The project ElectroWhirl pursues the goal of closing process cycles in the chemical industry by treating saline process waste water and thin acids using electrochemical fluidized bed reactors.
The project duration of ElectroWhirl is 36 months. The project is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). The project will be sponsored by VDI Technologiezentrum GmbH.
Within the framework of the project, two new fluidized bed electrodes are to be developed. On the one hand the flow-electrode Capacitive Deionization FCDI (slurry electrode) and on the other hand the magnetic fluidized bed electrode. These systems differ in principle in their design and are to be evaluated for concentration and removal of organic impurities.
Closing the material cycles of industrial processes is essential for sustainable production. In view of the increasing scarcity of drinking water worldwide due to the growing population and climate change, this task also has a social and ecological significance. Developments for closing water cycles in industrial processes play an important role here.
In many industrial syntheses, e.g. of polycarbonate, vinyl chloride, isocyanates, chloromethane, epichlorohydrin or tetrachlorosilane, considerable amounts of waste water with high salt concentrations are produced.
The environmentally sound disposal of the waste water described above is associated with high costs. In addition, saline wastewater interferes with the biological degradation in sewage treatment plants. It makes more sense to treat the waste water with the aim of returning the recyclables and water contained in it to the production process. Consequently, the tasks in closing the process cycles consist on the one hand in concentrating the salt and on the other hand in removing the organic impurities.
At present, these tasks are associated with a high level of equipment and energy expenditure due to the lack of efficient processes. A common process for concentration is, for example, thermal evaporation of the water, which is associated with high energy consumption and is therefore economically and ecologically unsustainable. Similarly, there are currently no technical solutions available for high organic loads or for certain compound classes to purify water to specifications that allow it to be used as process water. This is where the research project ElectroWhirl comes in.