The patented ferrodecont® process developed and registered by the founders at the Montanuniversität Leoben is the heart of our technology.
In this process, heavy metal-contaminated wastewater is pumped through a series of fluidized bed reactors filled with a granulate of zero-valent iron. On the surface of the granules, the pollutant is chemically converted and precipitated by a redox reaction or pollutants are removed from the solution by adsorption processes on the iron particles. The absence of conventional chemicals in wastewater treatment leads to a reduction in the electrical conductivity in the process, which can be demonstrated by measurements in the flow of the reaction vessels. The process works in a wide pH range and does not require any complex process control and big technical effort.
Compared to the proven cleaning methods with zero-valent iron in the fixed bed, the reaction kinetics are significantly increased. The reactive surface of the granulate, which passivates in conventional fixed-bed processes, is continuously renewed by the procedure in the fluidized bed reactors. Thus, it remains as an active reaction partner for the pollutants. Due to the constant collisions of the granules and the abrasive effect, microparticles are also produced, which further increase the reaction kinetics due to their high specific surface area and act as adsorption sites for some of the pollutants. The turbulent flow in the reactor also results in better mixing compared to laminar flow and a more efficient transition of electrons from the iron surface to the pollutant species in solution.
The process does not additionally increase the salinity and thus favours the reuse and circulation of the water. With downstream separation of the particles, a direct discharge can also be made possible under suitable conditions. Iron itself is safe to handle and environmentally friendly. Due to its recyclability, the input material has a low CO2 footprint and recyclable materials can be recovered from the sludge containing heavy metals. The treatment method provides a good basis for future zero-waste concepts in wastewater treatment.
The company ferroDECONT is specialised in the treatment and recycling of inorganic materials. The following table shows a sample of the inorganic ground and waste water contaminants treatable with zero valent Iron (Fe(0)).