VATIS Update Waste Management . Nov-Dec 2009

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Waste Management Nov-Dec 2009

ISSN: 0971-5665

VATIS Update Waste Management is published 4 times a year to keep the readers up to date of most of the relevant and latest technological developments and events in the field of Waste Management. The Update is tailored to policy-makers, industries and technology transfer intermediaries.

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Worlds strictest rules on e-waste disposal

India is close to finalizing the worlds strictest set of rules on disposing of electronic waste (e-waste). The rules, framed by electronics equipment manufacturers with the help of NGOs, are now being given the final touch by the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MOEF). Under the new E-waste (Management & Handling) Rules, each manufacturer of any electronic gadgets such as computers, music systems or cell phones will be personally responsible for the final safe disposal of the product when it becomes e-waste, said Mr. Guruswamy Ananthapadmanabhan, Programme Director, Greenpeace International. This personal responsibility makes it the worlds most stringent set of rules for e-waste disposal. The proposed rules will provide enabling policies and legally binding procedures on all associated with e-waste: producers, collection agencies, dismantlers, recyclers and transporters.

Greenpeace, the civil society group Toxics Link and Germanys external aid agency GTZ have worked with Indias Manufacturers Association for Information Technology (MAIT) to prepare the rules. Eighteen electronic brands (including Nokia, Wipro, HCL, Acer and Sony Ericsson) have already begun implementing plans on toxic chemical phase-out and take back of end-of-life products. The new set of rules aims to:

Address the specific requirements of e-waste management;

Put in place an effective mechanism to regulate the generation, collection, storage, transportation, import and export of e-waste; and

Ensuring environmentally sound recycling of e-waste.

ADB loans to help clean up urban garbage

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has agreed to provide up to US$200 million in loans to help establish waste-to-energy plants in Chinas middle and small cities to clean up urban garbage. The loans will be provided to the Hong Kong-listed private firm China Everbright International Limited for developing and investing in plants using an advanced clean technology that does not use coal supplements, unlike most other waste-to-energy technologies. This is ADBs first private sector municipal solid waste management (MSW) project.

According to ADB, effective MSW disposal is a serious environmental challenge in China where around 148 million tonnes is generated every year and growing at around 10 per cent annually. Waste-to-energy processing with clean technology is the most effective method of treating MSW because it reduces waste by 90 per cent in volume and eliminates methane gas emissions from waste treatment process, said Mr. Hisaka Kimura, ADB Investment Specialist. Furthermore, waste-to-energy technologies substitute for fossil fuels by generating electricity and heat in the incineration process. China has set a long-term target to raise the amount of MSW that is used in waste-to-energy generation from 1 per cent in 2002 to 30 per cent by 2030.

Effluent treatment plants in Bangladesh

In Bangladesh, two central effluent treatment plants (ETPs) are expected to start operation to better manage toxic wastewater at the export processing zones (EPZs) in Dhaka and Chittagong. Factories in the EPZs will get the facilities to share the ETPs for treating wastewater before discharge. The projects will be implemented under a private-public partnership. D-Water CETP Eco System BD Ltd., Singapore, won the contract for constructing the unique plant at Dhaka EPZ while Chittagong Wastewater Treatment Plants Ltd. will install another in the Chittagong EPZ. The Bangladesh Export Processing Zones Authority, in partnership with the Bangladesh Investment Climate Fund (BICF), initiated the schemes. The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the World Banks lending agency, manages BICF with contributions from the Department for International Development (DFID), the aid agency of the United Kingdom, and the European Commission. The ETP at Dhaka EPZ will employ Electro Contaminant Removal machinery, a state-of-art technology in treating wastewater, while the plant at Chittagong EPZ is based on traditional bio-physical and chemical technology equipment.

Waste management enforced in some Philippine hospitals

In the Philippines, after a series of seminars intended for hospitals on the implementation of health care waste management, the Region 7 Office of the Department of Health (DoH7) is putting that into practice. According to the Environment Programme Coordinator, Ms. Evangeline Canoneo, only 10 per cent of the hospitals in Central Visayas are properly enforcing the mandate for health care waste management; a majority of them do not have an idea about its implementation while the others do not have the resources to acquire the equipment for proper waste treatment. Central Visayas region has registered 108 hospitals, of which 6 are under DoH7, 55 are run by Local Government Units and 47 are privately owned.

The seminars discussed five modules that include dealing with health care waste and its impact, solid waste management in health care facilities, wastewater management, health and safety, and administrative aspects of health care waste management programme, and more hospitals are expected to comply with the order, Ms. Canoneo said. Mr. Vivencio Ediza Jr., the Sanitary Engineer of DoH7, disclosed that in Central Visayas only level three and four hospitals have been compliant with the health care waste management policies, as most of the hospitals lack the resources and facilities for proper waste treatment.

Sri Lanka to reduce e-waste generation

Sri Lankas Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources is taking the support of the private sector for e-waste management, as e-waste might become a serious problem in the near future. The Ministry is developing a policy to reduce the generation of e-waste and prevent toxic components from getting into municipal garbage. We published the policy in newspapers for public comments and we have received them. So we are now at the stage of finalizing the policy, said Additional Secretary to the Ministry Ms. Padmini Batuwitage. The Ministry hopes to reduce the creation of e-waste by imposing restrictions on the import of used electronic items.

The Ministry has enumerated nine electronic items that could create problems in the future. According to a Central Environmental Authority (CEA) report released in 2008, about 40-50 million washing machines are sold each year in Sri Lanka based on 2006 data. The market size of refrigerators in the island was estimated at around 250,000-275,000 units a year. Mobile phones topped the list. The size of the mobile phone market was about 1.0-1.2 million units in 2006 when there were 5.4 million subscribers. The subscriber base is now over 12 million. There is already a programme to ensure that mobile phone wastes are not dumped into municipal trash.

Recycling rate in Malaysia still low

Public awareness on recycling in Malaysia is still low compared with other countries, including Singapore. According to the Housing and Local Government Minister Mr. Seri Kong Cho Ha, Singapore was ahead in recycling at 40 per cent compared with Malaysia, which is targeting 22 per cent by 2020. When recycling is practised everyday, the life span of solid waste disposal sites would be longer, Mr. Cho Ha stated at a news conference after launching a pilot project on the separation of solid waste. The project, implemented by Alam Flora Sdn. Bhd. and Schaefer, is capable of reducing 40 per cent of wastes at garbage disposal sites.

