VATIS Update Waste Management . Oct-Dec 2015

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Waste Management Oct-Dec 2015

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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India to ban toxic polychlorinated biphensyls

The government of India has decided to ban manufacturing, import and export of polychlorinated biphensyls (PCBs) and also equipment containing this toxic chemical. PCBs are among the 22 persistent organic pollutants banned globally under the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, known as the POPS Treaty. India, which ratified the treaty in 2006, has to ban use of PCBs by 2025 and adopt measures to reduce or eliminate releases from stock piles and waste by 2028.

Issuing a draft notification to phase-out use of this toxic chemical in the country, the Environment Ministry said the government proposes to regulate manufacture, trade, use, import or export of PCBs, equipment containing and contaminated with this chemical and dispose of PCB waste. As per the draft notification, manufacturing and import of PCBs, which are man-made chemicals, in India will be banned from the date of final publication of this order.

Import and export of PCB-contaminated equipment will be regulated as per the provisions of the Hazardous Wastes Rules, 2008. The use of PCBs in any form will be completely prohibited by December 2025. The use of equipment containing PCB will be permitted for their certified life or by December 2025, whichever is earlier, provided they are maintained properly without possibility of leakage. The companies or individuals have to declare the total quantity of PCB and equipment containing and contaminated with PCB that are in use and their stockpiles.

India may amend e-waste management act

The Parliamentary Committee on Subordinate Legislation, Rajya Sabha has sought suggestions from various departments of public sector undertakings (PSUs) in the country, regarding the amendments to the E-Waste Management Act, 2013. A report has been submitted to the government on the proposed amendments for better implementation of the Act. Committee chairman T Subbarami Reddy informed that the government has proposed to amend the Act for its implementation in a better way.

“The committee was touring all the places in the country and obtaining suggestions and opinions and later we would submit the report to amend the act. The committee will look into different aspects of the rules laid down in the act and its implementation by various departments of the PSUs. The committee has already visited Mumbai and Bangalore and discussed several issues on the implementation of the Act with the officials of various departments,” said Reddy.

Wastewater to irrigate, fertilize and generate energy

To meet the requirements of Asian cities, researchers from the Fraunhofer Institute for Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology IGB, Germany, are adapting an idea they have already applied in Germany for comprehensive water management. They are developing a concept for reducing water use, treating wastewater and extracting fertilizer for a strip of coastline in the Vietnamese city of Da Nang. In Vietnam, researchers adapted a wastewater treatment concept they developed in the DEUS 21 project to support the supply of water, energy and fertilizer.

Under the sponsorship of the German Society for International Cooperation GmbH (GIZ), the project will implement the innovative infrastructure along a strip of coastal land with some 200,000 residents in the Vietnamese city of Da Nang. Starting in the fall, 110 plots – home to around 500 people – are to be connected to a novel sewage network made up of vacuum pipes, which have a significantly smaller diameter than standard pipes. Wastewater is extracted with pumps, similar to the process used in trains and aircraft.

The DEUS 21 concept was developed to maximize the recycling of wastewater and of the resources it contains. Not only can the biogas created in the anaerobic bioreactor be used for cooking, it can also be used to supply electricity and heat or to power vehicles. And because the wastewater remains relatively warm after processing, it is possible to draw additional thermal energy from it and supply this to households in cooler regions via a district heating network.

Malaysia to launch old phones scrap scheme

The Malaysian government has joined forces with industry players to launch the ‘Old Phone, New Life’ e-scrap scheme. Aimed at collecting the estimated 42 million phones at their end-of-life stage, the government has a target of recycling at least one million phones during the project’s first year. “The programme will allow the public to dispose of their old phones along with chargers and accessories at 72 participating outlets nationwide,” said the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC).

Recycling will take place at Shan Poornam Metals Sdn Bhd, a ‘full recovery facility’ licensed by the environment department. The MCMC estimates the actual total of unwanted phones stowed away in people’s homes may well exceed 42 million – a number already far greater than the country’s population of around 30 million. The data gap is likely due to non-certified or unregistered phones.

Viet Nam plans to control air quality

The Vietnamese Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment is planning to control air quality. Under the draft of the National Action Plan on the management of air quality from 2020 to 2025, the goal is to control sources of emissions, improve the ambient air environment, and ensure a healthy environment for all people. By 2020, the dust, sulphur dioxide (SO2) and nitrite (NOx) arising from the cement production facilities, electricity, and chemical production, in addition to fertiliser and petroleum production, should reduce by 20 per cent.

At the same time, these agents arising from other production facilities and transport vehicles would come down by 10 per cent. The mission will include activities such as completion of legal documents and technical guidelines relating to air quality management; strengthening the organisation of air quality management as well as preventive measures; and minimising emissions.

The plan would also include completion of the financial mechanism and diversifying investment sources, strengthening international co-operation on science and technology, inspection and supervision of the implementation of the law on air protection, and raising awareness about pollution and air quality. By 2020, the production units which have excessive emissions would be equipped with automatic air monitoring systems.

Malaysia to launch solid waste separation

Malaysia has launched the separation of solid waste from source implementation at the Malaysian Agro Exposition Park. The implementation was launched simultaneously in Kedah, Pahang and Johor. Act 672 makes it mandatory for households in the affected states to separate their wastes according to categories Paper, Plastic and Miscellaneous. These recyclable wastes will be collected once a week while twice a week for other solid wastes like kitchen, food and dirty wastes.

Failure to comply will see households compounded from June 1 next year. The first offence will be compounded a sum of RM50. It will increase for repeated offences which includes court actions. Malaysia spends RM 2 billion annually on waste management alone. As plastic is considered as one of the most dangerous wastes, the launch was done in a symbolic completion of the “1Million Bottles One Dream” campaign where 1.3 million plastic bottles were collected.

Garbage banks continue to flourish in Indonesia

First introduced in 2011, the use of garbage banks in Indonesia to manage waste is thriving across the country, with an online system to coordinate the banks now in the pipeline. “Garbage banks now existed in 129 cities, up from 99 cities previously. People now get additional income from garbage. In Malang, for instance, garbage money is spent on tap water and electricity bills, while in Surabaya it is used to pay property taxes,” Tuti Hendrawati Mintarsih, of the Environment and Forestry Ministry.

