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The main result of this research work is a new biological treatment system for degreasing waste water. The identification and characterisation of degreasing systems in cold-rolling and strip galvanising areas show a great diversity in the composition of degreasing chemicals and degreasing baths. For a biodegradation of organic compounds in effluents from such systems, either commercial microbial mixtures (for example Bobicomp) or adapted activated sludge can be used. Important operational and process parameters were determined and optimised in different bioreactor systems. The best results were obtained in an airlift-loop reactor for suspended biomass and in a continuous stirred tank reactor for immobilised biomass.

Membrane filtration is very suitable for pretreating degreasing effluents, as most of the tested polymeric and ceramic membranes had a nearly complete oil retention. The good quality of the permeate benefits a recycling of process water and surplus cleaner. Neither solvent extraction (using Cyanex 923) nor ion exchange (using Lewatit OC-1064) works effectively in the treatment of degreasing.

A combined membrane-biological treatment has been developed, which can efficiently reduce volume and loading of degreasing waste water to discharge. The use of commercial biomass is, despite good degradation results, too expensive for an economical industrial application. On this basis, design strategies have been successfully developed. The recycling of an oil-containing stream into the degreasing bath shall be avoided. The important research results show that biodegradation is a good alternative to the chemical-physical treatment for reducing organic pollutants in degreasing effluents and have fulfilled the expectations of this project.

Additional information

Authors: ROBERTZ S, BFI, Düsseldorf (DE);SCHMIDT B, BFI, Düsseldorf (DE);COENEN J, Krupp Thyssen Nirosta, Düsseldorf (DE);CAPORUSSO R A, CSM, Rome (IT);MIRABILE D, CSM, Rome (IT);ALGUACIL F J, CENIM, Madrid (ES)
Bibliographic Reference: EUR 20223 EN (2002), pp.112. Euro: 17.50
Availability: EUR-OP reference: KI-NA-20223-EN-S Available from EUR-OP sales agents. URL:
ISBN: ISBN: 92-894-3250-0
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