The pollution of the drinking water is a matter of global interest. Arsenic is an ubiquitous element: it can be found in the rocks, into the water, in the air. A very wide range of people worldwide is chronically exposed to arsenic through water for human consumption. The effects that may result from the assumption could be toxic and carcinogen.Typical purification treatment of arsenic contaminated water is performed through the use of filtering media that once exhausted are discharged in landfills. The specific objective of the project is to realize a production system of a high performance totally regenerable filtering media for the arsenic purification of drinking water in water treatment plants. The production system implemented is composed by three innovative elements:
- The production plant for the high performance iron oxy-hydroxide filtering mass;
- A regeneration process plant: a real innovation in the commercial landscape of filter/absorbent materials for the purification of arsenic contaminated water;
- A quick prediction system of the filter performance to be implemented in the field.
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The main benefits arising from REGENERA relate to:
- Its high-level performance, absorbing twice the amount absorbed by other products on the market
- Its regenerability, that allows:
- a drastic reduction in the amount of the waste produced;
- a reduction of the need for new filtering media with a relative saving of reagents and water used in its production;
- the opportunity to make arsenic available to electronics industries, PV panels producers or medical researchers.
The full scale system plant, objective of the REGENERA project, has been fully assembled. The system is composed by three sections:
- A plant for the manufacture of the iron oxyhydroxide based filtering media. The assembly of this plant has been completed in February 2015. Set up and production testing has been completed and the plant is fully operative since April 2015;
- A prediction device able to predict the filtering media needs of the water treatment plants;
- A regeneration plant for the filtering media. The plant for the realization of the regenerative process is perfectly operative since October 2013.
- New filter media with very high adsorption capacity. The increase in terms of adsorption capacity compared with the current best market performer is in the order of the 20%;
- A regeneration process operative at industrial scale and truly “zero liquid discharge” that led to:
- A reduction in the amount of waste produced in the order of the 97%;
- A reduction of water consumption, due to less demand for new filtering media, in the order of 15 Million liters;
- A reduction in reagents consumption, due to reduced need for new filtering media, in the order of 115 tons of FeCl3 and 85 tons of NaOH.