The number of garbage banks had accordingly increased by some 60 percent from 1,640 to 2,861, serving a combined 175,413 customers and managing 5,551 tons of waste monthly. The transaction value had also increased from Rp 15 billion to Rp 34.4 billion a month, Tuti added. According to Tuti, however, only around 14 percent of the total volume of garbage in Indonesia is currently managed or recycled through garbage banks.

China releases guidance on pollution control

China’s Ministry of Transport has officially released an implementation plan to control ship and port pollution for the next five years. According to the ministry by 2020 sulfur oxides and nitrogen oxides emission in the regions of Pearl River Delta, Yangtze River Delta and Bohai Rim will be decreased by 65%, 20% and 30% respectively as compared with 2015. About 90% of ships will use shore power at major ports while about 50% of container terminals, passenger roro terminals and cruise terminals will be capable of providing shore power. All the coal and iron ore dockyards at major ports will also have wind and dust suppression facilities. By 2020 all the major coastal and river ports and shipyards will be capable of disposing tank washings and ship sewage.

Singapore expands e-waste disposal drive

DHL Express, Singapore, StarHub, Singapore, and TES-AMM, Singapore, have renewed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed last year to put up Recycling Nation’s Electronic Waste (Renew), Singapore’s electronic waste (e-waste) recycling program for individual public consumers. StarHub’s e-waste recycling program first began as the company’s own initiative in March 2012 with five bin locations. When the effort was rebranded as Renew in September 2014 in partnership with DHL and TES-AMM, there were bins at 30 locations island-wide.

Since then, 150 bins have been added, totalling 185 Renew bins to date at 147 locations across the country. These locations include educational institutions, shopping malls, condominiums, government offices and community clubs. Fifty more bins will be rolled out by the end of 2015. The expanded network of Renew bins has already borne fruit. From March 2012 till September 2014, the e-waste recycling program had collected 14.8 tons of e-waste. In Renew’s first year alone, the programme recycled over 23 tons of e-waste, which is over 150% of the total weight collected prior to Renew.

Plans to build on the success of Renew are already underway. These include improving the bin design to make the collection process more efficient and sourcing for more public access bin locations to make it more convenient for the public to deposit their e-waste. Renew is a purely voluntary community initiative by DHL, StarHub and TES-AMM with the support of the Ministry of Environment and Water Resources as well as the National Environment Agency.

Project destroys Viet Nam pesticide stockpiles

More than 900 tonnes of persistent organic pollutants (POP) in 12 contaminated sites have been destroyed over five years via a POP elimination project funded by the UNDP. The project “Building Capacity to Eliminate POP Pesticide Stockpiles in Viet Nam” was launched in 2010 by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE) and the UNDP. Some 5,000 cubic meters of contaminated soil from safe landfills was destroyed, reducing the risk of POP exposure amongst the 2,000 people living in the 12 contaminated zones.

Nguyen Van Tai, general director of Viet Nam Environment Administration, said at the closing workshop last week that the project had developed a new international-standard information technology integrated database to manage the contaminated areas and measure the POP elimination results, using a risk assessment method. International experts have also written guidelines for managing these areas, with appropriate adaptations for conditions in Viet Nam. UNDP Deputy Country Director BakhodirBurkhanov said the MONRE and UNDP would also initiate a new project collaboration on the proper management of harmful chemicals.

Before the 1990s, Viet Nam had used various types of chemicals as pesticides for agricultural development. Limited awareness and the lack of waste treatment technologies had led to poor storage without the adoption of appropriate safety measures, resulting in a high risk of leaks. By 2010, Viet Nam had more than 1,000 contaminated sites, of which, 300 were obsolete POP pesticide stockpiles. It is reported that POPs can cause immediate fatal poisoning or cancer and can have a lasting effect on people’s health.

Turning waste into resources in Sri Lanka

An integrated resource recovery centre (IRRC) model, which uses composting, recycling and bio-digestion, offers an inexpensive solution to the escalating problem of waste management in Sri Lanka, say the authors of a new Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) publication. The island nation’s cities face multiple waste management challenges arising from economic development, a growing population and inadequate awareness on recycling. The IRRC model offers a low-cost, low-technology, community-based and decentralized solution.

The IRRC model, successfully deployed in Bangladesh, was adopted in Sri Lanka’s Pilisaru Waste Management Programme in 2014, led by the Central Environmental Authority.


Researchers develop biodegrable plastic material

Researchers at Kalasalingam University, India, and Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), India, have developed a new biodegradable plastic material, which is in the final stages of trials. Prof. A Vardharajulu, at CSIR, working with Osmania University, India, has analysed the new biodegradable plastic material. The team, comprising members from the mechanical engineering, biotechnology and chemistry departments, developed thin film made of the new material of one micron thick solid waste together with CSIR scientists after non stop observation and research for 25 days.

Three sets of the film, after some chemical reaction were kept underground. Depending on the chemical reaction thin film degraded, within a year, one month and one hour respectively. “Normally plastic does not degrade even after millions of years. But the new plastic material was found degradable,” said Senthil Kumar, a scientist involved in developing the material. The new material had been sent to Chennai for testing and final approval. It could be used as an alternate plastic food packages and in the biomedical field.

New generation of RVMs with flow technology

Tomra Systems ASA, the United States, a global provider of reverse vending machines (RVMs) and sensor-based sorting equipment, has launched a new generation of RVMs with Flow Technology®, TOMRA’s patented new sensor solution. Flow Technology provides 360-degree recognition of containers, allowing RVMs to rapidly recognize bottles and cans of varying shapes and sizes, accepting up to 60 recyclable beverage containers per minute. RVMs with Flow Technology are targeted toward medium- and high-volume stores where consumers bring containers to be recycled in exchange for cash.

According to Tomra, the new Flow Technology takes up to 1,000 pictures per second, making it possible for the RVMs to read container shape, material, bar codes and security marks without rotating the containers, allowing the user to insert recyclables in a rapid continuous flow. The company now offers three RVMs with this technology: the T-9 Bottle, the T-9 Combi and the T-90. The T-9 Bottle, for single containers, and the T-9 Combi, for single containers and crates, are designed to work with backroom storage systems, such as Tomra MultiPac or ProPac and do not come with internal storage bins.

