New innovation in waste water treatment

Shanghai Jiao Tong University announces breakthrough in treating contaminated water from chemical and pharmaceutical plants.

Researchers at Shanghai Jiao Tong University have developed new equipment for the application of a waste water treatment technology, the university announced yesterday.

The technology is known as supercritical water oxidation (SCWO). It is used to process water tainted with organic toxins, while producing harmless organic salts, carbon dioxide and nitrogen as by-products. 

The process relies on equipment made with materials that can withstand high temperatures and resist corrosion.

Shen Zhemin, a professor at Jiao Tong’s School of Environmental Science and Engineering, in collaboration with another team led by Shan Aidang, a professor at the university’s School of Materials Science and Engineering, spent 10 years developing the equipment.

They cooperated with Baosteel Special Steel Co to develop four types of materials which are applicable to SCWO equipment.

The new equipment has already been applied at industrial zones in east China’s Jiangsu Province, where it has proven effective and capable of large-scale application, said Shen.

Shen said the new equipment is expected to reduce water pollution from chemical and pharmaceutical plants. Over recent years, many such plants have closed thanks to stricter environmental regulations on sewage discharge.

The process can treat 1 ton of waste water for only 200 yuan (US$31), which researchers say makes it more cost-effective than many other waste treatment options.

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