TOP® - Wet Oxidation for Wastewater Technology Overview

TOP® - Wet Oxidation for wastewater represents the first breakthrough in applying the TOP® - Wet Oxidation technology on an industrial level.

This technological innovation was developed by the 3V Group and has been found to be the best available technique in the treatment of wastewater according to the EU-IPPC.

The TOP® technology is best known for treating wastes in the following manner:
  • Heavy organic molecules are oxidized by pure oxygen or air in the wet phase at high temperatures and high pressure levels
  • Complex organic molecules (which, under normal circumstances, are not biodegradable) are oxidized and become simple, biodegradable molecules such as carbon dioxide and water.

International recognition:
  • 1990 Best Reparative Technology award from ENEA (the EU delegate for Italy)
  • 2006 BAT (Best Available Techniques) award from the EU-IPPC for O.F.C.s (Organic Fine Chemicals).

Can it be implemented on an industrial scale?




The TOP® - Wet Oxidation technology for wastewater:
  • Has been extensively tested on an industrial scale since 1990.
  • Represents the only technology which is capable of treating a wide variety of industrial, complex third party waste streams on a global scale.
  • Is able to reduce COD levels by approximately 70%. The remaining COD, following the treatment, is detoxified, fully decolored and almost entirely biodegradable, allowing it to be further processed in a biological plant.
  • Can eliminate almost all of the organic fraction which produces a stable, inorganic material that is rich in calcium and phosphorous. This material can also be reused as a primary-secondary material. In 2013, our solid residue obtained the CE mark which allows it to be used as a filler for bituminous materials and similar matters. Both the CE mark certificate and the TOP® Process Layout are available for download below.

The applications for the TOP® - Wet Oxidation for wastewater include:
  • The treatment of mixed industrial wastewater from multiple sources of organic production with a COD level of between 20.000 and 100.000 mg/L. The treatment can reduce the organic load between 80% and 95%. In such cases, the technology (referred to as "Multi-Stream TOP®") requires the use of oxygen as the oxidizing agent, and special super-alloys for the construction of the system.
  • The treatment of industrial wastewater from a single source of production (referred to as "Single-Stream TOP®"). Systems of this type are relatively simple. In general, the type of material required and the oxidant, either oxygen or air, are decided on a case-by-case basis.

The industrial applications of this technology include:
  • The first industrial plant - "the Multi-Stream TOP®", launched in 1984 at the Sigma Chemical Plant in Mozzo (BG), Italy. It has the capacity to treat 5 m3/h of mixed industrial wastewater with an organic load of 50.000 mg/L of COD. It can also achieve a volume reduction of around 80%.

  •  A second mixed industrial plant - another "Multi-Stream TOP®" started running in 1990 within the Grassobbio treatment center in Bergamo, Italy. It was initially designed to treat up to 12 m3/h and was then upgraded to its current treatment capacity of 15 m3/h. The center is currently under another expansion in order to provide a total treatment capacity of 18 m3/h. This plant treats waste with an organic load of up to 60.000 mg/l of COD which can achieve reductions that range from 75% to 85%.                                                 

  • A third plant, launched in January 1995, is a "Single-Stream TOP®" in Porto Marghera (VE), Italy. It is capable of treating wastewater generated by the nitration of toluene. The plant treats up to 2 m3/h of liquid with a COD load of around 20.000 mg/L and hence, it can achieve a reduction of more than 80%.

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