The use of pesticides and herbicides for crop protection is expected to increase as the world population rises. As intensive farming methods continue to rely heavily on chemicals, the levels of persistent herbicides and pesticides prevalent in the environment also remains at dangerous levels.
The harsh reality is that agrochemicals, such as insecticides and germicides, can remain in the environment for many years. They can even enter drinking water sources where they pose a significant threat to human health.
Fortunately, public knowledge of the dangers of these chemicals is increasing pressure on agrochemical companies to remove pesticides and herbicides before the wastewater enters other water bodies.
This new awareness of the potential dangers is driving a number of new regulations to be introduced in Europe and around the world.
In 2020, the EU regulation for discharging to a water body was amended. Volatile AOXs (halogenated organic compounds) must fall under a yearly average of <1mg/L. Many agrochemicals fall under this category.
Many agrochemicals cannot be removed by conventional biological treatment owing to their high toxicity and biological persistence. This means that advanced water technologies must be employed to eradicate dangerous levels from wastewater.
There is also a drive from many agrochemical companies to improve wastewater treatment plants to be more effective at treating agrochemicals. Currently, many companies lack the technology to effectively remove agrochemicals. Instead they send their waste to a third party to treat or use incineration. Both of which are expensive and not eco friendly.
Our client was an agrochemical manufacturer from Israel who wanted us to help to treat their wastewater. They wanted to meet the industry standard with their wastewater discharge.
The objective of the project was to assess the effectiveness of the Nyex™ treatment system in reducing the total herbicide concentration in the wastewater to UK drinking water standards, from 1.1 mg/L to <0.001 mg/L.
The manufacturer was keen to show their commitment to protecting the environment through the removal of micropollutant compounds in the discharge water.
The concentrations of five different herbicides: Imazomox, Florasulam, Nicosulfuron, Imazapyr and Clomazone were studied before and after treatment with the system.
Our Nyex™-a treatment system combines adsorption with advanced oxidation in a single, scalable unit. Trace organics are concentrated on the surface of our proprietary media, which is non-porous with high electrical conductivity. This patented adsorbent media allows for targeted and continuous oxidation.
Unlike granular activated carbon (GAC), this media is effectively regenerated in situ and the process can continue without interruption or replacement. Results are achieved without chemical dosing or the generation of sludge. This reduces costs from transportation of chemicals and specialist waste disposal. It is also an eco friendly solution.
The system provides a chemical free and eco-friendly solution, which comes in a modular design and can be bolted onto an existing treatment solution. It is also versatile and can be modified to suit a manufacturers specific requirement for reuse or effluent discharge.
A laboratory-scale version of the Nyex™-a treatment system was initially tested at our in-house facility. The capabilities proven resulted in the project being scaled-up, with the construction of a Nyex™ 7-100a pilot system on the manufacturing site.
Following the trial, the herbicides were successfully removed from the wastewater to safe levels.
This trial showed a mean herbicide removal of approximately 99.8% with an applied current of 1 Amp.
Arvia has worked closely with companies in the agrochemical sector, and has successfully removed a number of other agrochemicals such as:
Arvia is constantly developing ways to eliminate micropollutants and is committed to removing agrochemicals from wastewater, not only to comply with regulations, but to make water supplies safe for future generations.
For the latest list of pesticides that our water treatment technology can treat, see our ‘Pollutants We Can Treat’ page.
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To see how the Nyex™ Treatment Systems can be suited to effectively treat your wastewater for the lifetime of your project, get in touch with our industry experts today.
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