad, Karachi and Sukkur ? in Sindh.

VECOP was conceptualized many years ago. Under the project, the EPA, with help from the traffic police of the three cities, was to monitor vehicular emissions using electronic equipment. The project was to commission seven Vehicular Emission Testing Stations, three of them mounted on vehicles to check vehicular emissions at different places and initiate corrective actions.


Mass-scale textile recycling in Japan

In Japan, the discharge of textiles related products from homes and factories as waste amounts to two million tonnes annually. Clothing accounts for nearly 50 per cent, but only 13 per cent of it is recycled by various companies, mostly using traditional methods. The recovered products are exported as second hand clothes to other Asian countries, cut into small pieces for use as duster cloth in factories or reused in making felt and gloves.

However, recent studies have shown that improvement in technology has led to a notable increase in textile recycling programmes. Mr. Akihiro Omatsuzawa, Chief of Technical Group of Japan Chemical Fibres Association (JCFA), says, New recycling efforts have begun in areas of chemical fibre products using unconventional processes that take advantage of product  characteristics ? for instance, re-melting fibre ? to produce finished products or chemically decomposing and restoring it to the raw material stage.

According to JCFA data, the waste generated during the production of three major fibres ? polyester, Nylon and acrylic ? amounted to 849,000 tonnes in 2006. Of this, 40,600 tonnes were generated as fibre waste, from which 39,800 tonnes were recycled to get a recycling ratio of 98 per cent compared with a ratio of 93 per cent in 2001.


India: IT companies prefer backyard e-waste traders

The information technology (IT) and related companies in Bengaluru, India, together produce 11,000 tonnes of e-waste every year. But most of this waste ends up with backyard recyclers in the city's by-lanes; very little of it goes to the authorized ewaste managers competent to neutralize the waste. The city has three recyclers recognized by the State Pollution Control Board. But, Sadly, IT companies are under no obligation to manage their waste because India does not have legislation for e-waste, says Mr. P. Parthasarathy, Director, E-Parisara Pvt. Ltd., one of the three authorized recyclers.

Of the 1,350 IT, business process outsourcing and knowledge process outsourcing companies in the city, a vast majority prefers to sell their e-waste to the highest bidder from unauthorized e-waste traders who offer a better deal. The Guidelines for environmentally sound management of e-waste, which was drafted by Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and was approved by the Ministry of Environment and Forests in March 2008, are only guidelines and not binding on companies.

None of the existing environmental laws have any direct reference to electronic waste or refer to its handling as hazardous in nature, says Mr. Parthasarathy. As a result, EParisara, which has the capacity to recycle 3 tonnes of e-waste every day, is struggling to break even.


Chinese plastic recycling sees rapid growth

Recycling of waste plastics in China is expected to reach 17 million tonnes this year, up from the 15 million tonnes in 2007, predicts Recycling Markets in China, a new report from BCC Research, the United States. Waste plastic recycling is tipped to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 10 per cent to reach 27.4 million tonnes in 2013. The smallest but the fastest growing segment covered in the report is reclaimed rubber and recycled tyres ? 1.9 million tonnes were recycled in 2007 and about 2.2 million tonnes will be recycled in 2008. This should grow to 4.2 million tonnes in 2013 at an annual growth rate of 14 per cent. In 2007, the recycling industry in China processed 142.3 million tonnes of waste material of all types. This is expected to grow to 158.6 million tonnes in 2008, and 244.8 million tonnes in 2013, at an annual growth rate of 9.1 per cent.



New plant for tyre recycling

The German recycling technology major MeWa Recycling Anlagen has developed an innovative process for converting used tyres and scrap rubber into a high-quality product. By actively fine-grinding old rubber, the tyre recycling plant produces a raw material with properties that enable it to be mixed directly into rubber for a large number of applications, substituting 10 per cent to 90 per cent of rubber requirements.

The process operates at ambient temperature without the addition of nitrogen. The rubber powder can be processed directly under the right temperature and pressure conditions without the use of adhesive. The recycled rubber is cheaper to produce than by conventional processes, says the company. As the final product has been fine-ground, there is no visual difference from the original rubber. Since no adhesive is used, the product is recyclable. Contact: MeWa Recycling Anlagen, Gültlinger Straße 3, D-75391 Gechingen, Germany. Tel: +49 (7056) 9250; Fax: +49 (7056) 925 169; Email:


Separator for plastic wastes

Mr. Bohdan Anatoliovych Martyniuk, a Ukrainian inventor, has patented
a plastic wastes separating plant for reprocessing plastic materials. The plant can be used for separating a mixture of plastic materials having different specific densities. It consists of a loading device, a container filled with a displacement fluid, a mixer and the drive mechanism. The mixer is a tube provided with a screw conveyor connecting the loading device to a container. The tube and the screw conveyor are arranged horizontally or at an angle in a vertical plane ranging from 1º to 30º. The container is provided with discharge mechanisms mounted at its top and lower parts. Water, an aqueous solution or a liquid mixture is used as displacement fluid. Contact: Mr. Bohdan A. Martyniuk, ul. Starokonstantinovskoe shosse, 7a- 43, Khmelnitsky, 29015 Ukraine.



Recycling of agricultural and urban plastic wastes

Spain’s Inversiones y Gestión Orice S.L. and inventor Mr. José Mauri Chacón have secured a joint patent a method for recycling agricultural and urban plastic wastes. The process comprises the following steps:

• The waste plastics are classified, screened and blow-cleaned using
an air-injection system;
• The plastics are conveyed to a grinding machine;
• The ground plastics are transferred into a rotary autoclave, heated,
measured and poured into moulds;
• They are then subjected to heat and pressure in a hydraulic press;
• Once the desired density has been obtained, the plates are released
and stored.

The main advantage of the method is that it can create products using different types of plastics without having to wash them with water, thus avoiding pollutant discharges. Contact: Inversiones y Gestión Orice S.L., Avenida de la Republica Argentina, s/n Ed. Principado, Planta 1, Mòdulo 4, E-41930 Bormujos, Sevilla, Spain.


Waste plastic as aggregate substitute in concrete

Industrial activities in Iraq are associated with significant amounts of non-biodegradable solid waste, with waste plastic being the most prominent among them. Two researchers from the College of Engineering, University of Baghdad, Iraq, carried out a study to determine the efficiency of reusing waste plastic in the production of concrete.

