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On-site industrial wastewater treatment

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Priority pollutant behaviour in on-site treatment systems for industrial wastewaters

The majority of wastewaters deriving from the chemical industry consist of aqueous discharges produced during the physico-chemical processing of synthetic mixtures involving operations such as filtration, centrifugation, extraction and/or distillation. The wastewater streams, referred to as ‘process waters’ can include mother liquors, washing waters from the purification of products, vapour condensates, quench waters, wastewaters from exhaust air/flue gas clean-up, wastewaters from equipment cleaning and wastewaters from vacuum generation. Consequently industrial wastewaters can contain a range of contaminants representing the compounds involved at each stage of the chemical process e.g. unreacted starting materials, intermediate compounds, unwanted by-products etc which often constitute the poorly biodegradable content of the total wastewater load. Where organic solvents have been used they often contribute substantially to the organic pollutant load reaching the wastewater treatment facility. Additional wastewater streams requiring treatment can be generated from other on-site sources such as scrubbing of exhaust gases from incineration and combustion, bleed from boiler feed water systems, back-washing of filters, laboratory and pilot-scale plants and collection of rainwater from contaminated areas.

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