New technologies for removing emerging pollutants in water can be the solution to improve environmental performance and reduce the impact on industries and populations. In areas of the world where basic needs and requirements are met, Science’s attention has focused on improving the performance of applied technical solutions and obtaining even better performances. The concern with reusing treated waters for various purposes is growing, to ensure a better balance in the consumption of a scarce natural resource.
Currently, there is a greater concern with waste management and the reduction of its most aggressive components for the environment. Unloading practices, even in dedicated locations, or end-of-line treatments, are no longer acceptable or liable to be maintained and fed. Attention turns to its elimination at the source. Here, many elements resulting from industry and human activity are included, namely public health services such as hospitals.
It cannot be said that the polluting activity generated by industry and health has a greater impact than that of the population, in its normal activity. The truth is that it is impossible to control the population’s emissions. In this sense, the focus will be on controlling industrial activity and services that have such impacts, such as the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industry, hospitals or clinics, and laboratories. All of these entities are responsible for the launch of specific pollutants with a lasting effect.
All the noise around these themes has caused entities in the scientific sector and companies in the water sector to wake up to the pollutants emerging in the waters. There was an urgent need to find technological solutions to eliminate them or, at least, reduce their impact. As a result, new generation treatment technologies appeared on the market. They responded to new demands and new regulations. The techniques focused on advanced electrochemical oxidation, oxidation by ozonation and peronization, or even by dedicated adsorption on new adsorbents. However, most existing treatment plants are not prepared for this real revolution in the treatment of this type of contamination. We will always have to think about creating systems that can integrate the existing ones in the best way, as well as replacing them with economic gains. There must be an incentive to reduce costs, which compensates for the investment, with reduced paybacks, and which improves performance.
Electrochemical systems (electro-coagulation and electro-oxidation) can be integrated into existing units or be central to new treatment units. They have the advantage of ensuring current treatment levels, by default, and dramatically increase performance for removing other contaminants, which are difficult to remove. Today, the challenge lies in the integration of these systems with the current ones. Tasks that require dedication and deep knowledge of all existing systems, but essentially of study and deep knowledge of these new systems, in their chemical and engineering aspects.
At VentilAQUA, the systems are custom-made, for a specific application, to obtain specific results, which are not compatible with “off the shelf” products. The basis can, and should, always be knowledge. We believe that this will be the approach to the market in the next 20 or 30 years. Only companies that fit this perspective are likely to succeed in the market, and that can help the world to combat its problems. New technologies for removing emerging pollutants in water are the solution.
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