The study, which involved 86 experiments and 254 tests, used 30 kg of waste from fabricated plastics as partial replacement for sand by 0 per cent, 10 per cent, 15 per cent and 20 per cent with 800 kg of concrete mixtures. All the mixtures were tested at room temperature for dry density, fresh density, compressive strength, slump, flexural strength and toughness. Seventy cubes were moulded for compressive strength and dry density tests, and 54 prisms were cast for flexural strength and toughness indices tests. Curing ages of 3, 7, 14 and 28 days for the concrete mixtures were applied in this work.

The results proved that using waste plastic in concrete mixtures arrests of the propagation of micro cracks.

This study shows that reusing waste plastic as a sand-substitution aggregate in concrete reduces the cost of materials, while solving some of the solid waste problems posed by plastics. Contact: Mr. Z.Z. Ismail, Department of Environmental Engineering, College of Engineering, University of Baghdad, Iraq.

Source Website:

A high-value end for PET bottles

A new recycling process enlists the help of bacteria to turn polyethylene terephthalate (PET) into a biodegradable plastic that could replace the cellophane in food packaging. Most plastic bottles are recycled into lower-grade, and less valuable, plastic. But there is only so much demand for lower-grade plastics as the market is saturated, says Dr. Kevin O’Connor, a microbiologist at University College Dublin, Ireland. New methods of turning PET into valuable materials, particularly biodegradable materials such as polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA), could be an incentive to recycle more of it, he says.

Dr. O’Connor and his team devised a two-step process to turn PET into PHA. First, his co-researcher Dr. Walter Kaminsky of University of Hamburg, Germany, devised a way to break down PET by heating it. That produces a gas, a liquid and a solid. The solid, terephthalic acid, is a building block for the long polymer chains of PET. While PET itself is not biodegradable, some bugs could digest terephthalic acid, the scientists reasoned.

Dr. O’Connor’s team found suitable bacteria on particles of PET in the soil near a plastic-bottle factory in Ireland. They found the bacteria feeding on the terephthalic acid left over after the PET production process. Some of the bacteria – specifically certain strains of Pseudomonas putida – were able to digest the acid and turn it into PHA. The researchers also burned the gaseous and liquid by-products to create a heat source for breaking down more PET.


Reuse of thermosetting plastic waste for concrete

Two researchers from the Faculty of Engineering, Sripatum University, Thailand, have studied the utilization of thermosetting plastic as an admixture in lightweight concrete. Since this type of plastic cannot be melted in the recycling process, its waste would be more valuable if it could be used as an admixture in, for instance, non-structural lightweight concrete.

Tests for the variation of mix proportion were carried out to determine the suitable proportion to achieve the desired properties of lightweight concrete: low dry density and acceptable compressive strength. It was found that cement, sand, fly ash and plastic in the ratio of 1.0:0.8: 0.3:0.9 is an appropriate mix proportion. The results showed that the mixture yields a concrete with low dry density (4.14 N/mm2) and low compressive strength (1,395 kg/ m3). This type of concrete meets most of the requirements for nonload- bearing lightweight concrete according to ASTM C129 Type II standard. Contact: Mr. Phaiboon Panyakapo, Department of Civil Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Sripatum University, Bangkok, Thailand. E-mail:


Shredders for pre-shredded tyres

The new RTR Series shredders from Vecoplan, the United States, are designed specifically for processing pre-shredded tyres. According to the company, the unit can produce tyre-derived fuel, crumb products, mulch, playground cover and arena fill, besides a variety of other products, in one pass. The single-shaft rotary unit efficiently liberates wire from rubber and rubber from wire to generate two individually marketable end-products.

RTR Series shredders are said to have a low operating cost per tonne of material processed owing to its features that include: inexpensive and easily replaced cutting inserts; easy access to wear items; and the energy-saving HiTorc magnetic pulse drive that reduces electrical costs by up to 85 per cent. Entire containers of pre-shredded tyres can be fed into the hopper. Particle size output can be varied and controlled by rapid screen changes. All RTR shredders have Hardox manganese alloy sidewalls, hard-faced rotor, heavy-duty screens, and a smart, tyre-specific ram feed programming package. 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: info@vecoplanllc. com.



On-site sterilization of medical waste

Infection Management Inc. in the United States is trying to change the medical waste management game by offering a way for health-care facilities to simultaneously cut costs, reduce the spread of infection and help the environment. The Pathogen Reduction System (PRS) from the company is an on-site sterilization machine built to eliminate the need to transfer chemical, biological and radioactive material via hazardous waste management companies. The company is currently finalizing its prototype.

The machine is just about the size of a small refrigerator, small enough to be placed close to the waste. A key selling point of PRS is that it will greatly reduce the spread of pathogens – once the material is decontaminated, it can be thrown away as normal trash. The system will also reduce trucking, besides eliminating hazardous waste being transported through communities, said Mr. Bob Kodis, who invented the technology.


Novel incineration technology for hospital waste

Conventional incineration systems for hospital waste (HW) emit large amounts of particulate matter and heavy metals, as well as dioxins, due to the excess air ratio. Additionally, the final process residues – bottom ash and fly ash containing high levels of heavy metals and dioxins – also constitute a serious environmental problem. Such issues faced by HW incineration processes are similar to those confronted by municipal solid waste (MSW) incinerators. In China, researchers from the Peking University, Taiyuan Chenfeng Environmental Engineering Co. and Zhenzhou Tianchen Environmental Protection Co. jointly investigated a new HW incineration process that solves these issues.

In a previous work, the researchers had developed a technology integrating drying, pyrolysis, gasification, combustion as well as ash vitrification (DPGCV) in one step to solve MSW incineration issues. In the current study, they investigated the feasibility of employing the DPGCV technology to solve the issues faced by HW incineration. Experiments were conducted in an industrial HW incineration plant with a capacity of 24 tpd. Results showed that the DPGCV technology successfully solved the issues as confronted by the conventional HW incinerators and achieved the expected results for HW incineration as it did for MSW incineration. DPGCV technology’s sucess is due to the fact that the primary chamber acts as both gasifier for organic matter and vitrifying reactor for the ashes, while the secondary chamber acts as a gas combustor. Contact: Mr. Yangsheng Liu, Department of Environmental Engineering, Peking University, Key Lab of Water & Sediment Sciences, Ministry of Education, Beijing 100871, China.


