An Italian spin-off has patented a circular economy process for the extraction of magnesium from the waste of the salt production in saltworks. Starting from this process the team propose a technology to address the problem of textile wastewater treatment.The company seeks partners facing the problem of textile wastewater cleaning and willing to renovate their environmental footprint by adopting a circular economy approach. A research and development cooperation agreement will be proposed.
The Italian company is a spin-off of the University of Palermo. The team has designed and patented a circular economy process for the extraction of magnesium from the waste of the salt production in saltworks. Based on this idea, they have started the Searcularmine project, gathering 12 partners in the Mediterranean area (www.searcularmine.com). Thanks to this project, in 2023 they will build a 40 ton/year production facility. In order to have a smooth market uptake of their product, they are currently looking for commercial partners willing to collaborate. The technology proposed addresses the problem of textile wastewater treatment. Reactive and acid dyes, are not adsorbed during conventional biological treatment thus, even though they form only around 2% of the COD (Chemical Oxygen Demand) in dye waste, they present the most intractable of problems. Several physicochemical colour removal methods have been employed at full-scale over the years, focusing on ozonation and advanced oxidation which reliably decolourise a wide range of dye wastes. However, all treatments present particular disadvantages. Advanced oxidation is high in capital and/or operating costs and may create mutagenic products. Coagulation creates significant quantities of sludge, as does powdered activated carbon. Adsorption and ion exchange are generally low in capacity, necessitating large quantities of materials. The approach proposed by the company makes use of sustainable reagents created with a circular approach that can effectively absorb dyes in wastewater with minimum sludge creation. The company seeks industrial partners facing the problem of textile wastewater cleaning and willing to renovate their environmental footprint by adopting a circular economy approach. Hopefully, the partnership will bring substantial commercial benefits for both parties on a long-term base. As a starting point, it is very important to receive samples of textile wastewater (2 – 5 L) from the potential partner in order to prove the efficacy of company's approach for the treatment of real industrial effluents. The potential partner will cooperate with the Italian spin-off under a research and development agreement.
Advantages and innovations
• Effective decolorization of persistent dyes • Lower environmental footprint : the company produces magnesium hydroxide using a clean and sustainable approach that reduces the amount of CO2 generated with respect to the conventional mining activities. • Microplastics removal: one of the possible applications of magnesium is for the treatment of textile industry wastewater, where it has been recently found to be effective for the removal of color but also the coagulation of micro-fibers, the microplastics released by tissues during the colorization and refining process. • Replicability: the production technology has been validated and it is ready to upscale, however a market for the magnesium hydroxide produced has still to be found. • Economical Sustainability: Additionally, the proposed approach consumes less energy resulting in a cheaper production price. The hope is to offer to the market a water-treatment solution which might be more sustainable from both the economic and the environmental points of view.
Contact / source: NEXT EEN Widgets (europa.eu)
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