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.
- 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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