The T-90 is a wide-body machine with an internal storage bin, optimized for supermarkets or other retail stores in the United States that do not have space for backroom storage. All three machines accept bottles, cans and other containers of varying shapes and sizes. RVMs with Flow Technology feature large, high-resolution color touch-screen displays with video capability, making it easy for customers to see that containers have been accepted and that the deposit return amount is correctly registered. All models have a slim-line, contemporary design, with color options of light grey, dark grey, red or black. Stores also can order a store-branded four-color wrap.

Engineers plan world-first PET recycling

Chemical firm Ioniqa Technologies, the Netherlands, is planning to scale up its process to recycle coloured PET, closing the loop on a resource that until now is largely consigned to incinerators. PET – or polyethylene terephthalate – is mainly used in packaging for food and drinks as well as textiles. Colourless PET, used for example in clear Coca-Cola drinks bottles, is already fully recyclable but not the coloured PET that makes up the majority of the 50 mt produced each year. That is set to change with Ioniqa planning to build a demonstration plant capable of recycling 10,000 t/y of coloured PET, by year 2017. The company plans to sell licences for its technology to chemical companies.

“We are the only company in the world that has the process to remove colour from PET plastic in an energy-efficient and affordable way. This opens the way for fully-circular PET recycling, whereby PET can be endlessly reused. That has significant benefits for both the packaging industry and the environment,” said Tonnis Hooghoudt, at Ioniqa. Coloured PET is currently either incinerated or ‘downcycled’ for use in lower quality applications. Other have tried using chemical recycling for PET, but have failed because they use old processes like methanolysis rather than glycolysis which are too expensive, or can’t effectively remove the colour, said Hooghoudt.

The reaction takes place at atmospheric pressure and temperatures between 150–200oC. The process uses iron oxide particles functionalised with catalysts in the presence of ethylene glycol to depolymerise the PET. During the depolymerisation process, colorants are released into the reaction mixture. The iron oxide particles are able to capture a portion of the colorants with the remainder removed downstream. Using a magnetic field, the catalyst is recovered and reused. The precise mechanism of colorant removal is currently under investigation.

Method to turn plastic waste into biofuel

Azza Faiad, from the Zahran Language School, Egypt, has developed a new inexpensive way to turn plastic trash into fuel which could generate millions of dollars every year. Faiad has successfully converted plastic into fuel feedstocks, or the bulk raw material for producing biofuel, through a new catalyst called aluminisilicate. The catalyst reduces the cost of converting plastic waste into gaseous products, including methane, propane and ethane, which can be converted into ethanol for use as biofuel.

The Egyptian Petroleum Research Institute Mamdouh Elmelawy was attracted to Faiad’s idea, which they believe would offer a substitute to fossil fuels through her new catalyst. Faiad was granted by the institute an access to a lab with other researchers to help develop her trash-to-fuel formula. Faiad aims to take advantage on Egypt’s high plastic consumption, estimated to be around one million tonnes a year. The process could convert Egypt’s massive plastic waste into fuel that would generate $78 million biofuel per year. The technology could “provide an economically efficient method for production of hydrocarbon fuel,” said Faiad.

Machine transforms plastic bags into fuel

A Japanese inventor Akinori Ito has created a household appliance that converts the ubiquitous plastic annoyance into fuel. The machine can melt plastic bags, styrofoam containers, and other random bits of trash and condenses the gas released to produce usable oil. The highly efficient, non-polluting machine can process polyethylene, polystyrene and polypropylene (but not PET bottles), and it can convert 2 lbs. of plastic into a quart of oil using just 1 kilowatt of power.

Ito’s inspiration for the method came from the simple realization that plastic bags are created from oil, thus they should be able to be converted back to their original form. The machine heats the plastic with electricity, then traps the vapors, which it then cools and condenses into crude oil. The crude oil can be used to heat generators and some stoves, and when refined, it can be used for gasoline. Ito explained that by converting plastic into oil, we eliminate carbon dioxide (CO2) pollution and raise the awareness of plastic’s fuel potential. When plastic is burned – a common way to recover potential energy sources – it generates a large amount of toxins and CO2.

While the end product is still a fuel that will be burned and give off CO2, the innovative recycling method could revolutionize the way certain plastics are treated. Because the system is made for households, it could create an energy independence among consumers, and lessen the need to extract more oil from the earth. The carbon negative system is now being sold by Ito’s Blest Corporation. Unfortunately, the machine currently retails for about $10,000. But Ito hopes to bring that price down by increased production once the product becomes more widespread.


New process for magnet recycling

Scientists at Fraunhofer Institute, Germany, have devised a new process which is claimed to enable the rapid and cost-effective recycling of rare earths such as neodymium and dysprosium that are present in the powerful permanent magnets which drive electric motors and wind turbines. Previously, scientists have attempted to carefully extract the rare earth elements from the magnets but this was both time-consuming and very expensive, and so the Fraunhofer scientists have adopted a different route.

“Instead of trying to regain each individual type of rare earth, we focus on recycling the entire material, meaning the complete magnet and this in only a few steps,” said Oliver Diehl, at Fraunhofer. The scientists use a proven melt spinning process known as rapid solidification. This essentially liquefies the material, which is heated to more than 1000°C, and directs it via a nozzle on to a water-cooled copper wheel that rotates at 10 to 35 metres per second.

When a melted droplet comes into contact with the copper, it transfers its heat to the metal within fractions of a second and solidifies. This subsequently yields flakes of material showing no crystallisation which are then run through a mill to produce a powder that can be processed further and “pressed into a final shape,” noted Diehl. The new process is much simpler and more efficient as the composition of the material is already almost as it should be. The Fraunhofer team has recently set up a demonstration plant and has already been successful in recycling magnets.

Recycling technology extracts rare earth minerals

A new recycling technology developed by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Critical Materials Institute (CMI), assists in the recycling, recovery, and extraction process of rare earth minerals, and it is said to be the first commercially licensed technology developed through the CMI. According to a news article from Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), it has been licensed to U.S. Rare Earths, Inc. The single-step recycling process is more environmentally friendly than other rare earth elements extraction methods. The technology involves a membrane solvent extraction system that was invented by the Idaho and ORNL. Both are partners of CMI.

