ESCO International

Successful degradation of a cobalt organic complex and TOC by advanced oxidation processes

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Courtesy of ESCO International

A chemical manufacturing plant needed to remove cobalt from biologically treated wastewater.

The current cobalt concentration is higher than 1000 ppb and needs to be reduced to below 5 ppb.

Cobalt speciation analysis results have shown that much of the cobalt is present as organically bound complexes.

These complexes are known to be difficult to remove by adsorption, precipitation or ion exchange.

The aim of this study was to test the use of advanced oxidation methods involving the combination of UV and oxidation agents (H2O2, Ozone) to degrade the organic ligands and recover Cobalt once it has been released from the complex.

ESCO International explored the use of their advanced oxidation technologies to destroy TOC (max. 25 ppmC) and degrade the organic chelating agents. A number of AOP tests and process optimisation were conducted using different AOP configurations. TOC analysis was used in order to gather information about the oxidative destruction efficiency of the total organic compounds.

As predicted, the selected AOP process turned out to be highly effective in the total mineralisation of the organic compounds (+90% reduction) and the subsequent complete destruction of the organic chelating agents present in the wastewater, thereby allowing the cobalt to be released and removed via adsorption, precipitation or ion exchange.

This project demonstrates ESCO International’s technical capabilities in providing companies with state-of-the-art, sustainable water treatment solutions suited to their specific needs.

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