Infectious waste treatment system

Shaw Waste Solutions of the United States – jointly with inventors Mr. John Self, Mr. Robert Olexy and Mr. Steve Cochran – has applied for a patent on an treatment system and method for treating infectious waste material, wherein the waste is reduced, decontaminated and rendered unrecognizable, thereby facilitating its disposal. The treatment system thermo-mechanically treats all types of waste material. It includes a container processing unit connected to a disinfection unit. The container processing unit receives the waste materials in containerized form and converts them into a form suitable for the disinfection unit. The disinfection unit comprises a system that drives a thermo-mechanical process, wherein the waste is decontaminated and rendered unrecognizable. The treatment system may be operated without chemical disinfectants, steam or radiation. Contact: Shaw Waste Solutions LLC., 4171 Essen Lane, Baton Rouge, LA 70809, United States of America.


Hospital wastewater treatment system

Pharmafilter system, developed by Pharmafilter Co., the Netherlands, for processing hospital waste, combines all the waste streams within a hospital rather than being only a water purification step. The system centrally digests all waste streams along with organic waste, which together supplies significantly more sustainable biogas energy. Pharmafilter is thus claimed to address the three environmental challenges: clean water, reducing waste and countering climate change.

Disposable bedpans made of bioplastics, their contents and kitchen refuse are shredded, processed in a digester tank and converted to biogas. The remaining wastewater is purified in a membrane bioreactor, while ozonation and activated carbon remove all contaminants. A trial installation is currently being tested at the Reinier de Graaf Hospital in the Netherlands by environmental and engineering consultancy firm Grontmij.



Process for metal recovery from used PCBs

Alpha Fry Ltd., Ltd. and Cambridge University Technical Services – all from the United Kingdom – have jointly secured a European patent on a process for the selective dissolution and subsequent recovery of tin and/or leador tin-containing alloys from used printed circuit boards (PCBs).

The process entails contacting the PCB with a solution of Ti(IV) and an acid that forms stable and soluble salts of titanium (Ti), tin (Sn) and lead (Pb), under controlled conditions to effect dissolution of most of Sn and/or Pb- or Sn-containing alloys, and recovering most of Sn and Pb from the solution by electrolytic reduction. After electrolytic reduction, the oxidant metals are regenerated by oxidation and recycled to the first stage of the process.

In the new selective dissolution process, the plastics associated with electronic components, the electronic components and the identification coding on the components are not affected by the oxidant solution. The solution used to dissolve the tin or tin-lead alloy is regenerated and recycled to the process, thus avoiding the production of undesirable or unwanted waste products.

The preferred oxidizing solution is fluoroboric acid, fluorosilicic acid, hexafluorophosphoric acid, hexafluoroantimonic acid or an alkylsulphonic acid. A solution comprising Ti(IV) and fluoroboric acid is particularly preferred, as it has a high selectivity for the dissolution of Sn and Pb over other metals, particularly copper. A temperature of 20º-30ºC is preferred for the solution to contact with the substrate surface.

The process may also comprise a step of contacting the desoldered and component-stripped PCB with a copper leaching solution. Prior to the copper leaching step, the PCB may be comminuted mechanically. This is needed for multi-layer PCBs that contain thin layers of copper sandwiched between layers of plastic laminate. After leaching out the copper, the residues will still contain all precious metals originally present. These may be recovered by known methods. Contact: Alpha Fry Ltd., St. Paul’s House, Warwick Lane, London, EC4P 4BN, United Kingdom.


Liquid emulsion membrane process

Mr. Mangesh S. Talekar and Mr. Vijaykumar V. Mahajani from the Institute of Chemical Technology, University of Mumbai, India, have studied e-waste management via liquid emulsion membrane (LEM) process for the extraction and enrichment of cadmium(II). The process employed di-2-ethylhexyl phosphoric acid dissolved in n-dodecane as carrier and methane sulphonic acid as a strip phase.

The complexation stoichiometric coefficient (n) and equilibrium constant (Kex) were determined using conventional liquid-liquid extraction studies. Factorial design method was used to denote the importance of arameters. Emulsion preparation parameters – surfactant concentration, carrier concentration and internal strip phase concentration – were determined to get maximum extraction and enrichment. The influence of operating process parameters – residence time, speed of agitation and treat ratio – on the performance of LEM process has also been examined. Based on the study results, the researchers developed a realistic and simple model to aid the process design of LEM process. Contact: Mr. Vijaykumar V. Mahajani, Chemical Engineering Dept., Institute of Chemical Technology, University of Mumbai, Matunga, Mumbai 400019, India.


Recycling plant for scrap PCB

Henan Province Sanxing Machinery Co., China, has patented an ecofriendly recycling plant to process scrap printed circuit boards (PCBs). The high-voltage electrostatic separator- type plant is claimed to be an energy-saving and no-noise unit. It has a novel triple dust catcher – whirlwind dedusting + electrostatic dedusting + purification dedusting – without the dust removal bag. The plant does not pollute the air, as it has no waste gas emission. Contact: Ms. Hyacinth Wang, Henan Province Sanxing Machinery Co. Ltd., North Gang Industrial Area, Zhengshang Road, Zhengzhou, Henan, 450042 China.


Mechanical process to recover metals from scrap PCB

Researchers at the School of Environmental Science & Engineering, Tongji University, China, have developed a mechanical separation process for recovering metals from printed circuit board (PCB) scrap. The process includes the steps of impact crushing, sieving and fluidization separation. The technique is based on the difference in the crushability of metallic and non-metallic materials in the PCBs, which leads to the concentrated distribution of metals in larger particles and nonmetals in smaller particles.

It was found that crushed PCB particles of size 0.125 mm to 1.000 mm contained almost 80 per cent of metals in the PCBs. The crushed PCB particles were sieved into fractions of different size ranges. Each fraction separately went through a gas-solid fluidized bed operating at a selected optimal gas velocity for the specific size range. Approximately 95 per cent of metals in PCB particles from 0.125 mm to 0.800 mm was recovered by the fluidized bed separator. However, separation of metals from particles smaller than 0.125 mm was not satisfactory, and more studies are needed on metal recovery from fine particles. Contact: Mr. Xu Min, State Key Lab of Pollution Control & Resource Reuse, School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Tongji University, Shanghai 200092, China.


