Decontamination of hard-to-oxidize wastes by supercritical water oxidation (SCWO).
In the second half of the twentieth century, about 1.8 billion tons of dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane (DDT - a pesticide widely used in 1950-1960) and 600 thousand tons of lindane (an insecticide for agriculture) were produced. Every day during oil and gas extraction, formation water rises to the surface of the earth, which besides high mineralization is also contaminated with organic substances and petroleum products. In addition, pharmaceutical or military plants also produce wastewater with hard-to-oxidize organic substances.
Supercritical water oxidation (SCWO) technology can be successfully applied for neutralization of industrial wastes with significant content of organic substances in aqueous solution. During the process, which takes up to 1 min, supercritical water acts as a solvent for oxidation processes. The result of complete oxidation of such wastes will be CO2 and H2O, as well as oxides of various metals present in the treated medium
The objective of R&D Center in the issue of SCWO is to develop a stable flow reactor, which will allow to carry out full-fledged studies of both the oxidation process itself and the reaction products under different operating conditions of pressure and temperature. In addition, there is a task of selecting the best materials and design solutions. The final result of scientific research should be the data for the possibility of designing SCWO reactors for a specific type of organic waste with a given capacity.