Green chemistry : an introductory text by Mike Lancaster

By Mike Lancaster

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Green chemistry : an introductory text

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Although treating mixed waste is more complex, the cost of installing individual treatment units at each plant is usually prohibitively high. An important aspect of waste treatment, particularly of wastewater streams is concerned with controlling the oxygen demand of the waste stream. Under natural conditions many organic materials will biodegrade, consuming oxygen in this degradation process. Introduction of wastewater containing trace organic materials into rivers and lakes will therefore tend to deplete the oxygen supply in the river or lake.

3 Minimizing Waste from Existing Processes The getting it ‘Right First Time’ approach to waste minimization outlined above is obviously the preferred economic and environmental option, and, in general, new processes are more environmentally benign than older ones. Approaches to waste minimization for existing processes are usually either connected with ‘good housekeeping’ or are part of process development work. Occasionally, however, there is a more holistic approach, driven by corporate philosophy.

1 Electrochemical Waste Treatment Industrial use of electrochemical processes for treating effluent streams is increasing owing to the usually competitive running costs compared to other methods. This method is especially valuable for treatment of streams containing relatively high concentrations of metal ions, where recovery of the metal is important from an economic or environmental perspective. 2) and can be applied to a wide range of metals including precious metals such as gold, silver and palladium as well as more hazardous waste containing nickel, cadmium or cobalt.

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