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Chemical free treatment facility for landfill leachate

Develop an innovative chemical free leachate treatment facility by using a novel type of membranal electrolysis treatment technology, electro-flotation, and by remote monitoring and controlling of water quality. The aim is to locally treat landfill leachate to prevent environmental contamination.

Leachate is the liquid that drains or 'leaches' from a landfill and is generated in large volumes in landfills (both active and non-active) from waste materials and water. Landfill leachate, if not treated, will eventually penetrate the ground through cracks in the landfill bottom coating and contaminate the ground water. Leachate may be characterised as a water-based solution of four groups of contaminants; dissolved organic matter (alcohols, acids, aldehydes, short chain sugars, etc.), inorganic macro components (common cautions and anions including sulphate, chloride, Iron, aluminium, zinc and ammonia), heavy metals (Pb, Ni, Cu, Hg, , and xeno biotic organic compounds such as halogenated organics, (PCBs (Polychlorinated Biphenyl), dioxins, etc.). Therefore, leachate must be carefully collected and treated. Leachate transportation is hazardous and the threat of decaying infrastructure in many industrialised countries is forcing owners to treat it onsite. Leachate treatment is a complex process that depends on the composition of the contaminants. All treatment processes require pre-treatment stages and the addition of chemicals and stages for the removal of the chemical residues, before the water can be safely returned to nature. Therefore the whole process of leachate treatment is also expensive and may reach 50 euros per m3 of landfill leachate (depending on the leachate composition). MARMALADE’s objective is to design, develop and validate a revolutionary on-site landfill leachate treatment facility based on a chemical-free electro-membranal separation technique. This technique has the potential to produce high quality recycled water by utilising a novel type of electro-membrane filtration technology and by remote monitoring and controlling of the water quality. The MARMALADE treatment concept is based on a patent pending method that uses an electro-coagulation technique to modify the leachate pH levels in a very energy-efficient process. By modifying the pH levels, the process succeeded in removing heavy metals that are typical to landfill leachate and producing high quality recycled water. Such an innovative technique requires a fraction of the power needed by conventional electrolysis and this makes this technique practical for leachate treatment. This method was validated by a small-scale experimental facility, able to treat 600L/h of synthetic leachate. The experimental results were very successful and it proved beyond any doubt that MARMALADE’s method is feasible and only needs up-scaling and field trials for becoming practical. The project’s final objective is to devise a prototype leachate comprehensive treatment facility for treating up to 100m3/day of landfill leachate. The prototype will be based on the following components: 1. Pre-treatment and Sludge removal unit - by means of electro-flotation; 2. pH converter unit - by membranal electrolysis; 3. Second Sludge removal unit; 4. Sludge dewatering. The end-product of the treatment process will be in the form of dry compact hazardous metal oxides, which will be handled and disposed of at a much lower cost, according to local regulations. MARMALADE’s goal will be achieved by making such a facility ubiquitous, affordable and cost-effective. MARMALADE will fully meet the indicative BAT (Best Available Technique) standards criteria, i.e. techniques which will be developed on a scale which reasonably allows implementation, which are technically and economically viable and which further reduce emissions and their impact on the environment as a whole. The outcome may lead to new regulations that require local leachate treatment in all landfills and will result in demand for MARMALADE’s product, as well as reduced contamination from active and non-active landfills. The consortium will be led by PH2O and include MAGNETO which is a reputable supplier of special electrodes. The business opportunity for which PH2O is leading this project lies in the revolutionary solution that is completely chemical-free and in the low lifecycle costs of the proposed facility and treatment process compared to all alternatives of landfill leachate treatment.
Acronym: 
MARMALADE
Project ID: 
4 767
Start date: 
01-03-2009
Project Duration: 
24months
Project costs: 
810 000.00€
Technological Area: 
Water Pollution / Treatment
Market Area: 
Water treatment equipment and waste disposal systems

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