Industrial wastewater treatment

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Plating Wastewater Treatment

Metal finishing wastewater and plating wastewater treatment systems

Water resources protection from pollution and exhaustion is one of the most important environmental targets. After the consciousness of these targets we came to realize the importance of managing the production processes and the high-efficiency water purification methods application. The presentation covers the application of the universal hybrid technology for industrial wastewater treatment from heavy metal ions, oil products, suspended solids and surfactants as well as the wastewater treatment plants (WWTP) design features based on this technology.

Transnational Ecological Project and Mendeleev University specialists developed and make successful implementations of the universal hybrid industrial wastewater treatment systems, based on the electroflotation (EF) and ultrafiltration (UF) technologies. Progressive development of the membrane and flotation technologies makes it possible to create compact high-performance water treatment equipment with low power consumption and zero operating costs for the removable elements. Moreover, when required, it is possible to increase WWTP capacity due to modular-type construction..

The technical and economic advantages of WWTP built according to the hybrid technology:

  • Zero operating costs for the soluble electrodes replacement as compared with electrocoagulation equipment as well as secondary water pollution by iron hydroxide;

  • Absence of settling tanks and minimum space requirement, accordingly;

  • Zero operating costs for the expensive selective ion exchange resins replacement and for regeneration reagents, accordingly;

  • High-performance construction materials, including polypropylene (until 50 years), EF insoluble electrodes (until 10 years), ceramic UF membranes (until 10 years);

  • High-efficiency complex wastewater treatment (Table 1.) and as result the cost reduction for purchase of reverse osmosis (RO) system in case of establishment recycling water supply system.

Plating plant wastewater recycling technology

Plating industry wastewater treatment

The first main unit of waste water treatment plant is electroflotation unit with insoluble electrodes. Electroflotation is a process of floating of pollutants to the water surface by 20-70 µm bubbles of electrolytic gases generated during water electrolysis. Then separation of the flotosludge formed from dispersed phase at the water surface begins by the automatic skimmer. Depending on the flotosludge volume it is supplied to gravitation filter or to press filter in order to slurry dewatering till 70-80%. EF unit ensures removal of heavy metal hydroxides and phosphates, oil products, suspended solids and surfactants from the complex wastewater in the presence of different anions. The separation efficiency is not less than 98%. The electroflotator has relatively high capacity - 1,5 m2 of equipment per 5 m3/h of treated water as well as low power consumption is from 0,25 to 0.5 Kwatt-h/m3. Electroflotation unit has no removable elements and it id easy maintenance equipment.

The second main unit of waste water treatment plant is ultrafiltration system based on ceramic membranes with pore diameter 0,1-0,07 µm. UF system works in continuous cross flow filtration mode under pressure - typically 2-3 bar. The turbid fluid goes through membrane layer inside the single channel or a multichannel at a high velocity. Driven by transmembrane pressure, the clean water with micro-molecule pass through the membrane layer vertically to permeation, the suspended solids and big molecule are rejected in the retentate. Ultrafiltration ceramic membranes are regenerated by pressed air back-flushing during the concentrate recirculation. Ceramic membranes are highly wear-resistant, chemical-resistant equipment. Ceramic, as opposed to polymeric, membranes are biorefractory materials and thus do not undergo degradation by bacterial clump as well as irreversible adsorption by organic compounds such as flocculants, surfactants etc.

Table.1. The industrial WWTP working results:

Pollutant Concentration, mg/l
Wastewater After electroflotation After ultrafiltration
Zinc, Zn2+ 2 - 25 0,3 - 0,7 <0,04
Nickel, Ni2+ 2 - 25 0,2 - 0,7 <0,04
Iron, total 5 - 10 0,1 0,01
Copper, Cu2+ 2 - 25 0,3 - 0,8 0,1
Chromium, Cr3+ 2 - 25 0,5 - 1,2 0,1
Aluminum, Al3 2 - 25 0,2 <0,04
Lead, total 2 - 25 1 -2 <0,04
Sulphates, SO42- 800 - 1000 800 - 1000 800 - 1000
Chlorides, Cl- 100 - 200 100 - 200 100 - 200
Surfactants 1 - 5 0,5 - 2,5 0,1
Oil products 5 - 50 0,5 - 1 <0,05

Represented hybrid technology and equipment were successfully implemented and tested in the WWTP of the industrial and transport enterprises in Russia. These wastewater treatment plant ensure fine wastewater treatment from heavy metal ions till 0,04 mg/l, suspended solids and oils till 0,05 mg/l. The implementation of the represented technology is increase the cost-effectiveness and economic feasibility of industrial enterprises and gives opportunity of establishment of water recycling.


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