Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Treating oily wastes in an eco-friendly way

An eco-friendly method to treat oily wastes has been developed by an Andalusian research group providing an alternative to the conventional physical-chemical methods.
Treating oily wastes in an eco-friendly way
Waste treatment is of prime concern for European governments since they are seeking new methods to help lessen the burden on the environment while using waste constructively. Now an andalusian research group has designed a new process for the treatment of oil-rich wastes as a feasible alternative to the ones currently in use. What essentially sets this new process apart from the rest is the modification of the physical properties of oils during extreme pressure and heat.

This new method allows the oxidisation of industrial insoluble wastes in water, which was not possible with traditional hydrothermal oxidation technology. At extremely high temperatures, the oils are water-soluble and can be completely oxidised into harmless substances in very little time. The system is comprised of two independent liquid feed lines. One of the lines is for water waste and the other feeds the reactor with oil waste.

The installation consists of a thermally insulated tubular reactor, which operates with no thermal losses. Additionally, it has two heat exchangers, which use the rendered energy for preheating the feed streams. This enables the installation to operate without energy supply, thereby considerably reducing the operation costs.

Since this new method is both eco-friendly and low in cost, it could prove to be well suited as a waste treatment approach in Europe and elsewhere. Furthermore, it meets the strictest environmental regulations and can be suitable for a wide array of industrial wastes, including those that are not water-soluble. The research group is seeking a license agreement or a commercial agreement with technical assistance.
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