Water Science and Technology Vol 36 No 2-3 pp 197207 © IWA Publishing 1997
Pretreatment of tannery wastewaters by an ion exchange process for Cr(III) removal and recovery
G. Tiravanti*, D. Petruzzelli* and R. Passino**
*Istituto di Ricerca sulle Acque, National Research Council, 5, Via De Blasio 70123 Bari Italy
**Istituto di Ricerca sulle Acque, National Research Council, 1, Via Reno 00198 Rome Italy
Conventional treatment of tannery wastewaters includes the physico-chemical treatment in order to precipitate metals (mostly Cr(III). The landfilling disposal of mixed physico-chemical and biological tannery sludges is an economical and environmental problem, due to the saturation of possible sites.
A new process, namely, IERECHROM® (Ion Exchange REcovery of CHROMium), has been developed for removal, recovery and reuse of Cr(III) ionic complex from segregated tannery wastewaters. The process is based on the use of a weak electrolyte macroporous carboxylate resin, retaining the metal of reference together with other trace metals, including aluminum and iron.
A 10 m3/d fully automated pilot plant was assembled and a demonstration campaign was carried out at a medium size Italian tannery by using the IERECHROM process. The adoption of the IERECHROM process simplified the tannery wastewater treatment lay-out as the physico-chemical treatment was not necessary. A considerable decrease in the use of chemical compounds, a sludge production reduced by 80% with respect to the traditional treatment, and lower costs for sludge treatment and disposal were demonstrated.
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