Removing lead from wastewater

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Metallco AS is one of Norway’s leading recyclers of ferrous and non-ferrous metals. The company’s recycling process involves the outdoor storage of large quantities of scrap metal, which can react with rain and snow to contaminate runoff water. At Metallco’s Oslo plant, the main concern was the presence of lead (Pb) in the site’s wastewater.

To tackle the problem, we (together with our partner Novatek) conducted pilot trials using BLUEGUARD® - a granular filter media composed of an olivine core with a surrounding shell of powdered olivine and a cementitious binder – in conjunction with our Problue v3 fully-automated top-down system.

Problue V3

Problue V3 consists of a multimedia prefilter (sand and anthracite) followed by two Blueguard® filters (diameter 1m, height 1.6m) which have a capacity of 1-3m³. The filters are filled with 2m³ of Blueguard® on top of a gravel layer, and can be placed in series or in parallel.

The pilot trials at Metallco Oslo were conducted in series, with a targeted contact time of 30 minutes. As the availability of wastewater was intermittent (depending on the frequency and volume of rain and snow) the pilot tests were also conducted intermittently.

Influent Pb concentrations varied between 350 and 850 µg/L with a target Pb concentration of 50µg/L. In all of the intermittent samplings, results showed a Pb removal efficiency of over 95%, which was consistently below the target concentration.

The pilot trials demonstrated that BLUEGUARD® efficiently removed Pb and other heavy metals from the wastewater available.

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