Improved e-waste recycling process

In Japan, Mitsubishi is working to render recycling of e-waste more efficient through a new technology. Typically, e-waste recycling involves separating out plastics from electronic components, the sorting of various types of plastic and the removal of resins from the shards of waste: all of which together becomes a rather complex process. Mitsubishi’s new process reportedly simplifies removal of polystyrene, polypropylene and acrylonitrile butadiene styrene resins, making the entire process about three times faster. The company claims that the process ensures 99 per cent purity rate for the recovered plastics. The revamped process will be commissioned at a new recycling plant just outside of Tokyo that the company intends to start constructing in the last quarter of 2009.


Dismantling of display devices

In Denmark, H.J. Hansen Elektromiljø A/S, together with Mr. Klaus Jørgen Dahlsgaard Jespen and Mr. Jan Hoberg, has patented a method and a machine for dismantling for recycling apparatuses that have an electronic display provided in a cabinet – such as a television set. The new feature of the method is that the apparatus go through process steps to determine electronically the points where the display is fixed on to the cabinet. These electronic data are used as input for the subsequent mechanical separation of the cabinet from the display unit.

The machine has a measuring zone in which the apparatus to be dismantled is positioned and fixed reference points are measured, and a separating zone in which the individually disposed units separate cabinet and display. The method and machine make the separation of the display part from the cabinet easier and faster, it is claimed. The back cover of the apparatus needs to be removed, the vacuum existing in displays of the picture tube equalized and the electric supply wire cut off prior to the dismantling process. In a variant of the invention, an Xray equipment “sees” through the apparatus for measurements, thus eliminating the need to dismount the back cover prior to dismantling the apparatus. Contact: H.J. Hansen Elektromiljø A/S, Ulvehavevej 44, DK-7100 Vejle, Denmark.


Recycling system for spent fluorescent lamps

LampTracker® DualGuardTM fluorescent lamp recycling system, from Mercury Waste Solutions Inc. in the United States, is meant to aid shortterm storage, shipping and recycling of mercury-containing fluorescent lamps. The easy-to-assemble, easyto-use container features a sturdy, dual-box design that is stronger than other containment systems, which include only a plastic bag for interior protection.

The DualGuard system is ideal for retail stores and businesses looking for an easy way to comply with environmental protection regulations regarding the proper storage and recycling of hazardous mercury waste. It provides additional protection to employees and customers against spent lamps that are easily broken during storage and transportation.

DualGuard containers are available for 4, 6 and 8 ft fluorescent lamps, U-bent lamps and compacts. Dual-Guard allows online tracking of the containers to assure compliance. Contact: Mercury Waste Solutions Inc., 302 North Riverfront Drive, Mankato, MN 56001, United States of America. Tel: +1 (507) 345 0523; Website:



Biological treatment of succinonitrile wastewater

In China, a group of researchers have investigated the treatment of succinonitrile wastewater using two strains of immobilized bacteria. The research group was from the Key Laboratory of Yangtze Water Environment of Ministry of Education and the State Key Laboratory of Pollution Control and Resource Reuse – both based in Tongji University – the School of Life Science at Fudan University, and Research Centre for Eco-environmental Sciences of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Two bacterial strains, named as J-1-3 and J-13-1, were isolated and screened out from the treatment facilities of Shanghai petrochemical wastewater treatment plant that treats acrylic fibre production wastewater.

Using succinonitrile as the sole source of carbon and nitrogen, the optimal growth conditions of the two strains in the degradation of succinonitrile with varied initial concentrations were determined using flask tests at a temperature of 30º C, shaker rotary speed of 250 rpm, inoculum percentage of 0.1 and initial pH of 6. Results indicated that both strains, especially J-13-1, have a high efficiency for succinonitrile degradation.

The bacterium strains were then immobilized separately by sodium alginate and polyvinyl alcohol, and applied to succinonitrile degradation again. Results showed that in a very broad range of initial succinonitrile concentration (30-5,000 mg/l), the sodium alginate immobilized strains could degrade more than 80 per cent of succinonitrile after 24 hours under the experimental conditions of 30ºC temperature, pH of 6.5 and shaker speed of 250 rpm.

However, the polyvinyl alcohol immobilized strains tended to inflate and break down. Contact: Mr. Zhouxue Fei, Key Laboratory of Yangtze Water Environment of Ministry of Education, Tongji University, Shanghai, 200092, China. E-mail: zhou


Zero-waste wastewater treatment system

Procorp Enterprises LLC. from the United States has introduced the ‘Targeted Phosphorous Extraction Pellet Reactor System’ for wastewater treatment. This sustainable system quickly and safely extracts high-purity magnesium phosphate, calcium phosphate or ammonium magnesium phosphate (struvite) pellets directly into a recycle bin to minimize sludge disposal and related costs, eliminate phosphorous loading and run-off issues, and reduce chemical usage and cost. It also removes ammonia and phosphorous in one step, while crystallizing phosphorous into concentrated, self-dewatering reusable pellets.

Conventional phosphorous removal systems convert phosphorous into biosolids, or sludge, with every unit volume of chemical used in the process generating about nine times the volume in sludge. They also have high costs associated with chemicals and waste hauling. The Pellet Reactor System from Procorp is an automated, skid-mounted, modular solution that offers plug-and-play commissioning and operation. The system minimizes operator attention and eliminates biological variability, and can be installed in new or existing wastewater treatment facilities.

The heart of the Procorp system is the pellet reactor. Water is pumped upwards, maintaining the seed material in fluidized state. Crystal pellets form around the seed material, and the pellets grow and move towards the reactor bottom. Periodically the pellets are discharged from the reactor, and fresh seed material is added without any downtime. Simple atmospheric drying produces pure, safe-to-handle and virtually water-free pellets that are reusable as ceramic filler for cement, agricultural feed or fertilizer feedstock. Contact: Procorp Enterprises LLC, 10200 Innovation Drive, Suite 500, Milwaukee, WI 53226, United States of America. Tel: +1 (414) 258 8777; Fax: +1 (414) 258 8066; E-mail: eng


Nickel recovery from plating rinsewater

Eco-Tec, Canada, supplies nickel recovery systems to capture nickel from bright nickel plating rinsewater, and produce a purified, concentrated nickel solution to recycle back to the semi-bright nickel plating bath. Design considerations have been implemented to ensure brighteners, degraded organics and other contaminants are not recovered, says Mr. Mike Dejak, Eco-Tec President.

