The Global Information market research company reports that the global markets for wastewater recycling and reuse technologies during the period from 2009 to 2012 increased from nearly $6.7 billion to $9.5 billion, equivalent to a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.6%. From 2012 through 2017, global recycling markets are expected to expand more rapidly, industry specialists expecting an increase from $9.5 billion in 2012 to $23.4 billion in 2017, reflecting a five-year CAGR of 19.7%. The continuous growing population and the rapid economic development lead to an accentuated water scarcity. This is driving the demand for innovative wastewater treatment technologies and solutions.
Wastewater Treatment - processes
Wastewater treatment is the process of removing organic and inorganic matter from the waste stream and making it suitable for the release back into the environment. Before the release, the wastewater has to pass through a series of processes that include the separation, filtering, disinfection and removal of both organic and inorganic components. The treatment processes aim to reduce biodegradable organics (such as BOD), chemicals (such as BPA), viruses,pathogenic bacteria or nutrients(such as nitrates and phosphates).
The recycling process is divided up into stages. Widely used terminology refers to three levels of wastewater treatment - primary, providing only screening but no treatment, secondary and tertiary providing the different levels of advanced treatment. Tertiary treatment can remove almost all the impurities from sewage, producing an almost drinking-water quality. The technologies for this stage of treatment can be expensive and require high level of technical knowledge, specialized plant operators, and specific equipment which may not be readily available.
Industrial wastewater treatment depends on the type of industry using the water. Some industries allow easy procedures but others that work with high quantities of toxic substances have to implement more difficult treatment processes. In such cases, the industrial plants may have to pre-treat their wastewater to remove these pollutants or reduce them to treatable levels.
Unfortunately, because of the lack of appropriate methods in wastewater treatment, environmental pollution is still frequently detected. Efficient and applicable techniques for removing pollutants remain a challenge of a high environmental and public health significance. New economically, environmentally and easy methods for water treatment are needed.
Innovations in the area of wastewater treatment exist and they focus on the premise that wastewater can be a valuable resource. The innovative recognition nano materials aim to revolutionize this industry and to bring cost-effective solutions for a cleaner environment.