According to Ramesh Bhave from ORNL, the simplified process created by the team of scientists, has eradicated many of the barriers that can make recycling critical materials from electronic waste costly and hazardous to the environment. “Our single-step process to recover rare-earth elements from scrap magnets is more environmentally friendly and has the potential to be a more cost-effective approach compared to conventional routes such as precipitation,” added Bhave. In order to be able to selectively recover rare earth elements like dysprosium, neodymium, and praseodymium, the technology combines organic solvents, fiber membranes, and neutral extractants.

The rare earth elements that it can recover have a vital function in permanent magnets that are used in computers, hard disk drives, electric motors, cars, and cell phones. Laboratory tests that have been conducted using the membrane extraction system on scrap neodymium-based magnets, have shown that the technology has the potential to recover over 90% of dysprosium, neodymium, and praseodymium in an extremely pure form from these magnets. ORNL and U.S. Rare Earth are planning to apply the recycling technology to recover rare earth elements from its mining claims in the U.S. and from old electronics.

Bioreactor for recovering precious metals

A team of researchers from Sun Yat-Sen University, China, and Yangzhou University, China, has developed a novel hybrid technology including physical and biological methods for recovering precious metals from waste printed circuit boards (PCBs). It consisted of crushing, corona-electrostatic separation, and bioleaching. The team has designed novel bioreactor for bioleaching process. Bioleaching was carried out using Pseudomonas chlororaphis.

Bioleaching experiments using mixed particles of Au and Cu were performed and leachate contained 0.006 mg/L, 2823 mg/L Au+ and Cu2+ respectively. It showed when Cu existed, the concentrations of Au were extremely small. This provided the feasibility to separate Cu from Au. The method of orthogonal experimental design was employed in the simulation bioleaching experiments.

Experimental results showed the optimized parameters for separating Cu from Au particles were pH 7.0, temperature 22.5 °C, and rotation speed 80 r/min. Based on the optimized parameters obtained, the bioreactor was operated for recovering mixed Au and Cu particles. 88.1 wt.% of Cu and 76.6 wt.% of Au were recovered.

Hydrogen from e-waste

Researchers from UPV/EHU-University of the Basque Country, Spain, have developed a method for recovering clean hydrogen from electronic waste. They say that the gasification process is a feasible method to produce clean H2 fuel from phenolic boards and waste electrical and electronic equipment. Andoni Salbidegoitia, from the UPV/EHU in collaboration with researchers at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, Japan, used discarded electronic boards to develop a system for obtaining clean hydrogen that can be used as fuel.

Many countries are having to deal with an ever-growing volume of plastic waste from electronic components, which requires specific treatment because it contains a variety of metals. In the gasification process the waste is treated using steam, the metals present in the waste act as a catalyst and under certain conditions gaseous hydrogen is obtained. After the process, the valuable metals contained in the waste can be recovered for reuse. The researchers pointed out that plastics are petroleum-based products, so waste plastics from electronic boards should be regarded as a source of raw materials and usable energy, rather than waste. The researchers have registered a patent for their process in Japan.

e-Waste PCB recycling method

Researchers from University College Cork, Ireland, and Composite Recycling Ltd., Ireland, have developed a novel waste printed circuit board recycling method with molten salt. The objective of the method was to prove the concept of a novel waste PCBs recycling process which uses inert, stable molten salts as the direct heat transfer fluid and, simultaneously, uses this molten salt to separate the metal products in either liquid (solder, zinc, tin, lead, etc.) or solid (copper, gold, steel, palladium, etc.) form at the operating temperatures of 450–470°C.

The PCB recovery reactor is essentially a U-shaped reactor with the molten salt providing a continuous fluid, allowing molten salt access from different depths for metal recovery. A laboratory scale batch reactor was constructed using 316L as suitable construction material. For safety reasons, the inert, stable LiCl–KCl molten salts were used as direct heat transfer fluid. Recovered materials were washed with hot water to remove residual salt before metal recovery assessment. The impact of this work was to show metal separation using molten salts in one single unit, by using this novel reactor methodology.

System for determining the value of e-waste

Researchers from the University of Sheffield, the United Kingdom, have developed a new system to help business to identify the valuable materials in e-waste and prioritise efforts to recover them. Between 30 and 50 million tons of electronic devices are thrown away every year globally, but many devices such as smartphones, tablets and LED screens contain precious materials, such as gold, copper, palladium, silver, platinum and cobalt.

The system uses factors such as the amount of a material available in waste streams, price volatility of recovered materials and the degree of purity required for reuse to help organisations identify resources and prioritise investment in materials recovery in different streams. The methodology covers 14 popular e-products, including LCD and LED notebooks, TVs, computer monitors, cell phones and solar panels and the researchers estimate that the potential revenues from recycled e-waste were more than €2bn (£1.4bn) in 2014. This value is expected to rise to more than €3.5bn by the year 2020.

With the EU having made a circular economy, in which wastes are increasingly recognized as resources, a long term goal and as demand for exotic materials like rare earths essential for hi-tech devices increases industry is likely to have little choice but to capture recycled materials for manufacturing to meet the demand for their new products.


Superabsorbent to clean heavy metals from wastewater

Researchers from University of Mazandaran, Islamic Republic of Iran, have produced a magnetic nanosorbent at laboratorial scale to purify the contaminated waters. This research deals with the production of biocompatible electromagnetic superabsorbent nanocomposites, and their application in the removal of pollutants, including lead, cadmium and cobalt, from drinking water. The nanosorbent has been produced through a simple and cost effective method, and it has good performance. After the removal of heavy metals, the produced nanosorbent can be separated from the cycle by using a magnetic field and it can be reused.

Magnetic nanocomposites were produced in this research by using (aniline-co-meta-phenylene diamine) copolymer and iron oxide through in-situ co-precipitation method by using ultrasonic waves at nanometric scale. The researchers are carrying out complementary studies so they can use the superabsorbent in the purification of urban and industrial wastewater to obtain drinking water. Results of the research have been published in Advances in Polymer Technology.

Microorganisms may save power in waste treatment

Researchers from University of Tokyo, Japan, in support with Sekisui Chemical, Japan, Panasonic, Japan, and the Tokyo University of Pharmacy, Japan, are planning commercialize a treatment method for chemical plant waste that cuts the need for electricity by 80 percent compared to conventional processes. The technique draws on the use of microorganisms. The Geobacter species, which can produce power by itself, is touted as ‘a microbial fuel cell.’ It promises to significantly save energy in wastewater treatment.