Viet Nam gets help in land remediation

France will help Viet Nam to address the problem of land contaminated by dioxins after the American War. According to Mr. Christian Jacob, Chairman of the French Parliamentary Commission on Sustainable Development & Territorial Planning, French agencies will work with Viet Nam to treat dioxin-contaminated land and make it cultivable again. Mr. Jacob also noted that more international support is needed to help Viet Nam deal with problems arising from climate change, the consequences of which have already been felt by the country.

Viet Nams Deputy Prime Minister Mr. Hoang Trung Hai stated that the country is targeting energy conservation and a diversification of energy sources, especially renewable ones. Viet Nam has conducted pilot programmes to develop solar power and energy from wind and biomass sources. Furthermore, the domestic transportation sector has gradually improved and narrowed down the gap between current standards of environmental protection and energy efficiency of vehicles and the international standards. The economic and financial forum between Viet Nam and France this year will focus on energy, reduction of greenhouse gases, efficient and sustainable use of energy sources, and will also initiate joint efforts to deal with climate change.

Move for total co-processing of hazardous waste

In India, the leading cement manufacturer ACC Ltd. and the car maker Ford India are in talks to ensure that 100 per cent of the hazardous waste generated by the manufacturing process is co-processed. At a workshop on co-processing of hazardous waste in cement kilns, Ford India Vice-President of Manufacturing Mr. Tom S. Chackalackal stated that both companies worked together for the past two years to identify and develop alternate fuel and raw material opportunities for food waste. The co-processing trial burn results concluded that the waste material could be safely co-processed in cement kilns without any adverse impact on the process, product quality and emissions. The co-processing technology could provide a better, economically and ecologically more sustainable solution to the problem of industrial waste management.

Recycling major non-ferrous metals

China is ahead of the world in the recycling of important non-ferrous metals. At a recent international forum concluded in Chinas Jiangxi province, participants stated that there has been rapid development in this area as part of Chinas efforts to maintain sustainable economic growth, improve the efficient use of resources and lessen environmental pollution. In 2008, China was ranked first in the world in regard to consumption of recycled copper, using approximately 2 million tonnes or 30 per cent of its annual copper consumption. China also used 3 million tonnes of recycled aluminium or 20 per cent of its annual consumption, and nearly 1 million tonnes of recycled lead or 25 per cent of its consumption in 2008. The figures place China second in the world in terms of annual consumption of recycled aluminium and lead.

E-waste targeted in new global initiative

Worldwide intelligence operation Interpol has launched a global initiative to tackle the unacceptable dumping of e-waste on developing nations, with the United Kingdoms Environment Agency (EA) at the helm. The global crime group aims to better organize information exchanges between the environment agencies worldwide to help crack down on criminal organizations that purchase and export e-waste for disposal. The initiative involves EA working alongside environmental crime investigation units in North America and Europe, including the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Dutch Environment Agency VROM.

Lord Chris Smith, Chairman of EA, decalared that the groups aim is to tackle an international problem with an international response. He added: Investigations have found that each year thousands of tonnes of waste electrical equipment are shipped from Europe and America to developing countries to be stripped down often by children under appalling conditions to extract valuable metals such as gold, copper and aluminium. EA is conducting at present eight separate investigations through its National Environment Crime Team into the export of e-waste and has made 12 arrests to date.

One of the key elements of the new global initiative is the targeting of the so-called waste tourists, who enter the United Kingdom as tourists with the intention of coordinating the purchase and export of containers full of waste. In addition, the Interpol group will also conduct enquiries via an international task force to help ensure that countries such as Nigeria, Ghana and those in the Far East are not turned into dumping grounds for e-waste.

Incinerator for hazardous waste material

In India, the state of Tamil Nadus first incinerator for handling hazardous industrial waste will become functional at Gummidipoondi, about 50 km from Chennai. According to the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) Chairman Mr. R. Balakrishnan, the plant is being built at a cost of US$2.17 million on a 20 acre secured landfill site inaugurated last year. The state-of-the-art facility will be handling a wide variety of hazardous waste material such as tar, tyre, oil and paint sludge, at the rate of 1 tonne/hour. The hazardous waste will be transported by Raamkey, the facilitator in charge of safe transport. Industries have to store the hazardous waste in dedicated containers and after securing the necessary clearance from TNPCB, the material has to be reached at the facilitators collection point, stated Mr. R. Kumar, Environmental Engineer. More such incinerators are being planned for three other locations, and the process of identifying secured landfill site is under way.


Bitumen-plastic combination for roads

A chemistry professor at Thiagaraja Engineering College, India, has discovered that a combination of hot bitumen and molten plastic waste could be the way to solve the twin problems of battered roads and plastic waste. Civic bodies in and the highway department of Tamil Nadu state have already laid more than 750 km of plastic roads, and are adding more based on the process developed by Prof. R. Vasudevan. It is a simple procedure wherein plastic waste is mixed with hot bitumen before it is laid. Plastic waste like cups, carry bags and so forth are heated up to 170C to form a molten paste and get mixed with the bitumen, said Prof. Vasudevan. As the waste is not incinerated, which happens at 690C, no toxic gases are released. The process uses only non-chloride polymer waste to avoid chlorine seepage into the ground.

Adding plastic reinforces a road in three ways. It increases the roads load-bearing capacity, makes it more resistant to heat (especially during summers) and prevents rainwater from seeping down. The third factor ensures durability, since water is the main enemy of bitumenized roads. Performance studies on the roads built with plastic waste indicate satisfactory performance with good skid resistance, good texture value, stronger and less amount of progressive unevenness over a period of time, state the guidelines issued by the National Rural Roads Development Agency, an arm of the Union Rural Development Ministry. The Ministry recommends the use of polyfilms with thickness up to 60 m, hard and soft foams, and laminated polymer with thickness up to 60 m. However, polyvinyl chloride sheets should not be used.

The plastic sandwich composite board

2K Manufacturing, the United Kingdom, is setting up a new factory that turns mixed plastic into a composite board called EcoSheet. The board has been tested by Bovis, a construction company supporting the project. EcoSheet costs about the same as plywood and, like plywood, can be used to build a variety of things such as advertising hoardings, flooring and shuttering used to contain concrete. It has several advantages over plywood: it is more easy to work with as it does not produce splinters; it does not rot; and unlike plywood it can be recycled, even if it is painted and full of nails.

