Alternatives to reprocessing

Sometimes it’s uneconomical to re-process the activated carbon media, so it is removed to be used as a fuel to fire cement kilns. This burns it off eventually and goes a small way to make the production of cement less environmentally harmful.

Finally, if spent media is not classed as hazardous and cannot be re-activated or it’s not cost-effective to do so, it can be sent to landfill.

All three of the choices above involve the removal and transportation of the media as well as the potential for the disruption of a plant’s production process which also need to be borne in mind.

So essentially the creation and re-processing of GAC media scores poorly on any kind of environmental scale. But it doesn’t end there.

Activated carbon systems in use

In use, a GAC system must not be overloaded with too much influent, as this can lead to over-permit discharge levels, potentially risking a heavy fine. Whilst it is possible to insure against that eventuality, it’s an added complication that many plant managers can do without.  Overloading can also shorten the life of GAC media.

There is also a risk that when the absorption sites on the media get saturated, the hazardous compounds stay in solution, which can lead to microbial growth and ‘channelling’ – essentially the water taking the path of least resistance, again leading to over-permit discharges. Most large GAC operations have to be regularly maintained and tested to minimise risks of this.

Finally, all GAC media will need to be changed at regular intervals depending on influent volume and concentration of organics.  Depending on the configuration of the system, this may involve taking all or parts of a process off-line whilst replenishment takes place. This is potentially disruptive unless co-ordinated with other maintenance.

Nyex systems – adaptable and flexible

Essentially the Nyex™ system is next-generation chemical science (with many patents to its name) and in many installations will also be more cost effective than GAC.  In other plants, Nyex™ systems can be installed to complement GAC, the two technologies working in concert to offer a robust and effective water treatment regime.

It’s also possible to retro-fit Nyex™ systems into existing facilities; our space-efficient reactors can be placed strategically to treat specific flows, working together with other technologies to result in the best possible outflow quality with the lowest ‘life cycle’ environmental impact.

At Arvia we have identified many specific manufacturing situations where our Nyex™ based systems can offer greater efficiency as well as considerable OpEx savings against GAC and other competing water treatment technologies.

We believe it’s one of the ways where manufacturers can make a real difference to their overall environmental impact – something that will become increasingly important to every company in the years to come.

For more information or to talk to an experienced water treatment engineer who will understand your organisation’s unique issues with wastewater, contact us today.