According to the University of Massachusetts, the United States, “Geobacterspecies are of interest because of their novel electron transfer capabilities, the ability to transfer electrons outside the cell and transport these electrons over long distances via conductive filaments known as microbial nanowires.” The new waste treatment technique attempts to address problems inherent in wastewater treatment at chemical plants, where activated sludge strategies are normally employed.

Activated sludge involves microbes decomposing organic substances in the waste. Aeration must be applied to the wastewater, along with churning. The challenge is that aeration and churning processes require significant amounts of power. Drawing on “microbial fuel cell” technology and using Geobacter microbes decomposing organic substances attempts to reduce this problem. Geobacterspecies is of particular interest because of its ability to survive in radioactive environments.

New nanoparticle treatment technique

Scientists from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the United States, in collaboration with the University of Regensburg, Germany, has come up with a novel way to extract unwanted contaminants from water, making it cleaner and safer to drink. The technique, which can also be applied to soil to remove pollutants from it (thus rendering it more arable and amenable to crop-growing) involves nanoparticles and shining ultraviolet (UV) light on the substance. Novel Use of Nanoparticles has been used in the treatment of water in the past, though never quite so effectively. The findings have been published in the journal Natural Communications.

Though, nanoparticles have also been used for water treatment before, but in conjunction with industrial-strength magnets. This method, partially effective, often left behind a lot of unwanted toxic residue in the treated water. The new method, however, utilises UV light instead of magnets. After binding themselves to the unwanted elements of water or soil (i.e. pesticides, herbicides or other unwanted pollutants), the nanoparticles are then exposed to UV radiation. This causes the nanoparticles to clump together, solidifying the contaminants into microscopic lumps, which can easily be extricated from the sample, along with the nanoparticles themselves.

In this manner, no toxic after-product was left behind and the method achieved 100% efficacy in samples tested, as well being more cost-effective, too. Good News for Sanitation and Irrigation The results of the study were tested by placing zebrafish embryos into the sample after the process. Only embryos placed in the nanoparticle-treated liquid were able to survive, proving that toxicity had been removed here where other methods had failed. The team also plans to use the technique to treat water used for irrigation purposes or other agricultural needs.

Scientists develop micropollutant removal method

Scientists at the Dalian University of Technology, China, have developed a new technique of capturing these dangerous compounds and destroying them before they even leave the treatment plant. Xiyun Cai and his team attempted to overcome these problems by approaching the issue from a different angle. Instead of oxidation, they designed unique insoluble polymers which are composed of cyclodextrins combined with epichlorohydrin. The cyclodextrins are derived from starch and are more selective in their isolation of micropollutants, since the hydrophobic cavity does not capture the natural organic matter which made previous methods financially unfeasible and inefficient.

Then, the team used KMnO4, a commonly-found compound which neutralises the harmful micropollutants into degraded constituents such as water, carbon dioxide (CO2) and organic acids. The method was tested both on the flame retardant tetrabromobisphenol A (TBBPA) and on a number of different antiobiotics, all at concentrations representative of the levels they are commonly found in wastewater. After applying the process outlined above to the samples, they found that the cyclodextrin had adsorbed 94% of TBBPA and anywhere between 12% and 79% of the antiobiotics within four hours of the process.

Similar results were discovered when the process was applied to water containing organic matter, calcium and magnesium, which proved these would not interfere with the efficacy of the technique. Although the efficiency of the cyclodextrin was not as high as hoped for some of the antibiotics, it does have a similar level of success as existing methods and comes with a number of advantages. Firstly, the process could be applied to any number of different pollutants, including pharmaceuticals, pesticides and cosmetics. Secondly, it does not come with harmful by-products. And finally, the cyclodextrins and the KMnO4 are cheap to manufacture and the former can even be reused.

New method to remove H2S in landfills

Environmental compliance firm UltraTech International, the United States, has launched ‘Ultra-S3’, an oxidizing system quickly removes hydrogen sulfide (H2S) from wastewater, reducing or eliminating odor and corrosion. In high concentrations, H2S can cause shock, convulsions, inability to breathe, extremely rapid unconsciousness, coma and death. Ultra-S3 is an effective oxidizing system that has been used successfully to reduce H2S levels around the world for more than a decade. It has been used in a wide variety of industries from chemical processing plants to sewage treatment facilities and animal farms.

It is cost effective and will treat many recalcitrant chemicals such as hydrogen sulfide (H2S), benzene, methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE), toluene, trichloroethylene, and many others. According to UltraTech it costs 30 percent to 60 percent less than other competitive treatment solutions on the market. Additionally it is classified as non-hazardous under the Toxic Substance Control Act of 1976 and it targets problem compounds without destroying environmentally beneficial microbes.

Cold plasma for wastewater treatment

Pellucid Water LLC, the United States, has developed a cold plasma technique for separating water from its waste particles, or effluent, which allows the effluent to be recycled. Pellucid, which is a partnership between Romania-born scientist Dr. Sorin Manolache and Mark Raabe, recently completed The Water Council’s The BREW business accelerator program, and now makes its home in Milwaukee’s Global Water Center. The cold plasma process developed by Manolache applies an electrical field to a raw water supply or wastewater that creates positively and negatively charged particles and free radicals. Those particles affect targeted chemical and biological reactions and decontaminate the water.

But the cold plasma method doesn’t change the chemical makeup of the sediment, so it can be reused. For example, in paper manufacturing, fiber can be extracted from wastewater using cold plasma and recycled back in at the mill at the beginning of the process.

Pellucid also works out of the U.S. Forest Service Forest Products Laboratory in Madison to study potential applications for plasma technology, which can also be used in the gas phase to modify the chemistry of materials. At the moment, Pellucid is working to form channel partnerships and identify companies that would be interested in a collaboration using the technology. It is also working to establish a pilot program to conduct field testing on the technology. Contact: Pellucid Water LLC, 247 W. Freshwater Way, Suite 330, Milwaukee, USA.


