Water is the basic element of ecosystems and the substance essential for living of all organisms. Without water the growth of life on Earth would be impossible, and also the civilization growth of human kind would be disabled.

The assurance of access to good quality water is crucial for the efficient development of our civilization. On the other hand, however, this growth results in the continuous increase of the anthropogenic stresses on water resources in regard to both, potable and industrial quality and quantity of water. Our activities are related with generation of more and more complex and hardly treatable contaminants, which appear in water resources, mainly due to disposal of wastewater, and cause a series of issues in production of useable water of desired quality.


Water cycle (source: https://www.water-cities.org/)

According to the availability of water resources, Poland is one of the poorest European countries. The amount of water per capita in our country does not exceed 1,600 m3, while the average European and worldwide amounts reach 4,600 m3 and 7,300 m3, respectively. Hence, the proper and respectful management of water resources in industrial, agricultural and urban systems is, especially for us, for us extremely important.

The technological and engineering progress in water and wastewater treatment systems is continuously carried out, due to the identification of new groups of contaminants in natural water resources, related with the disposal of wastewater, waste deposition and even emissions to atmosphere. One of the breakthroughs in treatment systems was the implementation of membrane processes, which in the simplest way may be defined as advanced filtration techniques enabling the removal of various substance from  water up to ionic level. Membrane processes, due to their universal character, can be applied as single stage unit operations, but also may be arranged in integrated or hybrid systems. However, one should be aware that the technological and economic efficiencies of membrane techniques depend on a range of factors, among which the selection of proper membrane is of the highest importance.

In the Institute, we run multi-dimensional research dedicated to the application of membrane processes in industrial and municipal water and wastewater treatment systems. Our actions are focused on identification of contaminants, which need to be rejected from a treated stream, as well as on the selection of proper membrane material and process conditions. These allow us to determine economically justified operational conditions individually adapted for a given stream in regard to desired filtrate quality and activity profile (water reclamation, closure of water loops). Our research are run on a small scale systems, which sufficiently correspond to industrial process conditions, what enables fast evaluation of a given system configuration and its optimization. As a result, we provide you with complete and verified data for full scale system, which are fundamental for the further design efficiently operated installation suitable for stable, long term work. Our recent research have enabled to elaborate efficient solutions for i.a. mine water treatment for production of potable, surface water treatment for production of potable water and industrial wastewater treatment (including coke oven and gasification wastewater) in regard to filtrate disposal to environment or its reuse in technological loops. We invite you to successful cooperation in this field and use of our services.

Membrane filtration site operated in cross-flow mode using flat sheet membranes

 

Coke oven wastewater treated using different membrane processes: (L) ultrafiltration – filtrate ready to deposition to environment or its reuse in coke quenching process; (M) biologically treated coke oven wastewater (feed); (R) reverse osmosis – filtrate ready to use in water-steam loops of a plant

 

Author: Anna Kwiecińska-Mydlak