Brussels, 19 Jan 2004
An EU funded project involving small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and research institutes from around Europe has developed a system capable of reducing the unpleasant odours given off by liquid waste by 95 per cent.
Thousands of open wastewater storage tanks and basins in various industrial fields emit methane, dinitrogen oxide and volatile odorous metabolites, and thus diminish air quality in residential areas. Many of the companies storing wastewater in non-aerated ponds and tanks are SMEs, and are not able to invest in high-tech wastewater treatment facilities.
The EMRED project team has used water plants and filter materials to cover open tanks and ponds, and initial tests have highlighted those plants and absorbents are able to do the job effectively, resulting in a 95 per cent reduction in emissions. Work on how best to position the floating materials so that they are not displaced by wind or currents is now the focus of further trials in Germany, Denmark, Spain and Portugal.
This innovative research is bringing together nature and technology, says business manager of ttz Bremerhaven, Werner Mlodzianowski, one of the project partners. 'We are also focusing on the concrete needs of the market so that the obtained results can really be used - only in this way can science and business work successfully together,' he added.
The project brings together a range of partners, illustrating the widespread nature of the odorous emissions problem. In addition to the ttz Bremerhaven technology transfer centre and lead partner Eismann and Stoebe, a filter manufacturer, a meat producer, a dairy, a potato starch factory and a dumpling dough manufacturer are also involved.
The project is being funded under the 'environment, energy and sustainable development' section of the Fifth Framework Programme, and is due to finish in October 2004.