2K Manufacturings production process uses a form of encapsulation called powder-impression moulding. The plastics are grind-mixed into powdery flakes, spread over a polymer skin, covered with another skin, and then sintered. During the process, air is blown through the sandwich to create a spongy core. Once the material cools and hardens, it acquires mechanical strength from its composite structure.

New renewable energy technology

In the United States, Envion Inc. is leading the charge towards a green future with the introduction of a revolutionary plastic-to-oil conversion technology. The Envion Oil Generator (EOG) is a first-of-its-kind technology that converts any type of plastic waste into high-quality, synthetic oil for less than US$10 per barrel. Envion has already de-monstrated its first commercial unit.

Being a petroleum-based product, plastic contains a huge amount of stored energy that literally goes to waste with conventional disposal methods. Envions technology reclaims that energy and provides it as oil, which is immediately commercially viable. Through Envions proprietary technology, 1 tonne of waste plastic can be converted into approximately four barrels (159 litres each) of high-quality, synthetic light to medium oil. This oil is a refined and 99 per cent sediment-free product that can be used to produce petroleum, diesel fuel, jet fuel and kerosene. EOG uses a closed-loop, catalyst-free system. Each individual unit can process up to 10,000 t/y of plastic waste. Contact: Environ Inc., 1027, 33rd Street N.W., Washington, D.C., 20007-3529, United States of America. Tel: +1 (202) 965 5030; Fax: +1 (202) 965 5032; E-mail:

Plastic waste as feedstock for nanomaterials

Researchers in China have developed a technique that uses waste plastics as the carbon source for synthesizing silicon carbide (SiC) nanomaterials. This development may provide an effective method to help solve the environmental pollution of waste plastics. SiC is a useful functional ceramic material with excellent mechanical properties, high physical and chemical stability, and high thermal conductivity. Generally, it is used in abrasives and the metallurgical and refractory industries.

According to Dr. Zhicheng Ju of the School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Shandong University, We have used three typical kinds of plastic wastes (HDPE, LDPE and PET) as carbon source, although other types of waste plastics may also be used as carbon source to prepare SiC or other carbide nanomaterials. The researchers produced SiC nanomaterials by using these plastic wastes together with silicon powder, sodium, magnesium and sulphur powder as reactants in an autoclave at 350-500C where the reaction pressure is usually not more than 10 MPa. They cleaned and treated the products of the preceding step by a refluxing process with aqueous perchloric acid and a mixture of hydrogen fluoride and nitric acid, respectively, to obtain the pure SiC powder. The X-ray powder diffraction has shown that the samples from HDPE and LDPE are all highly crystalline 3C-SiC while the sample from PET was 3C-SiC with a small amount of 2H-SiC. The average SiC yield is 39 per cent based on the amount of Si powder.

Secondary rubber from ground tyres

RubGreen LLC, a start-up company in the United States, is using a new technology to produce higher quality secondary rubber from devulcanized rubber crumb. The technology has proven to be economically viable and represents a breakthrough approach to efficient rubber recycling.

Independent test results have demonstrated that secondary rubber made from 100 per cent unsegregated tyre rubber crumb using unoptimized equipment consistently provides 1,200-1,400 psi of tensile strength and 250-300 per cent of elongation. These results would be substantially improved under industrial settings. Validation and testing of RubGreen technology were conducted at three testing facilities Smithers Scientific Services Inc., the United States; Deutsches Institut fur Kautschuktechnologie e.V., Germany; and Partec-Plastics and Rubber Technical Education Centre, Australia.

Method of recycling fibre-reinforced plastic

Researchers in Japan have patented a method for recycling plastic reinforced with carbon fibres and a thermoset resin (epoxy resin). The end product is a recycled material having excellent strength properties. First, the fibre-reinforced plastic material is heat-treated to totally burn off the epoxy resin to produce a harmless material. Next, a sizing agent is applied to or sprayed over this harmless material to produce another material in the form of strips. A recycled material having short carbon fibres is produced when the strip-form material is kneaded with a thermoplastic resin (polypropylene). Contact: Toyota Jidosha Kabushiki Kaisha, 1, Toyota-cho, Toyota-shi, Aichi, 4718571 Japan.

Recycling of polysytrene using soybean oil

Polystyrene, used widely as packing material or insulating material, is difficult to recycle and typically ends up in landfills. Various esters of biogenic oil fatty acids (such as methyl soyate, the methyl ester of soybean oil) can be a very strong solvent for polystyrene, according to research by Missouri University of Science and Technology, the United States.

The University researchers have prepared methyl soyate solutions containing 80 per cent by weight of scrap polystyrene. The researchers then polymerized these mixtures to obtain useful resins for composite materials as well as coatings for explosives. The compositions can also be employed in forming an improved polyester, according to the research report. Contact: Mr. Keith D. Strassner, Director, Office of Technology Commercialization and Economic Development, Missouri University of Science and Technology, 203 Centennial Hall, 300 W. 12th Street, Rolla, Missouri, MO 65409-1110, United States of America. Tel: +1 (573) 341 4690; Fax: +1 (573) 341 6579; E-mail:


Mining for gold in old cell phones

To an electronic waste recycler, old mobile phones are quite literally as precious as gold. More than 200,000 mobile phones or 3 tonnes of electronic waste (e-waste) is required to produce a 1 kg gold ingot, says Mr. John Ashok, Deputy Managing Director of e-waste recycling firm TES-AMM, Malaysia. E-waste has lots of other useful stuff that can be extracted too. For example, almost 97 per cent of a cell phone can be recycled for plastic, ferrous metals, lithium and other things. Only the LCD screen is non-recyclable because of its heavy metals content.