NickelPur® utilizes Recoflo, the next generation ion exchange, with compressed-bed, counter current technology. By ensuring that all salts recovered are safely and completely recycled, the system can reduce related operating costs by over 90 per cent and recover more than 95 per cent of the nickel. Contact: Eco-Tec Inc., 1145 Squires Beach Road, Pickering, ON L1W 3T9, Canada. Tel: +1 (905) 427 0077; Fax: +1 (905) 427 4477.


Recycling system for hydrofluoric acid

Japanese company Organo Corp. has developed a recycling system for the hydrofluoric acid used during semiconductor manufacturing process. The company, which makes water treatment equipment, says that in the long run it is cheaper to recycle the substance than treat it as waste. Hydrofluoric acid is made from calcium fluoride. The price of this compound has risen rapidly in step with increased global demand.

In Organo’s new process, the used hydrofluoric acid is mixed with powdered calcium fluoride and calcium to generate a crystalline material that is very close in composition to natural calcium fluoride. This can be used as the starting material to make hydrofluoric acid and other products. Some semiconductor factories spend as much as hundreds of millions of yen a year treating the used hydrofluoric acid for disposal. Organo’s recycling facility costs as much as a treatment facility to build, but the recovered calcium fluoride can be sold.


Large-scale wastewater treatment

For the past five years, Dr. Weixian Zhang, Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Leigh University, the United States, has been working on the largest iron-related environmental project in history. Dr. Zhang took part in a project where he and his colleagues at Tongji University in Shanghai, China, used more than 900,000 kg of iron to remove pollutants in industrial wastewater.

Dr. Zhang and his team used an inexpensive type of scrap iron called zero-valent iron, which they used to detoxify industrial wastewater. The project began as a pilot test using about 900 kg of iron to pre-treat the wastewater. Following the success of the pilot test, the Shanghai City government sanctioned a grant to construct a full-scale treatment reactor capable of processing almost 61 million litres of wastewater a day.

“There are two unique points of this project. One is that this one of the largest projects of its kind in the world,” Dr. Zhang said. “The second is that we were able to make very effective technology, especially for developing countries because they can recycle all the scrap iron.” It is reported that, based on the success of this project, several municipalities in China now plan to implement the process to treat wastewater.


Zero liquid discharge approach in plating industry

Researchers from Anjou Recherche-Veolia Eau (France), Veolia Eau Direction Technique (France), ECS (France) and AIMME (Spain) have studied the treatment of degreasing effluents by electrocoagulation and anodic oxidation, as a zero liquid discharge approach in plating industry. Degreasing waste effluents from a surface treatment plant were treated by electrochemical techniques in an attempt to reduce COD so that clean water can be returned to the rinse bath. Electrocoagulation, both with iron and aluminium, and anodic oxidation with boron-doped diamond (BDD) anodes were tested.

In the electrocoagulation tests, the nature of the anodes did not impact significantly the reduction of COD. Electrocoagulation showed good COD removal rates, superior to 80 per cent, but it did not reduce COD down to low levels. Anodic oxidation was able to reduce COD down to discharge limits; the oxidation efficiency was above 50 per cent. Economical calculations show that anodic oxidation is best used as a polishing step after electrocoagulation.

The bulk of the COD would be reduced by electrocoagulation and, then, anodic oxidation would reduce COD below discharge limits. The maximum treatable flow is hindered somewhat by the small sizes of current BDD installation, but it would reach 600 m3/year if anodic oxidation is coupled with electrocoagulation, with the operational cost being €2.90 /m3. Contact: Mr. Sylvain Hermon, Anjou Recherche, Veolia Environnement, Chemin de la digue BP76, 78603, Maisons Laffitte Cedex, France. E-mail: sylvain.



Inoculated plants perform better phytoremediation

Bacteria encode resistance systems for a wide range of toxic metalloid ions. Scientists based in Ireland are working on plans to marry this phytoremediation with the production of biodiesel. At the Institute of Technology, Carlow, scientists have combined bacteria resistant to heavy metals with fuel crops such as oil seed rape. Researcher Ms. Olivia Odhiambo says, “The plant leaves accumulate the metals, the bacteria deal with the contamination, and the plants seem to benefit from some of their activity.” Some of the bacterial strains tested have reportedly shown enhanced growth properties in the crop, pointing to greater plant production and more biodiesel.

This is good news for owners of land that cannot currently be used for food plants due to heavy metal contamination. This technology could also have much wider implications in improving biofuel crop production nationally and internationally by simply helping farmers grow more fuel per hectare.


Oil-eating microbes point to ancient energy source

For over 100 years, scientists have known that microbes such as bacteria can use hydrocarbons like oil and gas as nutrients. This process, however, usually requires supplies of oxygen to work at room temperature. “Scientists were always fascinated by the microbes that do this because hydrocarbons are so unreactive,” said Dr. Friedrich Widdel from the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology, Germany, at the Autumn Meeting of Society for General Microbiology, held recently at Trinity College, Dublin. “But it is even more surprising to find an increasing number of microbes that can digest hydrocarbons without needing oxygen.”

Dr. Widdel said, “The striking diversity of micro-organisms that can break down hydrocarbons may reflect the early appearance of these compounds as nutrients for microbes in Earth’s history; bacteria and archaea living with hydrocarbons therefore may have appeared early in the evolution of life.” These bacteria and archaea live in the hidden underworld of mud and sediments, in sunken patches of oil under the sea, in oil and gas seeping out, and maybe even in oil reservoirs. Their product, hydrogen sulphide, may nourish an unusual world of simple animal life around such seeps via special symbiotic bacteria.

Scientists have identified particular symbioses between archaea and bacteria that are capable of consuming the greenhouse gas methane before it escapes from the ocean’s sediments. Some others contribute to the bioremediation or cleaning up of petroleum-contaminated water supplies in the underground aquifers. This amazing oxygen-independent digestion of hydrocarbons, said Dr. Widdel, is only possible via unique, formerly unknown enzymes. A better understanding of the way such enzymes and microbes function will also give a better understanding of natural greenhouse gas control and the way hydrocarbons are naturally recycled into carbon dioxide.