Earthworms can help decontamination of plants

A team of scientists at Reading University, the United Kingdom, have discovered that earthworms may be helping plants to decontaminate soil polluted with various metals. Heavily industrialised areas of the UK played host to mines, lead smelters and engineering centres during the industrial age, which over the years have degraded the soil and infused it with toxic metals. Cleaning up this contaminated soil has long been a challenge for environmentalists, who have resorted to sophisticated technological techniques in their attempts to purge the soil of metals. For example, one such manufacturing site near Sheffield was treated using electric resistive heating technology, better known as six-phase heating.

Now, it seems, scientists have discovered there may be a far simpler and more natural way to tackle the contamination (albeit a much longer one) – earthworms. The investigation relied heavily upon the Diamond Light Source, which is the most advanced synchrotron in the UK. This cutting-edge piece of machinery is capable of using X-rays to analyse metal samples 1,000 times smaller than a grain of salt. The results showed that metals which had been consumed and excreted by earthworms were slightly different to previous samples. This allowed plants to ingest the metals more easily and incorporate them into their tissues, which cleanses the soil and means the plants can be uprooted and harvested.

Following the study, scientists dubbed earthworms “21st century ecowarriors” due to the aid they provide to these metal-harvesting plants. They evolved to the point where they were able to survive having ingested such hard metals as copper, lead, arsenic and zinc. This means that the earthworms could work in tandem with the plant life to offer a sustainable, eco-friendly alternative to decontaminating polluted soil. Furthermore, the colour of the worms change significantly depending on the type and amount of metal they have consumed. This means that they can offer a secondary function of being a sort of ruler as to the cleanliness of soil – just by glancing at the colour of one of the creatures.

Bioremediation product to treat chemical waste

Developed by Bionetix International, the United States, a wholly owned subsidiary of Cortec Corporation, the United States, the ‘BCP35S/BioSurf’ is a new bioremediation product for hydrocarbons spills that often result in immediate, long-term and expensive environmental damage. Oil spill can prove fatal for plant, animal and human life and usually last for decades after the spill occurs. The substance is so toxic that it can cause massive loss of species that live in affected areas. Bionetix is an environmentally safe and economical alternative to the use of chemicals that reduces client’s processing costs and increases the time of remediation.

BCP35S/ BioSurf includes 2 applications for spills up to 10 square meters. The product is designed to bring two of the best hydrocarbon degrading technologies into one to enhance the three steps of bioremediation. BCP35S/BioSurf kit includes two of Bionetix bestselling products: BIOSURF, a plant derived biosurfactant solution rich in nutrients that promotes bacterial activation and solubilises the hydrocarbons, and BCP 35S, a powder blend of beneficial and naturally occurring microorganisms (Bacillus and Pseudomonas) specialised to degrade hydrocarbons molecules such as: gasoline, diesel, crude oil, BTEX (Benzene, Toluene, Ethylene and Xylene).

Among other applications BCP35S/BioSurf is successfully used for treating 3000 tons of refinery and chemical waste in a big project initiated by a major integrated oil and gas producer. This project includes treatment of contaminated soil found on: gas stations, oil rigs, oil pipelines and oil fields. Contaminated waste is either taken to a landfill where it is treated with BCP35S/BioSurf or is treated on site. One sample of crude mineral oil and two soil samples have been submitted for analysis to Croatian Institute of Public Health after treatment with BCP35S/BioSurf kit. All samples were extracted using mass spectrometer (GC-MS system) in order to identify all mineral oil constituents and micro-organic contaminants present in treated soil samples.

Algae to clean up oil refinery wastewater

Researchers at Chevron oil refinery, the United States, have found that Microalgae can be successfully harnessed to clean waste water from industry. They are growing microalgae in a 5,000 litre photobioreactor. The researchers are taking advantage of the algae’s appetite for chemical nutrients to clean the waste water from the refinery water, removing noxious chemicals including 90% of the ammonia-nitrogen and 97% of the phosphorus. As the microbes feed, they grow and multiply, providing a wealth of algae-based biomass for producing bio-energy and high-value bio-based chemicals and specialty products.

The bioreactor contains a mixed microbial consortium that is enriched for Scenedesmus algal species. The authors also described experiments evaluating the ability of Chlorella and Scenedesmus algae species to grow on the sugars derived from waste wood obtained from pulp and paper mills and pre-treated using enzymatic hydrolysis to release the pentose and hexose sugars. They tested and compared the algae biomass production from three types of waste wood – pine softwood, southern hardwoods and northern hardwoods. “This is an exciting story on how the engineering of microbial consortia can lead to the development of robust waste management processes,” said Larry Walker, co-editor-in-chief of Industrial Biotechnology.

Researchers evaluate potential of white rot fungi

In a study done by researchers at several institutions including the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Joint Genome Institute, the United States, evaluated the potential capabilities of six white rot fungi to break down oil in contaminated canal waters. Though white rot fungi are known for their capabilities in breaking down components of plant cell walls, their gene families suggest they have the capability to degrade oil on a wide variety of substrates. Researchers are investigating white rot fungal gene functions for a wide range of applications from bioenergy to bioremediation.

Fungi play many roles that address DOE mission areas, particularly in bioenergy and environment applications. One area in which metabolically versatile fungi have received less attention is their ability to clean up contaminated sites. The button mushroom (Agaricus bisporus), for example, is known for its taste and its ability to decompose leaves and wood in forests, while related species have been shown to help remove in heavy metals from contaminated areas. This capability is what researchers wanted to harness to remove the dense, viscous Bunker C fuel oil from the waters of Blackstone Canal after they were contaminated during a 1999 fire at the Fisherville Mill.

The team evaluated six white rot fungi: Irpex lacteus, Trichaptum biforme, Phlebia radiata, Trametes versicolor, Pleurotus ostreatus. The sixth white rot, Punctularia strigosozonata, was studied separately. The team found that after six months, most of the 10-carbon and 14-carbon alkane chains in the oil samples had indeed been broken down by five strains of white rot fungi. Additionally, in a 20-day test, the sixth strain, P. strigosozonata, degraded a C10 alkane in the oil sample to 99%. Though the processes by which the white rot fungi can break down hydrocarbons have not yet been determined, they recommend that the tests be repeated using the actual bioremediation system being developed to see how these conditions would affect the results seen in the laboratory.