The cell phones collected is shipped to the TES-AMM factory and stored in a large warehouse, where they are weighed, verified, recorded and then sorted manually according to type. Mobile phones are then separated into components such as batteries, handsets and wires, after which they are dismantled. There are two different processes for extracting gold. The first is for waste with apparent gold. The stripped down components are dumped into a bin and then lowered into a sequence of different chemicals that will dissolve the gold. The resultant solution is put through an electrolysis process, separating the gold into plates. The materials without apparent gold content are crushed mechanically into powder and put into a chemical solution that strips away all precious metals. At the end of the recycling process, the 99.9 per cent gold dust obtained is smelted under a temperature of 1,200C and processed into a gold ingot. Source:

Integrated e-waste recycling facility

In India, where recycling e-waste is managed almost entirely in the unorganized sector, a huge opportunity exists in organizing the activity. At Roorkee, Attero Recycling is using its own technology for recycling non-reusable plastic, besides the metallurgical processes. The company has built a state-of-the-art integrated recycling facility with a capacity to recycle 30,000 t/y of e-waste. The plant is equipped to extract 98 per cent of materials such as copper, lead, nickel, zinc, plastic, iron, silver and even gold to an extent. To collect e-waste from various sources, Attero has signed up with Vikram Logistics, a third party logistics provider. Further, Attero has tied up with LG for a mobile take-back campaign with drop boxes at 50 LG centres. It has also linked up with corporates such as KPMG, Perot Systems, Visa and Tata DIESL to collect e-waste and in turn plant trees for free within their campuses for each computer Attero picks up.

Automated solution for e-waste trade-ins

In the United States, the ecoATM automatically buys back used cell phones and portable electronics, under a consumer-friendly eWaste compliance solution that converts used gear into store dollars. The firm has set up its first Automated eCycling Station for eWaste recycling take-back programmes and trade-in promotions. By automating the buy-back and payment process, the system offers financial incentives to consumers for all used mobile phone models and will soon support other consumer electronics, regardless of their condition. The ecoATM solution makes it easy for consumers to give their used phones a second life or to recycle them. Contact: Mr. Mark Bowles, CEO, ecoATM Inc., San Diego, California, United States of America. Tel: +1 (415) 6993 411; Website:

Reuse process for PCB components

Researchers in Spain report a systematic approach to define the reuse process for printed circuit board (PCB) components. The main goal of the researchers from Fundacin Robotiker and University of Deusto is to present an automated method to support the best selective and non-destructive way to disassemble electronic components in PCBs.

An automated dismantling station has been prototyped, to assess the technical and economical feasibility of the process at industrial scale. Potentially hazardous components have been extracted and managed as per European directives. First, the most suitable PCBs and their components are identified. Simulation is used to decide on the best method to extract parts automatically, considering their geometry, location within the PCB, the soldering method used, etc. This is followed by the design and construction of the decided solution, composed of an automatic handling device, desoldering and extracting system and functional verification of recovered components.


Chemical treatment system for liquid bio-effluent

In the United States, researchers have designed and built a waste treatment system to process liquid effluent from a lab/vivarium working with human pathogenic viruses. The lab/vivarium must operate in compliance with the requirements of Biological Safety Level 3 Enhanced (BSL3+) and ABSL-3. The principal design criterion for the treatment system is that no viable virus may escape the treatment system into the municipal sewage system serving the lab/vivarium. The treatment process is based on the fact that human pathogenic viruses are susceptible to deactivation by exposure to aqueous solutions of sodium hypochlorite.>/p>

The treatment system adapts a protocol usually employed in chemical crystallizers and mammalian cell bioreactors to transform a batch process into a quasi-continuous operation. In the chemical industry, this technique is called maintenance of a reactor heel. The heel is maintained by never fully emptying the treatment reactor. The combination of heel control scheme and chlorine chemical treatment results in a system comparable in containment security to more traditional systems at substantially reduced cost. The Biohazardous Liquid Effluent Treatment System (BLETS) represents a useful solution to the particular problems presented by BSL3+ containment requirements for viruses. There are five effluent categories directed into BLETS:

Personnel shower effluent;
Treated biosafety cabinet liquid waste;
Autoclave condensate;
Liquid effluent waste; and
Solid waste.

A series of experiments subjected quite concentrated (8log10FFU50/ ml by FFA) media containing live virus to a time and chlorine concentration matrix. Reduction of live virus to below the limit of detection at 100 ppm chlorine at 60 minutes exposure and at 200 ppm at 10 minutes exposure were observed. The researchers concluded that a treatment protocol consisting of 150 ppm chlorine for 1 hour is appropriate. Contact: Mr. George P. Cortessis, President, Process Engineers Inc., 26569, Corporate Avenue, Hayward, California, CA 94545, United States of America. Tel: +1 (510) 7825 122.

Treatment of infectious waste

ETLog Health EnviroTech & Logistics GmbH, Germany, carried out research into whether gravity air displacement autoclaves can be used for the safe decontamination of infectious waste. Though it was found that decontaminating waste using this type of autoclave is not possible, a subsequent research and development phase might make it possible to develop a new process cycle.

Tests carried out on the basis of international standards have shown that by applying ETLogs process cycle and using an add-on set, it is possible to sterilize health care waste using the existing stock of older medical autoclaves. The process cycle and the add-on set that was developed were tested under existing conditions in Hanoi, Viet Nam, using the treatment cycle designed for a 13-year-old autoclave. In the test, all the parameters for infectious waste decontamination were achieved. As modified autoclaves prevent the emission of toxic substances, this approach presents an interim solution to eliminate the impacts on human health and the environment caused by the incineration of health care waste. Contact: Ms. Rene Stolze, ETLog Health EnviroTech & Logistics GmbH, Berlin, Germany. E-mail: stolze@

Apparatus for processing infectious waste

Researchers at the Korea Institute of Energy Research, the Republic of Korea, report an invention relating to an infectious waste processing apparatus that increases sterilizing efficacy by sterilizing through two steps with a pressured vapour of high temperature and a continuous type microwave. The invention is also claimed to eliminate a risk to an operators health from leakage of microwave by fixing a shielding.

The apparatus is claimed to feature increased sterilizing effect since the infectious waste is smashed by a separation unit that is connected to the apparatus. The unit reportedly has increased separation efficacy achieved through shock or friction, as the waste is rotated with high speed to increase exposed area. Contact: Korea Institute of Energy Research, 71-2 Jang-dong, Yuseong-gu, Daejeon 305-343, Republic of Korea.

