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Removal and Recovery of Heavy Metals from Waste Water by Sand Filters Inoculated with Metal Biosorbing or Bioprecipitating Bacteria

Objetivo



Objectives and content

Large and small companies have many problems ensuring that the levels of contaminants in waste water are within regulations. Whether the source of this water is municipal or industrial, the major contaminant is often heavy metals. This is particular true of waste water resulting from the mining, metal processing and surface treatment industries, in which a physico-chemical process is employed to reduce the concentrations of metal in the water to that of a few ppm.

To comply with new and future regulations concerning the environment a polishing technique to reduce these concentrations is proposed which will ensure cleaner European production technologies.

The principles of such a polishing technique were established in a Brite Basic Research project. These principles, in conjunction with the special regeneration system of DynaSand filters, will be applied to the treatment of high volume wastewater at low cost. The sand filter medium will be inoculated with metal biosorbing and bioprecipitating bacteria which remove the trace metals from the water through a process of precipitation. The biosorption and bioprecipitation events were already studied in a former Basic Research Brite project. This technology will result in a continuously operating sand filter producing a metal containing biosludge.

These metal loaded biosludges have the advantage that they are easily handled by the metal recycling industry compared to sludges from conventional technologies.

In order to develop clean production technologies where the metals are recycled completely, with minimal production of unwanted by-products and waste, two metal processing companies (Union-Minière and Montanwerke Brixlegg) will study and optimise the recycling of the metal loaded sludge in their pyrometallurgical treatment plants. Montanwerke Brixlegg will commercialize the recovery of heavy or precious metals from the biosludge generated by small companies Europe wide. End users (Union-Minière, Montanwerke Brixlegg, Skolnik and Consulting und Engineering ), working in the fields of metal processing, surface treatment and mining, are attempting to adapt the resulting technology to their own problems. Biodegradation of toxic organic materials which are frequently present in the waste waters in small concentrations will also be considered. The inoculated "DynaSand" regeration filter system and the metal recycling will be studied and tested up to demonstration level. The entire project is underpinned by specialist research teams in biosorption, bioprecipitation and biodegradation processes (University of Birmingham, Innsbruck and Athens, and VITO-Mol). The industrial partners asked VITO to use its experience for the coordination.

Régimen de financiación

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts

Coordinador

VITO - Vlaamse Instelling voor Technologisch Onderzoek NV
Dirección
200,Boeretang
2400 Mol
Bélgica

Participantes (8)

Alfred Skolnik GmbH & Co. KG
Austria
Dirección
4,Lohnergaße
1210 Wien
Astraco Water Engineering BV
Países Bajos
Dirección
24 A,industriekade
2172 HV Sassenheim
BRITISH NUCLEAR FUELS PLC
United Kingdom
Dirección
Hinton House, Risley
WA3 6AS Warrington
C & E Consulting und Engineering GmbH
Alemania
Dirección
13,Chemnitzer Strasse
09224 Grüna
Leopold-Franzens-Universität Innsbruck
Austria
Dirección
2,Technikerstrasse
6020 Innsbruck
Montanwerke Brixlegg AG
Austria
Dirección
1-30,Werkstraße
6230 Brixlegg
NATIONAL TECHNICAL UNIVERSITY OF ATHENS
Greece
Dirección
Zographou Campus
15780 Athens
Union Minière SA - NV
Bélgica
Dirección
14,A. Greinerstraat
2660 Hoboken