Seashells offer 'significant savings' for wastewater treatment
Seashells left over from restaurants, hotels, commercial farming and other foodservice outlets could be used to treat wastewater, research by scientists at Bath University has revealed. And the scientists believe the system could produce "significant savings" if it can be scaled up to industrial level.
The photocatalysis of water to remove any final trace contaminants is one of the most effective methods of tertiary treatment. However, the process normally uses titanium dioxide, which is expensive.
By replacing this with a material from the calcium-derived from seashells called hydroxyapatite − which can also be found in teeth and bones − researchers are aiming to significantly reduce the cost of wastewater treatment by reusing a renewable unwanted waste product.
Darrell Patterson, from the University's Department of Chemical Engineering, explained: "Mussel and other seashell farming is a fast growing industry around the world and the increase in the production of shellfish generates a large amount of shell waste.
"Shells are a calcium rich resource that can be used to produce calcium oxide (lime). This lime can be used in several different ways in environmental technologies, and our study has shown that the hydroxyapatite formed from them is an effective, green and potentially cost-efficient alternative photocatalyst for wastewater treatment."
The research was carried out using mussel shells, but other types of seashell could feasibly be used to produce photocatalysts, making this technique globally applicable, said Patterson.
The project will now look at wider applications of the technology and the scaling up of shell-based photocatalysts to industrial level.
- Siltbuster maintains sewage treatment capacity at Welsh Water Siltbuster Process Solutions has helped Dwr Cymru Welsh Water maintain treatment capacity during the construction of new... Read More >
- Welsh Water in employee exchange scheme with the Dutch Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water and Dutch company Oasen Drinking Water are teaming up to provide operational staff with an... Read More >
- UU trials enhanced phosphorus removal at Grasmere United Utilities is upgrading its phosphorus removal capability at a wastewater treatment plant in Grasmere, Cumbria, in a... Read More >
- Jersey's shining sludge plant sets new standards When Jersey's Department for Infrastructure and Doosan Enpure had to replace Bellozanne sewage treatment works, they... Read More >
- Getting to Grips with… biological odour control Biological products represent an alternative solution to tackle odour issues in the wastewater and water treatment... Read More >
- Real-time data enables spot-on coagulant dosing The recent Water Industry Awards saw Severn Trent and Malvern Panalytical recognised for the development of the Online... Read More >
- Opinion: Phosphorus just one of the problem pollutants Phosphorus may be front of mind for wastewater treatment in the UK at the moment, but this emphasis should not mean that... Read More >
- DAF and municipal wastewater: a versatile option There is growing awareness of how Dissolved Air Flotation (DAF) can be successfully used throughout the process stream at... Read More >