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The Importance of Industrial Wastewater Management

Industrial wastewater treatment can often be on the backburner for many companies; even those with a green focus prefer to invest in green energy and sustainable production.

In part, this is due to the lack of cost-effective solutions out on the market, as this has not been the priority for scientists, either. However, this is changing, and more innovation is emerging in this particular field. This is visible in the research efforts in Singapore.

A team of researchers from the National University of Singapore, NUS, have discovered a new approach to treating industrial wastewater. Using energy as a reagent for purification, they claim it can remove up to 99% of hard-to-treat organic compounds that can be found in a number of industrial wastewater types. The system also operates on low electrical power, saving costs to the user company, and doesn’t generate secondary waste, which can create further costs in terms of processing.

Using this method of electrochemistry, there is no additional need to add chemicals into the cleaning system. Instead, the treatment is very straightforward: the wastewater is first pumped into the system’s chamber, where an electric current is passed and hydrogen peroxide and hydroxyl radical are formed to react with the organic compounds. These two matters break down the compounds into simple molecules, and the treatment continues until all the organic contaminants have been degraded into water and carbon dioxide.

Currently more and more businesses need large volumes of high quality water, which is harder and harder to come by. For these reasons, it is important that water can be efficiently treated, and then reused shortly thereafter. NUS say the majority of ultrapure water is utilised by farmland, electronics, and pharmaceuticals, but also heavy industries, such as mining, oil, and gas.

The leader of the research team, Olivier Lefebvre, who’s part of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at NUS, believes it is important to manage industrial wastewater better, and improve the processes surrounding it: “The removal of refractory organic compounds remains a costly and challenging process. Our invention provides an environmentally-friendly solution and helps to raise the overall standard of industrial wastewater treatment.”

As a company who cares about our carbon footprint, and strives to operate in an environmentally conscious manner, Dashboard wants to draw the attention of our stakeholders to the importance of wastewater management. We see great potential in the NUS method, as such methods help companies to treat their wastewater, in a simple and affordable way.