Coffee pulp bacteria clears oil spills

A team from NMAM Institute of Technology, India, has won the Best Project Award for ‘Microbial Bioremediation of Effluents’ for extracting bacteria from coffee pulp waste that help clear oil spills. The bacteria extracted grows in a minimal medium supplemented with petroleum crude oil (PCO) in sea water indicating that this is a halophile (organisms that thrive in high salt concentrations) and can be used effectively to clear oil spills in seas. The team won the challenge beating 19 other finalists which included teams from IITs and NITs.

Scientists discover tiny microbes to clean waterways

Researchers from the NUS Environmental Research Institute (NERI), Singapore, and the Singapore Centre for Environmental Life Sciences Engineering (SCELSE) at Nanyang Technological University (NTU Singapore) have discovered that the untapped natural ability of microbial communities could be harnessed to treat raw water even before undergoing treatment. This process is known as ‘bioremediation’, a treatment that uses naturally occurring organisms to break down organic pollutants. The study was conducted around the Ulu Pandan catchment area in collaboration with the Singapore’s national water agency, PUB.

The increased demand for water in urban centres, coupled with the elevated pressures placed on the environment by high-density living, has created a demand for efficient, environmentally sustainable solutions to manage urban watersheds. Harnessing the cleansing power of microbes provides a solution to the pressing need. The breakthrough came about after the joint research team identified members of the entire microbial community and their functions from the aquatic ecosystem at the Ulu Pandan catchment area by extracting their DNA and RNA, the genetic blueprint of life.

Apart from the discovery that the microbes could remove and neutralise organic pollutants, the researchers also found out that the presence of aluminium, copper and potassium were critical to the community’s ability to perform its ecological ‘cleansing’ properties. The discovery of these chemical elements’ influence on the microbial community’s functions paves the way for researchers to better understand their ‘cleansing’ performance through further monitoring and study. “This study demonstrates the power of combining an in-depth analysis of microbial community ecology with physical and chemical characteristics,” Sanjay Swarup, at NERI.

Bioremediation of oil spill

An oil industry company is trying to establish a biological process in which oil-eating bacteria are used to clean up a spill with the help of a Williston-based research center. Rick Reese, founder and CEO of Colorado-based Compliant Resources, calls his method aggressive bioremediation instead of land farming, a similar concept, mainly because it’s seen limited success.

While visiting the Bakken formation in the North Dakota-Montana border, Reese was able to develop his ideas and arrive at a successful grant proposal for a study involving the Williston Research Extension Center. After speaking with center director Jerry Bergman and soil science expert James Staricka, Reese discovered the missing component in many oilfield-led efforts was agricultural expertise.”There are hundreds of examples of oil field companies who have gone and tried to do this, and they just don’t get it because they don’t know a Dr. Bergman, and they don’t know agronomy,” Reese said. “They are engineers.”

The goal of Reese’s process is to remediate oil-contaminated soil and improve the soil so it’s better than it was before the spill.”I’m taking an old idea and adding accepted agricultural practices and adding things to it like oxygen and enriched water and Leonardite,” Reese said. “I think we can take those diesel-laden cuttings and use bacteria to degrade the diesel and get it to a point where it’s not only environmentally neutral, but create a mix that will be second to none.”Reese hopes to send samples for test plots to the Williston Research Extension Center greenhouse in early 2016, and then begin testing before April.

Using microbes to clean up oil spills

Drennan and Michael Funk, a graduate student in chemistry, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the United States,are part of a team testing the nuances of how microbes break down hydrocarbons while metabolizing them for growth and survival. Because hydrocarbons are a natural (and major) molecular component of crude oil, microbes could be aid cleanup efforts following oil spills and other instances of pollution—as long as the microbes’ hydrocarbon metabolism process proceeds smoothly. The first step in that process calls for the microbe to chemically attack the hydrocarbon to generate a more reactive molecule, but some hydrocarbons are challenging to get a handle on.

To learn more about how to circumvent the inert nature of hydrocarbons, Drennan, Funk, and fellow researchers explored the structural basis by which one microbe—the denitrifying bacterium Thaueraaromatic—activated and broke down the hydrocarbon toluene. The details of their findings, which involve the mapping of previously unknown enzymatic structures, were released in a paper this summer in The Journal of Biological Chemistry.

“When you’re thinking about how an organism breaks a carbon source down and then uses that to make energy for itself,” Drennan says, “you think it’s going to take it and pull it apart, but in this case, it makes a bigger molecule first. That’s because the thing that it wants to add into its metabolism and make energy from is so nonreactive that it has to come up with some way to get a handle on it and make it useful.”

The winning combination that enables the breakdown process is the pairing of the enzyme benzylsuccinate synthase (naturally occurring within the microbe) with the substrate molecule fumarate(also present in the microbe) in the presence of toluene. The benzylsuccinate synthase acts as a catalyst, encouraging a reaction between the toluene and the fumarate to generate benzylsuccinate.


New catalyst to remove harmful N2O emissions

Clariant, Switzerland, a world leader in specialty chemicals, has announced a new development in controlling harmful nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions. Nitrous oxide emissions are harmful in two ways: they exacerbate the greenhouse effect and damage the ozone layer. At present, nitrous oxide is destroying the ozone layer more aggressively than any other substance. The new ENVICAT® N2O-S has been proven particularly effective in the decomposition of N2O in secondary nitric acid installations or high N2O containing gas streams such as from adipic acid production.

Clariant has long offered catalysts to control the emission of N2O. Typically, there are two ways for reducing the emission of N2O: Secondary and Tertiary. The most effective and efficient means for reducing N2O is with Tertiary abatement, such as with the ENVICAT N2O series of catalysts. This is the ideal solution for large nitric acid (NA) producing plants or installations that operate under the Joint Implementation Supervisory Committee (JISC) with Clean Development Mechanisms (CDM).

However, with the latest ENVICAT N2O-S offering, a drop-in solution is available for plants designed to remove these harmful gases in the Secondary stage of chemical production. As legislators around the world continue to tighten regulations on emissions, which differs between regions, amounts of N2O in waste gas from industrial plants is strictly limited. With the inclusion of ENVICAT N2O-S in a nitric acid facility, for example, N2O emissions can be mitigated with a conversion rate greater than 90% of the harmful emissions.

