Developing solutions for water treatment
Developing efficient and economical processes to meet the growing demand for drinking water is one of the major challenges of the Arkema group for the 21st century.
As a result of the increasing world population, greater and greater amounts of water will need to be treated and purified. Given the present and future difficulties of access to drinking water, effective management of this resource is as crucial as that of oil.
The key is to develop efficient and optimized processes for the elimination of polluants, bacteria and viruses. The Arkema group is aware of its responsibility towards sustainable development as a specialist in chemistry, and as such has made water treatment one of the priorities of its research.
A Global Challenge
In 2050, the world’s population will rise above 9 billion individuals compared to 2.5 billion in 1950.
In 2050, 60% of the world’s population may not have access to drinking water compared to 20% today.
Complementary solutions to make urban waste water drinkable
At various stages of the cycle of water treatment, the Arkema group provides sustainable and ecological solutions for obtaining high quality drinking water:
- Arkema group produces Bactivel® bleach, used in the last filtration stage, both as bactericide and disinfection solution. Bactivel® protects distribution networks, thereby preserving the quality of water until it is consumed.
- Arkema is also present on water filtration application through its Ceca subsidiary. Ceca developed an ecological filtration solution : Acticarbone® activated carbons. Used as adsorbents, they eliminate odors, taste and microcontaminants in waste waters.
Developing more efficient solutions
Over the last ten years, significant progress has been made thanks to membrane technology: nanofiltration, ultrafiltration and reverse osmosis. The principle is to circulate the water to be treated through porous, polymer membranes. However, these technologies do have some disadvantages:
- high levels of energy consumption,
- treatment and maintenance cost
- ultra-fine particles (pesticide or medecine residues) are not filtered. Hence chemical treatment is required in addition to filtration.
On the base of its expertise in nanomaterials, the Arkema group launched a vast R&D program to develop more efficient, nanostructured PVDF membranes. The aim is to reach solutions which :
- are less enegy-intensive,
- increase the overall throughput of processed water,
- filter ulra-fine particles.