Biological activated carbon (BODAC) is the key to scrubbing water, the NieuWater factory found
A factory in Emmen has more or less coincidentally devised a method to remove medicine residues from water, and is now testing the promising method. If the new technique turns out to be effective it could have major consequences for water quality, reports RTV Drenthe.
The new method utilises so-called biological activated carbon, or BODAC, which hangs in filters in large boilers at the NieuWater factory, which is a collaboration between drinking water company WMD and the Vechtstromen water board.
It appears that these filters also remove medicine residues from water, which could be an important development. The factory is used, at the moment, to create ultra-pure water for the Dutch oil company the NAM. With the Netherlands turn towards a greener economy, the factory may have found a new use.
“We ultimately want to bring it to the market, but for that we first have to demonstrate that it works stably. And that no very expensive pre-purification of the water is required. It actually has to do it right from the start. We have only discovered after this installation has been in operation here for seven years, by coincidence. We now also want to demonstrate that it will do well at another location”, says researcher Peter van der Maas.
The Vechtstromen water board is closely following the development of this research. “It is becoming increasingly important. In consultation with drinking water companies, we also notice that something is happening in the surface water. That medicine residues are being recovered and that this could ultimately have consequences for flora and fauna”, says Jaap Nonnekens of the Vechtstromen water board. “It is not the case that there are guidelines from the government now, but that is coming. We have to be prepared for the future.”
Image: a water purification plant in Ontario, Canada. Via Wikimedia user Rick Harris. License here.
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