Technology for stimulating aerobic bioremediation

EOxTM, from EOS Remediation LLC, the United States, is claimed to be a scientifically proven technology for stimulating aerobic bioremediation. The controlled oxygen release from EOx accelerates biodegradation by indigenous aerobic microorganisms. This results in a higher level of sustained bioactivity and increases removal of contaminants. When hydrated, EOx releases oxygen slowly over an extended period to degrade a wide range of organic contaminants, such as petrol, fuel oils, MTBE, creosote, PAHs, PCP and vinyl chloride. It can be directly applied as powder or water slurry in excavations.

EOx is a long-term oxygen source, as it releases oxygen over 9 months in a controlled fashion. It reportedly contains over 16 per cent oxygen by weight. Priced at US$9.45 per kg, EOx is said to provide more oxygen per dollar than other oxygenreleasing compounds available on the market. Contact: EOS Remediation LLC., 1101 Nowell Road, Raleigh, NC 27607, United States of America. Tel: +1 (919) 342 2944; Fax: +1 (919) 873 1074; E-mail:


Microbe-plastic foam system that digests oil

Young Enterprises LLC, the United States, has patented a system and method for bioremediation of hydrocarbon and organic pollution in fresh and saline water, especially in sea-going vessels. Microbes that digest hydrocarbon and organic pollution are placed in a floating carrier, such as a block of polymeric foam where they are exposed to the pollution for digestion. The microbes may be supported on powder such as clay minerals, and the powder may be formed into pellets held in slits in the foam.

Foam-encapsulated tablet turns petroleum hydrocarbon base materials into water-soluble fatty acids. A 1 g tablet of non-hazardous and nonpathogenic microbes – housed in bentonite clay and placed in a precut slit of 1½ inch open cell crosslinked polyethylene approximately 4 inch × 6 inch wide – is used in the method. Instead of a slit, the tablet or pellet may be held also in any opening or bore that is shaped to hold the tablet securely in the foam. There are approximately 5 billion microbes per gram of tablet.

The “opcell” foam (made from a 100 per cent oil-based resin) gives the microbe tablet a protective lining against bilge water. The foam also keeps the microbes floating on the surface of the bilge water where oil collects, keeping the microbes and oil in contact and thus increasing their effectiveness. The opcell foam has a molecular attraction to the oil or gas and draws it in to the centre of the foam, which then activates the microbes. The opcell foam is capable of absorbing more than 32 times its weight in oil.

Under ideal conditions, the microbes double in number every 20 minutes and immediately start attacking the hydrocarbons, which are turned into water-soluble fatty acids suitable as fish food and may be safely pumped out of the boat in any body of water. Once the microbes have finished digesting the targeted hydrocarbons, they will either die, return to former natural concentration levels or be eaten by other organisms.


Bioremediation of chlorobenzenes in soil

Mr. T.F. Guerin, from Telstra Corporation Ltd., Australia, has reported pilot-scale study on ex situ bioremediation of soil contaminated with chlorobenzene (CB) and 1,2-dichlorobenzene (DCB). The study showed that vented ex situ biotreatment for chlorinated benzenes can be carried out without excessive losses from volatilization and that naturally occurring bacteria can be stimulated easily with aeration and nutrients.

Air was drawn through three cells – each 6 m3 in area – containing the contaminated soils and exhausted via an activated carbon filter system. The objective was to stimulate native microflora with nutrients and varying levels (0, 12 and 35 per cent) of organic amendments. Initial soil DCB concentrations varied from <1 to 6 mg/kg in the three cells, with an average of 2 mg/kg. About 90 per cent of the DCB mass present in the soil was removed over a period of 2-3 weeks. Observers noted up to 100-fold increases in total heterotrophs, CB+ and DCB+ degraders. Residual concentrations of chlorinated benzenes generally fell below detection limits (0.2 mg/kg).

Addition of organic matter did not enhance CB and DCB removal under test conditions designed to minimize volatilization losses. Biodegradation calculations indicated that volatilization removed less than 5 per cent of chlorinated benzenes and biological activity about 90 per cent. Laboratory shake-flask tests confirmed that the soils in the pilotscale cells contained a microbial consortium capable of mineralizing CB and DCB, with up to 50 per cent of carbon added as chlorinated benzene substrate recovered as carbon dioxide and nearly 44 per cent of organic chlorine released as chloride ion in mineralization tests.


Bacterial scavenging on a double-duty

Scientists at University of California at Berkeley, the United States, have filed patent application for a bioremediation system that not only separates out nanoparticle waste, but also prevents biofouling of industrial systems. This “double-duty” technology is based on the discovery that bacteria emit proteins that scavenge nanoparticles of metals in the waters of flooded mines.

Lead author of the study, Dr. John Moreau, postulated that the ability of bacteria to immobilize nanoparticles might have applications in bioremediation. In their experiments, zinc sulphide nanoparticles in biofilms from underground mines were observed to be tightly packed into aggregates containing large quantities of protein. These aggregates clumped the nanoparticles into large enough “blobs” that could not be removed by underground currents. This discovery was converted into an industrial process when the researchers developed a method to sequester nanoparticles from industrial effluent, using bacterial cells. The technology can also be applied in reverse, using nanoparticles to remove micro-organisms from industrial systems to prevent fouling.



Carbon dioxide scrubber

Climate change scientist Dr. David Keith and his team at University of Calgary (UoC), Canada, are working to efficiently capture carbon dioxide (CO2) directly from the air, using near-commercial technology. Their work showed that it is possible to reduce carbon dioxide – the main greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming – using a relatively simple machine that can capture the trace amount of CO2 present in the air at any place on the planet.

“At first thought, capturing CO2 from the air where it is at a concentration of 0.04 per cent seems absurd, when we are just starting to do costeffective capture at power plants where CO2 generated is at a concentration of more than 10 per cent,” says Dr. Keith, Director of Energy and Environmental Systems Group of Institute for Sustainable Energy, Environment and Economy (ISEEE).“But the thermodynamics suggests that air capture might only be a bit harder than capturing CO2 from power plants. We are trying to turn that theory into engineering reality.”

