21-Sep-2001 - Degussa AG

EU directive regulates maximum heavy metal limits for incineration plat wastewater

A new EU directive, which seeks to decrease the amount of heavy metals in wastewater from incineration plants, is currently being transformed into national legislation across Europe. Degussa’s TMT 15 – an environmentally safe, non-hazardous product – can help maintain these new limits. According to EU Directive 2000/76/EC, wastewater from incineration plants may contain no more than 0.03 mg/l mercury and no more than 0.05 mg/l cadmium. Degussa AG’s business unit Bleaching & Water Chemicals, Düsseldorf, offers TMT 15 as a solution package, including consultation on technical application. This solution can help maintain many of the new lower maximum limits.

Wastewater from new incineration plants for household or special waste as well as coal-fired power plants will have to meet the more stringent guidelines by the end of 2002. The directive requires existing plants to meet the new standards by the end of 2005. TMT 15, which is odorless, is fed into the wastewater stream, where it reacts with the heavy metals to form a precipitate that can then be separated off and taken, for instance, to a waste disposal site. “TMT 15 has proven itself in several hundred incineration plants around the world for the removal of heavy metals – especially mercury and cadmium – from wastewater,” says Dr. Martin Bauer, business manager for the Bleaching & Water Chemicals Business Unit. He attributes this to the high degree of safe handling allowed by the product. TMT 15 is odorless, environmentally safe, non-toxic and non-hazardous. TMT 15 can also be used to remove mercury from the flue gases of incineration plants without the need for costly retrofitting.

In addition to chemicals for water and wastewater handling, the business unit also produces environmentally safe bleaching and oxidizing agents like hydrogen peroxide, auxiliary agents for the paper industry, and cyanide for the mining industry. The business unit achieved sales of €567 million in 2000 and employs some 1,700 people.

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