This is a Smart Water Fund Project

Metal Recovery from Wash Waters and Treatment Plant Sludges

Project Date: 31 December 2010
Project Status: Complete
Research Organisation: ASIRC
Project Number: 52M - 2030

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The Challenge

Some manufacturing and recycling processes use large quantities of drinking water and in turn release large amounts of heavy metals into this water once used. The high levels of toxic co-contaminants mean that sludge produced through the Water Treatment Plant process is only suitable for landfill.

This project investigated the options for the metal finishing industry to become more water efficient and decrease heavy metal discharges to sewer, in order to enhance wastewater reuse and bio-solids reuse opportunities that can be traditionally restrained by the presence of heavy metal pollutants.

The Project

The objective of this project was to undertake an assessment of upstream and downstream opportunities to recover metals from plating operations. This included an assessment of the technology options available for minimising water usage and maximising the recovery of valuable heavy metals from Metal Plating operations.

The primary purpose of the study was to provide participants with a toolbox of options and ideas to minimise their water and materials usage whilst maintaining or improving their product quality. The options provided were to be aimed at areas found in each company where the best results could be achieved with the least outlay of time & money.

The Outcome

Due to the unfortunate closure of ASIRC, certain process reviews were unable to be conducted. The outcome of this project is a literature survey and a report of initial technical surveys including compilation of technical data collected from all sites (and presented in a mass balance format where the data will allow) and any analytical work and in-situ measurements performed before the closure of ASIRC to support the technical review.

For all Smart Water Fund Project enquiries please contact swfinfo@melbournewater.com.au

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