The research is significant because air capture technology is the only way to capture CO2 emissions from transportation sources such as vehicles and airplanes. These so-called diffuse sources represent more than half of the greenhouse gases emitted on Earth. Energy-efficient and cost-effective air capture could play a invaluable role in complementing other approaches for reducing emissions from the transportation sector, such as biofuels or electric vehicles, states Dr. David Layzell, ISEEE’s Executive Director. Carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology involves installing equipment at, for example, a coal-fired power plant to capture CO2 produced during burning of the coal, and pipelining this CO2 for permanent storage underground in a geological reservoir. Air capture, on the other hand, uses technology that can capture the CO2 that is present in ambient air everywhere.

The researchers showed they could capture CO2 directly from the air with less than 100 kWh of electricity per tonne of CO2. Their custom-built tower captured the equivalent of about 20 tonnes per year of CO2 on 1 m2 of scrubbing material – the average amount of emissions that one person produces each year in the North American-wide economy. This means that if electricity used is from a coal-fired power plant, for every unit of electricity used to run the capture machine, the machine will be capturing 10 times as much CO2 as the power plant emitted to make that much electricity. Contact: Mr. Mark Lowey, Communications Director, Institute for Sustainable Energy, Environment and Economy, University of Calgary, 2500 University Drive NW, Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2N 1N4. Tel +1 (403) 210 8659; E-mail:


A new tool for clean combustion design

Reaction Design, the United States, has released ENERGICOTM, a new simulation package for the gas turbine industry. ENERGICO is a complex system design simulation tool that functions by applying detailed chemistry technology to solve the toughest gas-turbine engineering problems related to emissions stability and reduction. The simulation tool enables a virtual simulation of combustion stability so that engineers can pinpoint and assess the causes of lean blow-off, a major issue in gas turbine design.

Using ENERGICO to model and test new combustor designs helps companies save money in gas turbine development costs and substantially reduce time-to-market when compared with traditional physical prototype testing, claims the company. Other modelling tools, such as computation fluid dynamics software, do not support the level of chemistry detail necessary to model lean blow-off, and are much more time-intensive while providing less accuracy and modelling stability, it says.

ENERGICO can effectively predict the effects of multiple alternative/ opportunity fuels on combustors without the need for a physical prototype. The platform also models environmental variables and can simulate under a variety of operating conditions. These abilities help increase the robustness of gas turbines and enable service teams to investigate the causes of turbine downtime in a virtual lab setting. The tool can reveal details about the combustion process not previously discernible without a specialized understanding of complex kinetics. This results in fewer and better-directed experimental tests to validate design and process.

During the trials, three major gas turbine manufacturers ran virtual simulations on different, well-known, turbine designs to compare results from ENERGICO with physical prototype experimental data. In every case, ENERGICO predicted NOx and CO levels within five per cent of actual emissions for each design, using different fuel sources such as natural gas and syngas. Contact: Ms. Verly Flores, Reaction Design, 6440 Lusk Boulevard, Suite D-205, San Diego, CA 92121, United States of America. Tel: +1 (858) 550 1920; Fax: +1 (858) 550 1925; E-mail:



A process for the absorption of SO2 from flue gas

Clue AS of Norway has applied for patent on a process for the absorption of sulphur dioxide (SO2) from flue gases. The process comprises the following steps: (1) providing an input of seawater or brackish water; (2) treating – by vacuum distillation, distillation, reverse osmosis or any combination thereof – the seawater or brackish water to form a more concentrated solution of ions; and (3) contacting the flue gas with an aqueous stream containing the concentrated solution to form flue gas with a reduced content of SO2 and a wash solution.

The invention is based on the realization that the seawater or brackish water with a higher than normal concentration of bicarbonate/carbonate ions is readily available in large volumes (for example, in desalination facilities on seashores and in ships that produce potable water from seawater), and this otherwise waste product can be economically used for the treatment of flue gases. The brine water after desalination is concentrated seawater. However, since such brine water will not be available in volumes required for use as feed water for the desulphurization stage, untreated seawater or brackish water may be added to increase the volume. An alkaline component (lime, limestone, CaO, NaOH, etc.) can be added to the concentrated solution to increase its basicity.

In a preferred embodiment, seawater or brackish water is added to the wash solution to increase the pH level, i.e., neutralize the free acid content, and thus prevent the soluble H2SO3 from converting back to SO2 and evaporating into the environment. The wash solution can also be subjected to other processes such as oxygenation, decarbonization, filtering, etc. so that the wash solution will have parameters acceptable for discharge into the sea. Contact: Clue AS, P.O. Box 45 Nyborg, Bergen N 5879, Norway.


Integrated oxygenfuel combustion

Praxair Technology Inc., the United States, and three inventors – Mr. Stefan Laux, Mr. Lawrence E. Bool and Mr. Hisashi Kobayashi – have jointly patented method that enhances the efficiency of selective noncatalytic reduction (SNCR) reactions for converting nitrogen oxides (NOx) in flue gas to molecular nitrogen. The method achieves this by producing the flue gas from combustion of fuel with an oxidant having an oxygen concentration above that of air.

A key aspect of the invention is its adaptation to combustion processes, and specifically to a method of modifying a combustion process, comprising:

• Providing a combustion apparatus in which fuel and gaseous oxidant, preferably air, are combusted to produce flue gas containing NOx, and carbon monoxide (CO) in a concentration higher than 200 ppm, at a temperature at which adding the nitrogen-containing reducing reagent to the flue gas would oxidize the reagent to form NOx;

• Increasing the oxygen concentration of the gaseous oxidant to a level at which combustion of the fuel with the gaseous oxidant reduces the CO concentration of flue gas to less than 200 ppm; and

• Decreasing the temperature of the flue gas to a temperature range in which the reaction of the reducing reagent with NOx proceeds to at least 90 per cent of stoichiometric completion under ideal mixing conditions and the reducing reagent is not oxidized to form NOx in the flue gas. Contact: Praxair Technology Inc., 39 Old Ridgebury Road, Danbury, CT 06810, United States of America.