Patent for CO2-sequestering process

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has issued a patent (#9,095,815) to Rutgers University, the United States, that will offer the global construction industry what proprietors cite is a way to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in cement milling, and provide concrete producers sustainable means to structures or slabs that are stronger, cheaper to fabricate and faster to cure than conventional portland cement alternatives. This patent describes a process of creating a solid ceramic form by requisitioning greenhouse gases with a chemical, non-hydraulic bond. When applied to concrete, it drastically reduces reaction time for hardening, because the concrete does not need to cure over a period of weeks.

“We have worked to develop a way to make a very complex technology simple and easy to adopt by providing the construction and building materials industries a real competitive edge, with immediate cost savings, superior performance, and an enhanced sustainability profile,” affirmed Solidia Technologies, the United States. The patent represents the final piece of an intellectual property package developed in 2007 at Rutgers by professor Richard Riman and Vahit Atakan, at Solidia. The process of testing the binding and curing has been used by Solidia Technologies under license since 2008.

The patented technologies start with Solidia Cement and cure concrete with CO2 instead of water, reducing carbon emissions up to 70 percent compared to portland cement-based methods, while enabling 60-100 percent recycling of water used in production. Solidia Technologies officials cite significant cost savings compared to moist curing of conventional concrete, owing to faster cycles; lower energy and raw material consumption; plus, reduced waste generation and labor requirements. Contact: Solidia Technologies, 11 Colonial Drive, Piscataway, NJ 08854, USA. Tel: +1-908-315-5901; Fax: +1-732-981-0273; E-mail:


New technology for exhaust gas scrubber

Researchers Carlos Dorao and Maria Fernandino at Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) have developed a pilot project that shows great promise for improving scrubber technology. Called the Lynx Separator, the technology now being examined for possible use in marine exhaust gas scrubbers was originally developed for use in the natural gas industry and involves using a steel sponge along with centrifugal force to remove the fluid from a gas stream, offering a brand new solution for the gas industry. The aim is to develop a scrubber that is half the size of those currently being used.

The Lynx Separator is being developed through InnSep Norway, a company established by the NTNU in 2011. In the Lynx Separator, wet gas flows through the separator. A tubular metal sponge spins rapidly so the liquid is separated from the gas and thrown to the side and down, allowing dry gas to stream up to where it’s needed. The Research Council of Norway’s Innovation Program MAROFF (Maritime activities and offshore operations) has now funded a pilot project to examine the possibility of applying Dorao’s and Fernandino’s separator technology to cleaning the exhaust emissions from ships.

The MAROFF pilot project irrigated simulated exhaust with saltwater, before being separated by the rotating metal foam cells in the Lynx technology. The theoretical calculations and testing show promising results for this cleaning treatment. The pilot project has tested liquid at 20-30 degrees. Since ship exhaust typically ranges from 60-70 degrees, one of the goals is to incorporate heat exchangers into the developing technology. Next, InnSep will take the pilot project results to market players and figure out the fastest and cheapest ways to integrate the technology.

New catalytic process to remove NO and NO2

Susanne Mossin and Anita Godiksen, from Technical University of Denmark, for the first time has suggested a chemically consistent reaction cycle for the industrially important catalytic process of removing nitrogen oxide (NO) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) from flue gasses by reduction with Ammonia (NH3). This process is known as selective catalytic reduction.

The reaction cycle has been investigated with state-of-the-art in-situ spectroscopy: Both EPR, IR and XAS have been used to follow the reaction and verify the individual oxidation and reduction steps.

The work has been done in collaboration with Haldor Topsøe, Denmark, and the University of Turin, Italy. Contact: Susanne Mossin, Associate Professor, DTU Chemistry, Department of Chemistry, Kemitorvet, Building 207, Technical University of Denmark, DK-2800 Kgs. Lyngby, Tel: +45-4525-2391; E-mail:

Clean and efficient CO2 capture

A team of researchers in an EU-funded iCAP project has developed a prototype absorption system that uses third-generation liquid solvents. These require less heat for carbon dioxide (CO2) capture and a lower temperature for solvent regeneration, making the entire process more energy-efficient and cost effective. One of the project’s industrial partners is planning to develop one of the solvents for commercialisation. The project’s new, ultra-efficient membrane materials with improved permeability have also been particularly successful – one has already been patented. The membranes act as walls – they allow CO2 to pass through them easily, while separating CO2 from the other gases present.

For combined CO2 and SO2 removal, two systems – one amine and one ammonia-based – were tested in various projects with positive results. This simultaneous removal has the potential to streamline power plant processes and reduce capital costs. The team also assessed existing and new power production cycles with carbon capture, by varying temperatures and recycling gases for use at a later stage. Three novel natural gas-based power cycles show promise and could eventually lead to more efficient fossil fuel based power production.

While primarily developed for carbon capture in power plants, these new solvents and membranes could also prove a useful capture technology in the cement, steel and aluminium industries. Moreover, the project’s combined CO2 and SO2 capture research would be particularly relevant to countries such as Australia and China, where power plants don’t tend to remove the harmful SO2. Research teams from both countries were involved in the project.


Advanced Oxidation Processes for Water Treatment: Fundamentals and Applications

The book covers the key advanced oxidation processes developed for chemical contaminant destruction in polluted water sources, some of which have been implemented successfully at water treatment plants around the globe. The book is structured in two sections; the first part is dedicated to the most relevant AOPs, and the second section addresses specific topics, such as the photochemistry of chemical contaminants in the aquatic environment, advanced water treatment for water reuse, implementation of advanced treatment processes for drinking water production at a state-of-the art water treatment plant in Europe.

Public-Private Partnerships in the Water Sector: From Theory to Practice

The book provides an integrated overview of the life-cycle process for successfully developing and managing PPPs, from the preliminary studies and public tender stage to the contract management and regulation, and also addressing the critical issues on contract design. It provides the theoretical background for the use of PPPs, and addresses the challenging question of implementing and managing PPPs in developing economies.

For the above two books, contact: IWA Publishing, Alliance House, 12 Caxton Street, London, SW1H 0QS, UK. Tel: +44-207-654-5500; Fax: +44-207-654-5555; E-mail:

Electronic Waste: Recycling Techniques

This book presents an overview of the characterization of electronic waste. In addition, processing techniques for the recovery of metals, polymers and ceramics are described. This book serves as a source of information and as an educational technical reference for practicing scientists and engineers, as well as for students.

Contact: Springer India Private Ltd. Tel: +91-8527-8027-70; E-mail:


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