Research and Development Projects

 

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  1. Development of devices for the purification of air
  2. Investigation of the removal of mercury and silver from waste water of dental surgeries by means of modified SGS-polymers
  3. Investigation of the application of SGS-polymers for watersoftening
  4. Pilot test of the removal of mercury from water by SGS-polymers
  5. Investigation of the application of SGS-polymers for the treatment of uranium containing water
  6. Investigation of the sorption of explosives and their degradation products on SGS-polymers
  7. Purification of thorium contaminated soil

1. Development of devices for the purification of air
The objective of this collaborative project is the development of a two-stage technique for the removal of volatile organic compounds from waste air. In the first stage the hydrocarbons should be enriched in an air filter (adsorption filter) and in the second stage the hydrocarbons should be destroyed in a plasma combustion process without any by-products but water and carbon dioxide.

The project part filter development is carried out by the Utt Ltd. The I.U.T. Ltd works on the development of the plasma combustion process. The construction and the testing of the pilot devices are the task of the PREVAC Ltd. The example of use is a plastic using enterprise in East-Berlin. Its waste air is strongly contaminated by styrene.
Within the scope of the filter development the Utt Ltd tested various adsorbents (especially adsorption resins) concerning their applicability for the adsorption of styrene. Furthermore, an adsorber, in which a suitable adsorbent is used, and a desorption method for the loaded adsorbens were developed and tested.
Currently, a pilot plant is tested.
The project runs from the July 1st, 1997 until the June 30th, 1999 and is funded by the Senatsverwaltung für Stadtentwicklung, Umweltschutz und Technologie of the state of Berlin and by the European Fund for Regional Development.
 
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2. Investigation of the removal of mercury and silver from waste water of dental surgeries by means of modified SGS-polymers
In dentistry, 1 kg amalgam containing waste per dentist's chair arises during the restoration and production of amalgam fillings every year. Most of the solid matters are separated in amalgam separators. However, the part of the solid matters, which is not separable in amalgam separators and dissolved mercury get to the waste water. Measurements in the waste water showed mercury concentrations up to 10 mg/l. But in the state of Berlin, the permissible limit for the waste water dumping in the sewer is only 0,05 mg/l.

The objectives of this project were the development and the test of an alternative technology for the purification of mercury containing waste water from dental surgeries.

At first, comprehensive investigations for the preparation of Hg-specific SGS-polymers were carried out. Afterwards, the test of these polymers for the filtration and sorption of residual substances (Hg, Ag and Sn), which were contained in the waste water, as well as possibilities of the selective recovery of recyclable materials during the regeneration processes were considered.
Different technological suggested solutions were developed. Currently, one of them is tested in a dental surgery in Berlin.

The project runs from the October 1st, 1997 until the March 31st,1999 and is funded by the Senatsverwaltung für Stadtentwicklung, Umweltschutz und Technologie of the state of Berlin and by the European Fund for Regional Development.

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3. Investigation of the application of SGS-polymers for water softening 

The aim of this project was the development of an ion-exchange method for the softening of well water by using compact SGS-polymers. Therefore, investigations of the deposition of hardness-producing calcium and magnesium ions from drinking waters on cartridge-shaped filter elements were carried out in the laboratory scale.

The sorption process on the SGS-polymer type 80 was investigated in dependence on flow velocity ranging from 470 to 1200 bed volumes/h. The sorption capacity reaches values up to 2.0 mval/g. The regeneration is realised by sodium sulphate solution, which can be re-used. The result of the investigations was the development of a nearly waste free technology for water softening.

The investigations were carried out from September 1993 until May 1994. The IEG mbH Reutlingen supported the investigations.
 

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4. Pilot test of the removal of mercury from water by SGS-polymers

During a restoration project, investigations of mercury removal from solids containing washing waters were carried out. Therefore, comprehensive investigations of the filtration, sorption and elution of elemental mercury as well as mercury compounds in a dissolved and solid form were carried out on SGS-polymers. As a result a two-stage procedure (stage 1: filtration of the solids, stage 2: removal of the dissolved elemental mercury and dissolved mercury compounds) was developed. A pilot pant based on this procedure was constructed. Tests under real conditions showed, that the suggested procedure is applicable for the removal of mercury from industrial wash solutions. The compliance with the permitted limit values for waste water dumping in the sewer was proved.

The pilot test was carried out from October 1994 until July 1996 in co-operation with the Buna Sow Leuna Olefinverbund GmbH. It was financed by Utt ltd and co-financed by funds from the project "Modellprojekt Buna zur Sanierung einer Quecksilber-Altlast".
 

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5. Investigation of the application of SGS-polymers for the treatment of uranium containing water 

Water of varying chemical composition comes up during the restoration of former uranium mining areas in the states of Saxony and Thuringia. This water has to be purified due to increased concentrations of harmful substances.
On instructions of the ÖKOTEC Institut für angewandte Umweltforschung GbR the Utt GmbH carried out a feasibility study of the SGS-polymers applicability for the removal of uranium from contaminated water.

As a result of laboratory investigations on SGS-polymer type 11 a purification procedure for low uranium-contaminated water was suggested. In co-operation with the Wismut Ltd the applicability of this procedure could be proved in two field tests.

The investigation was carried out from May 1996 until October 1996.
 
 

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6. Investigation of the sorption of explosives and their degradation products on SGS-polymers

The ground water in the surroundings of former military used areas is contaminated by explosives and their degradation products.
In co-operation with the university of Leipzig pre-investigations were carried out in the aim of removing such substances from the ground water by adsorption processes on SGS-polymers. Therefore, the adsorptive properties of some frequently in soil and ground water found compounds (e.g. nitrotoluenes, nitrobenzenes and aminonitrobenzenes) on SGS-polymers were investigated.

The project run from September 1995 until August 1997.

Due to promising pre-investigations a collaborative project is planned for the continuation of the investigations. The objective of the planned project is the purification of explosive contaminated ground water by a combining procedure of filtering and microbiological processes.
 

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7. Remediation of thorium contminated soil

As a result of industrial activities of the mankind radioactive contaminated soil can be found at a lot of industrial sites.

On instruction of the Senatsverwaltung für Stadtentwicklung, Umweltschutz und Technologie of the state of Berlin a mixture of soil and rubble from a building site should be purified to a defined degree.

At first the Utt GmbH carried out some basic investigations concerning the mobilisation in laboratory scale. Afterwards the Utt GmbH developed the THORAC-process on the base of these basic investigations in co-operation with the Horn & Müller Ingenieurgesellschaft für Verfahrenstechnik und Abfallwirtschaft. The THORAC-process is a combined procedure of mixing, classifying and sedimentating under defined leaching and elutriating conditions. By using this procedure a concentrate containing the most of the radioactivity can be separated from the contaminated material. The concentrate mass amounts to 10 - 15 % of initial waste mass. The residual main part has a low concentration of radioactivity, therefore, it can be deposit at a disposal site.

The procedure was tested in a pilot plant and the process was technologically optimised. It could be also proved that the process is applicable for the purification of contaminated soil from other locations.

The developed purification method was applied for a patent.

The project run from June 1997 until January 1998.
 
 

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22. July 1999
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