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Clean It Up


Many industrial plants have new tighter wastewater regulations being imposed.  This can be observed with lower acceptable levels of phosphorus and heavy metals to which a plant can send to a POTW or to surface discharge under a NPDES permit.  AbTech’s Smart Sponge HM (heavy metals) technology is an excellent phosphorus and metals polisher for added insurance to meet compliance.  


Phosphorus is one of the major nutrients contributing in the increased eutrophication of lakes and natural waters. Its presence causes many water quality problems including increased purification costs, decreased recreational and conservation value of impoundments, loss of livestock and the possible lethal effect of algal toxins on drinking water.

In most municipal and industrial plants with biological wastewater treatment, supplemental phosphorus must be added to insure an adequate supply for bacterial growth.  But nutrient enrichment of receiving waters is a major water quality issue in North America.  The USEPA, states and provinces have or are adding phosphorus discharge limits to industrial discharge permits, sometimes at very low levels. Many plants already have limits for phosphorus and are struggling to achieve compliance –using aerated lagoons and activated sludge processes.  

Due to increased enforcement of selenium regulations and an increased understanding of health and environmental effects the need to be able to efficiently treat selenium has taken on an increased importance. 
Elemental selenium is relatively nontoxic and is considered to be an essential trace element however it quickly becomes toxic at higher than recommended levels.  Additionally, hydrogen selenide (H2Se) and several other selenium compounds are known to be extremely toxic.  Physical deformities and reproductive failure have been noted in several aquatic species exposed to selenium at 10 µg/l which due to bioaccumulating resulted in tissue concentrations at 510 - 1395 times greater levels (Lemly, 2002).

Other Metals
Due to the discharge of large amounts of metal-contaminated wastewater, industries faced with the problem of by-products of heavy metals, such as Cd, Cr, Cu, Ni, As, Pb, Hg and Zn, must comply with environmental regulations.  If large quantities of these heavy metals are ingested beyond the permitted concentration, they can cause serious health disorders. Therefore, it is necessary to treat metal contaminated wastewater prior to its discharge to the environment. 


The Solution - Smart Sponge® HM

AbTech Smart Sponge® HM (heavy metals) technology uses renewable resource based metal nanocomposites extruded into an adsorptive sponge media.  The media will bind with phosphorus and heavy metals resulting in removal rates as high as 98%.  The table below shows the highest level of removal achieved with the media.  When applied as a polisher to primary treatment, Smart Sponge® HM media can reduce phosphorus and other metals to ultra-low levels to meet discharge requirements.   Smart Sponge® HM can be applied in a pressurized vessel or atmospheric tank.  The media can be regenerated onsite, or as a service, can be taken to an offsite treatment facility for regeneration.  


Innovating Towards the Future

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