Treatment of biomedical waste

Mr. Peter Klaptchuk, Canada, has filed a European patent application for an apparatus to treat biomedical waste. This apparatus comprises a waste input container having an input door on top and an output door in the bottom. A shredder mounted under the output opening shreds the waste to a desired maximum size. A processing chamber is located under the shredder such that, when the output door is open, solid waste deposited in the waste input container passes through the output opening and through the shredder, and shredded waste drops into the processing chamber. Ozone gas is directed into the processing chamber, and an ozone indicator denotes ozone concentration. Exhaust openings operate selectively to expel the air from the processing chamber and waste input container. Contact: Mr. Peter Klaptchuk, Box 26030, 1850 Industrial Drive, Regina, Saskatchewan S4R 8R7, Canada.

Fully automatic vertical autoclaves

The ELV series vertical, top-loading laboratory autoclaves from the Dutch company Tuttnaer is available in chamber sizes ranging from 23 to 160 litres. With high capacities and effcient performance, these fully automatic steam sterilizers provide safe and economical sterilization. Various sterilizing applications can be carried out using the ELV series autoclaves: liquids such as nutrient media and buffer solutions; solid items such as pipettes, tubes and filters; glassware and plastic items; and biohazard sterilization.

All ELV models have an advanced microprocessor-based control panel. The control features include:

High precision control system for perfect sterilization results;
Password protection allows for secure access control;
Independent temperature and pressure monitoring; and
Cycle information recovery in the case of power failure or cycle interruption.

Contact: Tuttnauer Europe B.V., Paardeweide 36, 4824 EH Breda, The Netherlands. Tel: +31 (76) 5423510; Fax: +31 (76) 5423540; E-mail:

Super absorbent polymers for spills encapsulation

AC Aqua Polymers from AC Environmental Services, Canada, are high-quality absorbent polymers with an indefinite shelf life. They provide a cost-effective solution in situations where biomedical waste spills call for efficient absorption and encap-sulation. These innovative, super absorbent polymers turn hazardous fluids into non-hazardous solids.

The AC Aqua Polymer absorbent granules have the unique ability to suppress the vapours of encapsulated liquids. As a low quantity of absorbent is used, the handling and storage requirements are minimized, while the quantity of waste generated is significantly reduced. The AC Aqua Polymers are useful in the clean-up of all water-soluble hydrocarbons and aqueous liquids. They offer quick, effective and total spill control.

AC Aqua Polymer granules are available in different product forms such as loose absorbent, pour-top containers, pails, cartons, pads, etc. They are non-corrosive, non-toxic and non-carcinogenic. Contact: AC Environmental Services, #109, 117 Pembina Road, Sherwood Park, AB, T8H 0J4, Canada. Tel:+1 (780) 467 0303; Fax: +1 (780) 401-3519.

Medical waste fluid collection and disposal system

Dornoch Medical Systems Inc., the United States, has patented a medical waste fluid collection and disposal system that includes a medical waste fluid collection cart and a station removably coupled to that cart. The station includes: a drain pump linked to a drainage system and drain line; a flushing pump connected a washing liquid source and a station flushing line; and a station processor linked to the two pumps. A station data line communicates with a station processor. A coupler communicates with the station drain line, flushing line and station data line, and a station power line. The station coupler removably engages the cart receptacle so operation of the cart and station components can be coordinated by the processors for drainage and flushing. Contact: Dornoch Medical Systems Inc., 4032 W. Riverside Street, Riverside, Massachusetts, MA 64168, United States of America.


A colourful way to clean waste

In China, researchers at Tongji Uni-versity have developed a cheap and eco-friendly method to extract dyes from wastewater. The team mixed two wastewater samples one containing a cationic azo dye and the other an anionic one. Next, sodium carbonate was added followed by calcium chloride. The dyes precipitated out of solution as a dye-calcium carbonate hybrid. Spectrophotometry measurements revealed that the process removed over 98 per cent of the dyes.

The new process can absorb about seven times more dye than conventional adsorbents. In addition, the dyes thus recovered can be used as a colourant for plastics, rubber and paint. This eliminates the need for waste disposal and replaces the metal oxides commonly used for colouring these materials. The team of researchers tested the water resistance of plastics coloured with the hybrid and found that no colour was released, even after 24 hours of immersion in water.

Cleaned wastewater, electricity and desalination of water

Researchers from the Pennsylvania State University, the United States, and the Tsinghua University, China, have proved a process that cleans wastewater, removes 90 per cent of salt from brackish or sea water and generates electricity. The international team modified a microbial fuel cell a device that uses naturally occurring bacteria to convert wastewater into clean water so that it could also desalinate salty water.

Typically, a microbial fuel cell consists of two chambers, one filled with wastewater or other nutrients and the other with water, each containing an electrode. Naturally occurring bacteria in the wastewater consume the organic material and produce electricity. The researchers modification added yet another chamber between the two existing chambers into which the saline water to be desalinated is placed. Also, certain ion-specific membranes were positioned between the central chamber and the two electrodes that allow either positive or negative ions to go through, but not both. The MegaMagnum RO and NF systems utilize spiral-wound membrane elements, which are claimed to be the largest in area in the world, to reduce significantly the complexity, footprint and installation time of industrial municipal and water treatment systems. Plants that use the system reportedly require only half the area of floor space, compared with a conventional 8-inch rack and use only one-seventh the amount of elements to produce the same volume and quality of water as conventional RO system operating at similar fluxes and pressures. KMS makes MegaMagnum in four configurations with nominal flow capacities ranging from 78,860 to 315,450 l/h.

New desalination technology

Lesico CleanTech, an Israeli start-up, has developed technology that helps minimize liquid waste at inland desalination plants. According to its CEO Mr. Nissim Asaf, Lesico makes two complementary water treatment systems that it can subcontract to desalination plants. The first, more mature technology is a wind-aided intensified evaporation process that serves as an alternative to the conventional evaporation ponds. The thermodynamic system is based on wind energy that speeds up the evaporation of liquid waste by 15 times and employs less land than regular ponds.

The second technology is a modular electrodialysis membrane stack that is aimed at more efficient desalination. It enables efficient flow of the water, while reducing the quantity of energy required for pumping and thus reduces the desalination cost. The two water technologies were developed in cooperation with Ben-Gurion University and commercialized under a technology transfer agreement with US$500,000 from the Israeli Chief Scientists Office. Scientists at Ben-Gurion University said they were working to develop a faster, cheaper method of reverse osmosis desalination that can be used to clean brackish groundwater. The technology is being commercialized by a new start-up, Reverse Osmosis Technologies (ROTEC).

