Wastewater incineration alternative

Fortunately, there is a wastewater incineration alternative. We can assist with the removal of many challenging compounds from wastewater, often obviating the need for removal and making internal re-use or local discharge possible.

We have often found that when companies come to us with problematic water containing recalcitrant compounds that we can treat, we’ve shown that installation of an on-site water treatment set-up, including one of our new Nyex™ systems is safer, far more environmentally responsible as well as being considerably more cost-effective. Here’s why:

1

Nyex™ can remove recalcitrant organic compounds to ppt levels

Our Nyex™ water treatment systems are truly efficient and can remove many organic chemical pollutants down to parts per trillion. So in many cases, water can be re-used or safely discharged and will positively affect any company’s carbon footprint.

Arvia treatment systems do not have to run all the time – if required, they can be used for intermittent operation so are ideally suited to batch manufacturing.

Our patented system offers a unique combination of adsorption and electrochemistry – taking all the advantages and none of the drawbacks from each of them.

Unlike activated carbon (which in its manufacture and reprocessing is incredibly energy-intensive) our Nyex™ media never gets saturated and so never needs taking offline for replacement. And unlike conventional electrochemical oxidation systems there’s no dangerous chemical dosing to deal with.

Both of those legacy systems have inherent drawbacks and often struggle to get down to parts per trillion with certain recalcitrant organics; their overall running costs often work out higher than Nyex™ too. This page gives a clear and comprehensive overview of competing systems and why we believe Nyex™ is the water treatment of choice for many industries looking for water-borne recalcitrant organics destruction.

2

Nyex™ systems are simple to operate with no moving parts

Our systems are optimised for robustness. Having been designed for differing flow levels and concentrations of COD as well as organics and micropollutants, they have no moving parts. This means minimal maintenance, no hazardous chemical dosing and no toxic sludge to deal with.

They work using a unique combination of adsorption and electrochemistry, using the most effective elements of each process, with few of the drawbacks.

Our unique Nyex™ media adsorbs the pollutants. Simultaneously an electrical charge forms hydroxyl radicals on the Nyex™ media surface which immediately oxidise the pollutants, leaving just gas and water. It’s a continuous process, and because the pollutants are destroyed at source, the Nyex™ is ready to adsorb again. With bespoke engineering there is no degeneration and virtually no shrinkage (only 1 – 3% per year).

Having no moving parts means our water treatment reactors can be sited remotely or in rugged environments and need little operator training or intervention.

3

Scaling is easy with Nyex™

All our systems are capable of non-continuous use, making them ideal for batch manufacturing. There are no complicated start-up procedures either – it’s simply a matter of pressing a button and they start operating.

Avia’s Nyex™ systems are easily scalable and are therefore very suitable for situations where throughflow varies considerably or plants are scaling up or down. Adding more capacity is simply a matter of adding more Nyex™ reactors.  Each reactor is modular, has a footprint of just a few square metres and only requires power and in/out flows. It’s easy to slot them into existing floorplans when retrofitting.

As they’re pre-configured in terms of flow and electrical load, there’s very little adjustment needed.

4

Trucking polluted water impacts badly on your Carbon Footprint

Removing polluted water some distance away from the plant that created it has obvious environmental consequences. In most cases the wastewater (whether in separate IBCs or in a road tanker) needs to be trucked many miles away. Some countries don’t even have specialist incineration plants, so this journey may even be cross-border.

Apart from the reams of paperwork this will cause, the environmental impact of this journey alone may be significant, especially when it needs to be done many times a year.

Although off-site removal might seem financially attractive initially, in the longer term it may not be. Many clients we now work with were initially surprised at how cost-effective one of our Nyex™ systems can be over a longer period. They find it to be an extremely viable wastewater incineration alternative.

5

Incineration of polluted water uses a vast amount of natural resources

Setting aside the journey to the incineration plant, to treat the water it first needs to be turned into sludge using evaporative techniques. Bearing in mind this water can be toxic, extra precautions need to be taken.

 

Then, when water only accounts for about 25-30% of volume, this ‘sludge cake’ is incinerated at around 800°C. Natural gas is often used as an energy source for the incineration process and it’s often unclear what comes out of the incinerator’s chimney. Some sources cite incinerators as one of the worst emitters of CO2.

 

As mentioned above. incinerating water doesn’t look good for a CSR point of view. We’ve covered the field of water treatment and CSR in a separate article.

6

Low calorific value water is rarely accepted for incineration

Many incineration contractors are now only accepting wastewater with a high calorific value – for obvious reasons.  Manufacturers whose wastewater doesn’t ‘make the grade’ are already being forced to look around at alternative solutions.

This is where a water treatment system that uses a Nyex Rosalox™ or Nyex Ellenox™ process can offer tremendous savings, being able to treat water to remove COD, colours/turbidity and many unpleasant odours, as well as many organic micropollutants including pharmaceutical APIs and endocrine disruptors.

7

Storage of polluted water on site has its own issues

Larger companies will need specialist tanks which bring with them their own maintenance and staffing issues. Smaller companies or companies with less water-intensive or batch processes may use something like 1000 litre IBCs (‘totes’) which although cheap have their own storage, safety and handling issues.  For instance, leaks are a constant risk especially when storage temperatures vary.

Inevitably, as the wastewater is polluted, there are going to be COSHH training and handling issues as well.

Some companies we talk to consider that their water use is so low it’s not worth looking at treatment. However, we can normally prove that from both a financial and environmental standpoint, an Arvia system will be a better financial proposition, long-term.

8

Working towards ZLD (Zero Liquid Dischange)

With recent advances in water treatment technology, ZLD is becoming more of a reality for more manufacturing plants. At Arvia we know that a lot of water currently being incinerated could actually be re-used. This is beneficial to the environment for two reasons:

  1. Less fresh water abstracted from aquifers
  2. Less harmful organics released to the atmosphere by incineration

Ten years ago, it was just not possible to re-use water containing high COD, turbidity and micropollutants, but recent advances mean that it’s becoming a reality for many more companies. With the increasing scarcity and cost of reliable clean water in some parts of the world, it’s starting to make economic sense in many more cases.

If you looked at the figures a few years ago and they didn’t add up, try it again – after talking to us at Arvia. They could well make sense now and make aiming towards ZLD a possibility.

9

From a CSR standpoint, trucking water hundreds of miles to incinerate it doesn’t look good

Companies know that there’s a fine line to be drawn between being seen as ‘tree huggers’ or ‘wanton polluters!  It’s something we’ve covered in this article.

In the last few years that line has been more easily delineated by corporate and social responsibility and most companies need to ensure that their CSR messages are getting to the investors that matter.

A growing band of eco-conscious investors will want to ensure that companies they buy stocks in will match their own values. So, re-using or just treating wastewater on-site is one area that could be considered to gain an advantage.

Conclusion

Compared with legacy systems, there are a number of advantages using Arvia’s Nyex™ technology as a wastewater incineration alternative. Either as a low throughput standalone or as part of an integrated water treatment train, our systems have an important part to play in ensuring that non-biodegradable organics, EDCs and many pharmaceutical APIs are removed from water at source right down to ppt levels – something that legacy systems often struggle to achieve.

1

Compact footprint reactors with low power requirements – can be integrated into small industrial processes or even sited in labs

2

Removes most recalcitrant organics down to parts per trillion levels, allowing water to be re-used or safely discharged. Also removes COD, colour and turbidity

3

Small volumes / batches are not an issue – units can be powered up and brought onto stream immediately and then stood down when not required

4

No moving parts, low maintenance, no media to replace and no chemical dosing – so no COSSH implications