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Electrochemical reactor for NOx decomposition

In Japan, researchers led by Dr. Koichi Hamamoto at the Advanced Manufacturing Research Institute of the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) have developed a new electrochemical reactor that decomposes and purifies nitrogen oxides (NOx) in diesel engine exhaust gas. The electrochemical reactor with nano-structured electrodes, decomposes NOx in diesel engine exhaust gas containing high concentrations (about 20 per cent) of oxygen at a temperature lower than 250ºC. It also improves the fuel efficiency because of the reduction in energy needed to purify exhaust gas. The researchers employed nanostructured working electrodes and an electrolyte that has high oxygen ion conductivity. Gadolinia-doped ceria (GDC), which has high oxygen ion conductivity, was used as the solid electrolyte substrate, and working electrode layers (composite of electron-conductive materials and GDC) that selectively decompose NOx were screen-printed on both sides of the substrate. Using electrochemical treatment, a 3D nano-network structure was formed in the layers. Fine fibrous electron conductive materials, composed of assembled nanoparticles, measuring 10 nm in diameter were wound around a framework of connected GDC particles of about 500 nm in diameter.


An electrochemical reactor fitted with these nano-structured electrodes showed high reactivity to NOx, decomposing almost 90 per cent of the gas of 1,000 ppm at the low temperature of 250ºC in an atmosphere consisting of 20 per cent oxygen and 80 per cent nitrogen. The electrodes helped increase reactivity and amount of reaction sites – that is, a three-phase boundary of electrode, electrolyte and gas phase. An atmosphere in which NOx decomposed dominantly was also realized at the electrodes despite the higher than normal oxygen concentration of diesel engine exhaust gas. Thus, the new reactor can be operated at a much lower temperature than the previous one.


Sour gas purification system

SgPurTM sour gas purification system, from Eco-Tec Inc., Canada, recovers and purifies industrial gases produced in the oil, chemical and steel industries. Gases such as Claus tail gas, refinery flare gas and coke gas are recovered and purified of the hydrogen sulphide (H2S), while converting the H2S to elemental sulphur.

The SgPur system is reportedly an economic and effective alternative to the Claus process to recover and convert H2S to elemental sulphur. It is a compact, single vessel that efficiently removes sulphur without emitting any contaminants to the environment, and produces a marketable sulphur by-product. It can purify natural gas, Claus process tail gas, associated solution flare gas, refinery flare gas, coke oven gas, etc.

In the economic sulphur removal range of 1-20 tonnes of sulphur per day, the Eco-Tec SgPur System provides the following distinct advantages over other processes:

• Capital costs are much lower than a conventional Claus plant;
• Low operating costs;
• Marketable elemental sulphur by-product; and
• Highly environment-friendly.

Contact: Eco-Tec Inc., 1145 Squires Beach Road, Pickering, ON L1W
3T9, Canada. Tel: +1 (905) 427 00 77; Fax: +1 (905) 427 4477.


Odour and particulate abatement system

The Odour and Particulate Abatement System, from Applied Plasma Physics AS of Norway, is based on the use of non-thermal plasma technology treating the entire emission in an intensive plasma field, efficiently removing odours and particulates from industrial emissions.

The main features of the system are the following:

• Cleaning efficiency: 75-95%;
• Capacity: 20,000-30,000 m3/h depending on type of chemistry;
• Power Consumption: 10-20 kW per module – maximum 30 kW;
• Small footprint and weight compared to capacities and alternative
• Low pressure-drop (approx. 40-180 Pa);
• Can be installed on both suctionside and pressure side;
• Simple operation, and very low maintenance and operation cost;
• No consumables and no effluent release; and
• Remote control and monitoring via modem/Internet.

APP’s Odour and Particulate Abatement System has been installed on emission volumes ranging from 10,000 m3/h up to 2,000,000 m3/h, but the modular concept will allow for even larger volumes if required. APP also provides daily or weekly remote monitoring of the system performance as required.

The general cleansing principles used in the APP non-thermal plasma technology are to accelerate the natural destruction of the chemical composition in process emission. Hence, there are no by-products created from the cold plasma process. The reaction chambers also function as compact electrostatic precipitators, removing dust and particulates. The system will not “produce” any harmful by-products due to the low energy level in the reaction zone.

An oxidation process takes place in the plasma reactor, and causes the odour reduction. Radicals generated inside the reactor initiate this process. Most of these radicals are all short lived and will be consumed before emitted out of the unit. Some ozone radicals (O3-) may, however, be emitted out of the unit and will contribute to a reaction in the ducting leading the emission to the exit point. During commissioning, ozone emission will be verified to be well within existing standards. Contact: Applied Plasma Physics AS, P.O. Box 584, N-4305 Sandnes, Norway. Tel: + 47 5160 2200; Fax: +47 5160 2201; E-mail:

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Technology Assessments for Wastewater Treatment

This report is a compilation on over a dozen wastewater treatment technologies for facilities of various sizes. It reviews literature on the particular subject; describes the technology; discusses advantages, benefits and drawbacks; provides case studies or references to full-scale facilities where applicable; and makes recommendations for those considering implementing that technology.

Oxidation Technologies for Water and Wastewater Treatment IV

In comparison with other water treatment technologies, advanced oxidation processes (AOPs) offer complete conversion of hazardous substances into carbon dioxide, water and salts without producing residues. However, a key challenge is to combine them with other unit operations in order to increase overall process efficiency. New knowledge in the production of oxidative species with higher yields, reactor design,
reaction pathways, process combination, determination of hazardous intermediates, and applications for water reuse were among the subjects of nearly 150 papers presented at the fourth AOP conference. This publication contains 49 papers, selected after full peer review and grouped according to subject area: process fundamentals; Fenton reactions; photocatalysis; applications; disinfection; process combinations; innovations and special topics.

Odours in Wastewater Treatment

The book Odours in Wastewater Treatment: Measurement, Modelling and Control provides readers with a detailed discussion on the basic principles involved in the formation of volatile compounds in wastewater treatment. Accounts of recent developments in the sampling and measurement of odours are provided, practical examples in the prediction and dispersion of odorous emissions are offered, and an overview of the technologies currently used to contain and treat odorous compounds presented. The book covers: the odours associated with wastewater treatment; odour sampling & measurement; assessment & prediction of nuisance odours; and odour control and treatment.

For the above publications, contact: IWA Publishing, Alliance House, 12, Caxton Street, London SW1H 0QS, United Kingdom. Tel: +44 (20) 7654 5500; Fax: +44 (20) 7654 5555; E-mail:


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