New sequencing batch reactor

The Argos sequencing batch reactor (SBR) from Aeration Industries International Inc., the United States, offers the same design benefits of traditional SBR process systems for municipal and industrial wastewater treatment, but with improved design features such as the uniquely engineered Wagner Fluid System gear-driven decanter and the Aire-O2 Triton process aerator/mixer. This new system results in substantial capital investment savings, operational savings and improved process flexibility. The unique design was developed in partnership with Wagner Fluids Systems, the United Sates. Wagners decanter and controls design have a proven record of high-quality effluent.

The Aire-O2 Triton provides all the aeration and mixing, eliminating all the expenses of diffusers and related networks. As a result, the design is greatly simplified and costs dramatically reduced. The Triton units are float-mounted and ride up and down on a slide rail system in relation to the changing water levels in the SBR. The units are easily installed and accessible for routine maintenance. Another key benefit of the Argos SBR is its dual-function capability that provides independent control of aeration and mixing for a wide degree of process control and flexibility. The unit easily integrates and facilitates biological phosphorus removal. Contact: Aeration Industries International Inc., 4100, Peavey Road, Chaska, Minnesota 55318, United States of America. Tel: +1 (952) 448 6789; E-mail:

Decreasing wastes in textile industry

In the city of Yazd, Iran, a researcher has proposed a new approach for minimizing textile industry wastes using nano-photocatalysts. According to Mr. Mohammad T. Ghaneiyan, As photocatalytic processes are environmentally friendly and green, there is a big hope that nano-photocatalysts will become commercialized as soon as stabilization methods are fully developed. The project investigates the effectiveness of titanium oxide nanoparticles in the removal of Reactive Blue 19 in the presence of ultraviolet (UV) A rays and UV-C rays at different dye concentrations and pH values. Results reveal that photocatalytic process of titanium oxide nanoparticles in presence of UV-C rays degraded Reactive Blue 19 dye in wastes from a textile company, Yazdbaft Co.

Treatment method for high pollution load

In India, researchers from the Department of Environment Sciences (DES) at Bangalore University have developed a new technology to help treat highly polluted water stream. The technology employs activated carbon made of bagasse, an agro waste, at an affordable cost. In trials, a highly polluted water stream was passed through two channels of activated carbon prepared in DES laboratory. After the black-coloured water was passed through the carbon column, the researchers could extract colourless, odourless water within five minutes. Besides removing odour and colour, the activated carbon also extracted heavy metals like copper, chromium and zinc.

Furthermore, the microbial colony count reduced by 50 per cent. BOD level decreased from 952 mg/l to 8 mg/l and water hardness reduced from 400 mg/l to 250 mg/l. Just 20 kg of activated carbon is adequate to treat 1,000 litres of polluted water. To prepare 20 kg of the activated carbon, about 40 kg of agro waste is needed. Activated carbon made using bagasse has lignite content and 60 per cent more carbon. It is more effective than activated carbon obtained from other products such as coconut shell, rice husk and maize cob, and is better equipped to remove metal content, the team claims.

Enzymatic reactors to treat industrial dyes

University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain, reports a new method for breaking down organic compounds present in industrial effluents using enzymatic reactors. The invention refers to a procedure that allows the decolouration and degradation of xenobiotic compounds by means of manganese peroxidase (MnP) in systems with free or immobilized enzymes operating in batch, semicontinuous or continuous enzymatic reactors. In addition to stirred batch reactors, this technology could be implemented in reactors coupled to membrane units (ultrafiltration, nanofiltration and microfiltration), allowing for the recirculation of the enzyme. The method is based on an operating strategy that allows regulation of the speed at which the following are added: the Mn+2 ion, hydrogen peroxide and chelating agents such as open chain dicarboxylic organic acids and acetic acid.


Hot microbes cause a rethink on groundwater clean-up

Researchers at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) in Australia have discovered that those micro-organisms that help break down contaminants under the soil can actually get too hot for their own good. While investigating ways of cleaning up groundwater contamination, scientists examined how microbes break down contaminants under the soils surface and found that sub-surface temperatures associated with microbial degradation can become too hot for the microorganisms to grow and consume the groundwater contaminants. This can slow down groundwater clean-up and even continue the spread of contamination. The new findings mean that researchers now have to rethink the way groundwater remediation systems are designed. Contact: Mr. Colin Johnston, Principal Research Scientist, CSIRO Land and Water, Australia. Tel: +61 (8) 9333 6328; Fax: +61 (8) 9333 6211; E-mail:

Hidden diversity in key environmental clean-up microbes

In the United States, researchers have completed the first thorough, system-level assessment of the diversity Shewanella, an environmentally important genus of microbes. A research team from the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech), Michigan State University and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory analysed the gene sequences, proteins expressed and physiology of 10 Shewanella strains. The results will help researchers to choose the best Shewanella strain for bioremediation projects based on each sites environmental conditions and contaminants. Many Shewanella microbes have the ability to inhale certain metals and compounds and convert them to a state that is usually much less toxic.

By using the sequencing of the 16S ribosomal gene, the researchers determined that the 10 strains belonged to the Shewanella genus. To distinguish and define general properties between most of the strains, the researchers turned to genomic and whole-cell proteomic data. By comparing the 10 Shewanella genomes, the team found that while some of the strains shared 98 per cent of the same genes, others only shared 70 per cent. Out of the almost 10,000 protein-coding genes in the 10 strains, 48 per cent of the genes were strain-specific, and the differences in expressed proteins were consistently larger than their differences at the gene content level. Upon further analysis, researchers found that the genetic differences between the strains frequently reflected environmental or ecological adaptation and specialization, which had also substantially altered the global metabolic and regulatory networks in some of the strains. The Shewanella strains appeared to gain most of their new functions by acquiring groups of genes as mobile genetic islands, selecting islands carrying ecologically salient genes and losing ecologically unimportant genes. The most rapidly changing individual functions in the bacteria were related to breathing metals and sensing mechanisms, which represent the first line of adaptive response to different environmental conditions.

