Water and the environment – solutions for improving water quality

The Arkema group is involved in different stages of the water chain. It mainly provides solutions for water treatment and filtration, coatings for water lines and a particularly innovative material for the membrane filtration process.

Access to drinking water is one of the major challenges of the 21st century and water treatment is a potential high growth market for industrial, agricultural and domestic water usage. The products of the Arkema group are used at different stages of the cycle, and provide sustainable, cost-effective and environmentally-friendly solutions.

Solutions to make urban waste water drinkable

The Arkema group provides solutions for obtaining high quality drinking water:

  • Acticarbone® activated carbon used as an adsorbent in a filtration process eliminates odors, taste and microcontaminants in waste water.
  • Bactivel® bleach is used in the last disinfection stage, both as a bactericide and to protect distribution networks, thereby preserving the quality of water until it is consumed.

Ceca contributes to providing drinking water for the city of Venice

Ceca, a subsidiary of the Arkema group, has worked with a company called Vesta to provide Venice with a water filtration system based on Acticarbone® activated carbons. Thanks to this system, it is today possible to purify the city’s water and to provide Venice residents with quality water. Moreover, in its efforts to apply its policy of sustainable development, Vesta decided to implement a process for the regeneration of activated carbons in order to reduce the impact on the environment. Saturated activated carbons are not disposed of in landfills, but are transported to the Ceca site of Legnago to be reactivated and then re-used.

Solutions for treating waste water

The products of the Arkema group are also involved in the purification stage at the beginning of the water treatment process:

Acrylic monomers commercialized under the Adame®, Adamquat®and Madquat® brands are used as flocculent polymers. Waste matter is trapped in agglomerated flakes and can then be filtered more easily.

Albone® hydrogen peroxide (oxygenated water) eliminates sulfur residues from industrial effluents. This ultimate clean reagent offers the advantage of not generating any sewage sludge or toxic by-products.

Arkema group awarded Potier Prize for oxygenated water

In 2011, the Arkema group won the Pierre Potier Prize for its hydrogen peroxide used in the treatment of industrial effluents. The Pierre Potier Prizes recognizes innovation in chemistry in favor of sustainable development.

Highly protective coatings for water lines

Water quality also depends on the quality of the distribution lines and especially on their resistance to corrosion. In this field, the Arkema group provides solutions to reduce investment and operating costs, while also preserving water quality.

Metal tube coatings made from Rilsan® Polyamide 11 fine powders have excellent resistance to wear and very strong attacks. These coatings represent an alternative solution to stainless steel.

In addition, the fluorinated polymer Kynar® PVDF , used in the internal coating of polyethylene tubes for the transportation of drinking water, ensures the quality and safety of the water from the treatment station to the consumer.

Kynar® PVDF membranes for more efficient water treatment

Today 75% of the new filtration facilities in the world use a membrane filtration process. For the production of these membranes, the Arkema group provides Kynar® PVDF, a high performance fluorinated polymer which presents long-term resistance to aging and corrosive chemical substances.

Kynar® PVDF - new unparalleled nanostructured membranes

Researchers in the Arkema group developed a nanostructured porous Kynar® for a new generation of more efficient filtration membranes. On a nanometric scale, they succeeded in associating Kynar® PVDF with functionalized copolymers to: 

  • improve the filtration of ultrafine particles such as pesticides and medication
  • provide a hydrophilic function to membrane pores made of Kynar®, thereby increasing flows of treated water and reducing energy consumption for high pressure water transportation. 

Result – a filtration process which consumes less energy, and no longer requires chemical treatment for the elimination of nanoparticles.