Growing interest in wet oxidation for liquid waste disposal

Wet air oxidation has come one step closer to becoming a commercially available waste disposal route in Britain with the commissioning of Leigh Environmental's plant in Birmingham and the delivery of a second unit to a Yorkshire Water site in Leeds. Both companies plan further units for merchant waste disposal, and are also hoping to sell the technology to large industrial customers - but doubts remain over the strength of future demand.

Wet oxidation is generating much interest as a potential treatment for aqueous organic wastes, particularly in the fine chemicals industry. Using high temperatures and pressures, it can degrade toxic or intractable materials which may not respond well to biological treatment. It is particularly suited to wastes with a chemical oxygen demand (COD) of over 30,000mg/l.

Leigh's 50,000 tonnes per year plant at Small Heath (ENDS Report 197, p 1

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