Quick clean-up of dirty oil

Microbiologists from the University of Essex, United Kingdom, have used microbes to break down and remove toxic compounds from crude oil and tar sands. By using a mixed consortium of bacteria, researchers have achieved complete degradation of specific compounds in a few days. Tar sand deposits have the worlds largest supply of oil. The process of oil extraction and subsequent refining produce very high concentrations of toxic by-products. The most toxic of these are naphthenic acids, which are resistant to breakdown and persist as pollutants in the water used to extract the oils and tar. This water is contained in large tailing ponds. The chemical structures of naphthenic acids vary: while the microbes could completely break down simpler varieties, the complex naphthenic acids do not break down completely. The microbiologists are now piecing together the degradation pathways involved, to develop more effective bioremediation methods for fully removing naphthenic acids from environment.


New desulphurization system

Rino International Corp., a leading Chinese producer of proprietary and patented wastewater treatment, desulphurization equipment and high-temperature antioxidation systems has commenced installation for its new proprietary ammonia-based desulphurization (DXT) system. The total contract value is US$14 million, with installation of the DXT system scheduled to be completed during the second quarter of 2010 on a 208 m2 sinter system at Hunan Lianyuan Iron and Steel Co. in China.

The R&D team at Rino successfully commercialized this technology that was licensed exclusively from Baosteel Group Co., which has been using this technology in its manufacturing process for the past one decade. Rinos new DXT operating system utilizes coking waste ammonia in the flue gas to effectively remove the sulphur dioxide from the sinter flue gas and produces ammonia sulphate as a by-product (which can be used as fertilizer). In addition to filtering out more than 99 per cent of the harmful sulphur emissions, the DXT system utilizes considerably less energy, lowers maintenance costs and creates a sustainable revenue-generating activity through the production of fertilizer. Contact: Ms. Jenny Liu, Rino International Corp., 11 Youquan Road, Zhanqian Street, Jinzhou, Dalian LIA, 116100 China. Tel: +86 (411) 8766 2700; E-mail:

Reusable organic liquid scrubs emissions

Scientists at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) in the United States have developed a reusable organic liquid that can capture acidic gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2) and sulphur dioxide (SO2) from power station emissions. According to lead researcher Mr. David Heldebrant, the liquid could directly replace technologies currently in use and allow companies to capture twice as much harmful gas using much less energy, no water and at a much lower cost. Currently, the most common absorbent in use is a mixture of monoethanolamine and water. Monoethanolamine alone is too corrosive for use.

Mr. Heldebrant and colleagues had previously published their research about a CO2-binding organic liquid called CO2BOL. But recent developments have led to the discovery of organic liquids that will bind SO2, carbonyl sulphide and carbon disulphide. The organic liquid does not contain water and binds to CO2 at near-room temperatures. It can hold as much as double the amount of CO2 by weight as the monoethanolamine mixture and does not require as much heating to release the gas during the recycling procedure. The recycling procedure has been demonstrated for CO2BOL. It binds to CO2 forming a liquid salt solution that is heated to release the gas. This can then be captured and the liquid returns to its original state.

Smokestack scrubber material

Researchers at the Seoul National University, the Republic of Korea, have developed a new, highly porous material that can soak up carbon dioxide (CO2) efficiently and highly selectively. The material, characterized by X-ray diffraction and other techniques, might one day be used to scrub out the greenhouse gas from power stations and factories that burn fossil fuels for energy.

Finding materials that are selective for CO2 alone is a major technical challenge. The new breakthrough is a porous, three-dimensional network from a co-ordination polymer based on a nickel complex and an organic molecule as its building blocks. The starting materials assemble into 2-dimensional lattice-like planes that grow into stacks held together by flexible columns, to produce a 3-dimensional porous structure with an interesting feature. The flexibility of the columns allows the cavities in the structure to vary in size and so accommodate different gaseous guest molecules that might enter their pores. However, the porous material does not flex its molecular muscles for any gas molecule.

The researchers point out that the symmetric CO2 molecule has an electrical quadrupole moment that can be described as two electrical dipoles situated back to back and pointing in opposite directions. This quadrupole interacts with the 3-D lattice, and this effect causes the columns to open the gates, allowing CO2 gas to enter the cavities. Nitrogen, hydrogen and methane are not so well endowed like CO2 when it comes to their quadrupole moments and cannot open the porous gates. The exclusion of nitrogen, which makes up a large proportion of air, is essential for any putative CO2 capture system. In addition, the new nickel-containing materials are stable at temperatures up to 300C, in air and in the presence of water which is essential for an industrial CO2 scrubber. The trapped CO2 can be released by reducing the pressure on the porous material. Given that CO2 is a pollutant in some contexts but a useful industrial gas in others, this potentially cyclical approach to CO2 capture and release could be made commercially and environmentally viable.

Germany launches pilot CO2 scrubber

In Germany, RWE AG and its partners BASF SE and Linde AG have officially launched Germanys first carbon-capture pilot plant at the brown-coal-fired plant in Niederaussem, Bergheim. The pilot plant for scrubbing carbon dioxide (CO2) from flue gas is part of RWE Powers Coal Innovation Centre which also houses a prototype plant for pre-drying lignite, a pilot plant for integrating CO2 in algae biomass and a REAplus high-performance scrubber for improved separation of dust and sulphur dioxide from flue gas. According to RWE, the plant is a vital step towards making cleaner coal-based power a reality.

Pilot CO2 capture plant for coal-fired power plants

In Germany, E.ON and Siemens are putting into operation a pilot carbon dioxide (CO2) capture plant at the E.ON power plant Staudinger in Grosskrotzenburg. The two com-panies are pushing further ahead with the development of a process that is geared towards climate-friendly coal-based power generation. A lab-proven process is to be employed under real operating conditions at the power plants hard-coal-fired Staudinger Unit 5. The pilot plant will be operated with part of the flue gas from Unit 5. E.ON and Siemens intend to run the pilot plant up to the end of 2010. The results achieved and the operating performance of the pilot plant will serve as the basis for large-scale demonstration plants, scheduled to start operation around 2015. The project, sponsored by the German Federal Ministry of Economics, is part of the governments 5th Energy Research Programme Innovation and New Energy Technologies and promotes R&D in the field of low-CO2 power plant technologies.

With the post-combustion capture process developed by Siemens more than 90 per cent of CO2 is removed from a power plants flue gas using special cleaning agents. One of the advantages of this technology is that it can be combined with the further developed steam power plant process. In the pilot plant at the Staudinger power plant the cleaning agents long-term chemical stability and the efficiency of the process are now being put to the test under real power plant conditions. In parallel, the technology will be further optimized in terms of energy consumption. The process is characterized among other things by sound environmental compatibility, comparatively low energy consumption and very low loss of the cleaning agent used. The technology for CO2 capture from the flue gas of power plants is part of Siemens environmental portfolio. Contact: Siemens, 153 E. 53rd Street, New York, NY 10022, United States of America. Fax: +1 (212) 7670 580; Website:

A pressurized combustion system to capture CO2

In the United States, researchers at the Masschusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have shown the benefits of a new approach towards eliminating carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions at coal-burning power plants. Called pressurized oxy-fuel combustion, this system provides a way of separating all of the CO2 emissions produced by the burning of coal, in the form of a concentrated, pressurized liquid stream. This allows for CO2 sequestration the liquid CO2 stream can be injected into geological formations that are deep enough to prevent their escape into the atmosphere.

There are various approaches to carbon capture and sequestration being developed and tested, and the oxy-fuel combustion system is one of the technologies that should be looked at, says Profesoor Ahmed Ghoniem, the leader of the research team. According to the researchers, any system for separating and concentrating CO2 from a power plant reduces the efficiency of the plant by about one-third. That means that it takes more fuel to provide the same amount of electricity. Hence, finding ways to minimize that efficiency loss is key for carbon sequestration systems to be commercially viable.

Even though the MIT process uses more energy at the beginning of the combustion cycle because of the need to separate oxygen from air and pressurize it, the increased efficiency of the power cycle raises the net output of the plant and reduces the compression needed to deliver CO2 at the requisite state for sequestration, as compared to the unpressurized carbon capture systems; in other words, the overall energy penalty is reduced. The system introduces pressurization earlier in the process, so the output stream requires less compression at the end of the process while extracting more energy from the combustion gases. The pressurization of the combustion system also reduces the size of the components and hence the plant, thereby reducing the footprint and therefore the costs. It is expected to lead to an overall improvement of about 3 per cent in net efficiency when compared with an unpressurized system. Further R&D could improve this to about 10-15 per cent net gain from the current values.

Mobile testing unit for electrostatic precipitators

Siemens AG, the gobal engineering company based in Germany, has developed a new mobile testing unit for electrostatic precipitators, helping plant operators to optimize the performance of flue gas filters. Electrostatic precipitators are heavy-duty filters that remove tonnes of dust from flue gas, and are mostly used in coal-fired power stations. The precipitators use high voltage to produce ions that collect on the dust particles. These charged dust particles then accumulate on the filters precipitation electrodes and are cleaned off at specific intervals. The higher the applied voltage, the more ions are produced and the more efficient the filters.

When retrofitted with modern power electronics, electrostatic precipitators become up to 30 per cent more efficient due to a smoother direct current supply. Additionally, the new control systems can be restarted more quickly following a dielectric breakdown. Traditionally, operators had to replace the plants electronics to explore the potential for optimization, resulting in days of down time. The mobile testing unit eliminates this need, allowing cheaper and easier testing of modernization potential. Contact: Siemens, 885 Mountain Highway, Bayswater, VIC 3153, Australia. Fax: +61 (13) 651 280; E-mail:

Clean technology to cut emissions

In the United States, clean coal technologies being tested at the research centre of Consol Energy Inc. have the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while reducing stockpiles of waste coal. PFBC Environmental Energy Technology Inc. installed a pressurized fluidized bed combustion system recently in Consols 1 MW demonstration power plant. That process combined with a carbon capture system by Sargas Inc. has been trapping around 95 per cent of the plants carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions during tests. PFBCs algae photobioreactor feeds captured CO2 emissions from the Sargas system to algae growing inside two 90 litre tubes. The pressurized combustion boiler and carbon capture system are designed to fit inside older coal-fired power plants and to work with existing equipment. CO2 captured through the Sargas process can be stored underground, forced into wells to push oil to the surface or used in processes like the algae tests. Ash from the two processes can be safely utilized in products such as concrete.

Multi-pollutant control technology

Regenerative Activated Coke Technology (ReACT), from Japans J-Power EnTech, is an advanced multi-pollutant control technology for efficient control of sulphur oxides, nitrogen oxides, mercury and particulates. ReACT is a regenerative activated coke-based technology that produces saleable by-products. It is a dry process that does not require water and features in several industrial and utility installations in Japan. Examples include J-Powers Isogo and Takehara Power Stations and several other full-scale installations in other industries such as steel, petrochemical and waste management are operating successfully for many years. The emissions from the coal-fired Isogo Power station are at comparable levels to those from natural gas-fired facilities. The technology should be of special interest to units burning lower sulphur fuels, especially at locations where water use is an issue.


Advances in Hazardous Industrial Waste Treatment

This book provides a very wide coverage drawn from the full spectrum of experts in the field of hazardous industrial waste treatment. It covers environmental pollution sources, waste characteristics, control technologies, management strategies, facility innovations, process alternatives, costs, case histories and effluent standards in industry. It delineates methods, technologies, and the regional and global effects of important pollution control practices. Chapters highlight innovative and alternative technologies, design criteria, managerial decision making, and regional and global environmental conservation specific to industrial hazardous wastes.

Waste Treatment in the Mining and Chemicals Manufacturing Industries

This handbook focuses on recent developments that are changing the way in which waste is handled in process industries. It provides in-depth coverage of effluent standards, pollution sources and waste characteristics, and the current state of technologies and control strategies. Leading experts in the field present detailed case histories and look at the regional and global effects of important pollution control practices. They discuss facility innovations, alternative technologies, and future trends and also cover design criteria as well as managerial decision methodology.

Handbook of Industrial and Hazardous Wastes Treatment, Volume II

This authoritative reference for technical information on industrial and hazardous waste treatment gives comprehensive coverage of basic and advanced principles and applications. It addresses wastes in a variety of industries, covering metal finishing, food processing, milk production, coal mines, foundries, chemical manufacturing and much more. Including numerous figures, tables, examples and case histories, the text also explores new methods of clean production and waste minimization and addresses the treatment of landfills and underground storage tanks.

For the above three publications, contact: CRC Press, United Kingdom. Tel: +44 (1235) 400 524; Fax: +44 (1235) 400 525; E-mail: book.


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