AUSTRALIA: new method to remove DOC from water

Australian scientists have developed a new way to remove organic materials, for example from the breakdown of rotting vegetation, from the water supply.

The MIEX® DOC Process uses a specially designed resin. The resin has a magnetised component which allows the particles to act as weak magnets, giving them unique settling and other handling characteristics.

Untreated water is mixed with the resin which binds with the DOC in the water. The resin is then removed from the water by a settling stage, taking the DOC with it. The water then goes on to the next stages of treatment such as chlorination and filtration. The result is water which has a cleaner taste, appearance and smell.

The Process has been described by US water specialists as potentially the ‘magic bullet’ the world’s water utilities have been searching for.

Following successful testing for drinking water, other potential applications in industrial processing and wastewaters are being investigated.

The process has just been awarded a START Grant through the Federal Department of Industry, Science and Resources for $1million which will be used to research new resins and to increase the range of potential applications.

The MIEX® DOC Process was developed by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and Orica in collaboration with the South Australian Water Corporation and has been successfully tested by water utilities in South and Western Australia for the removal of trace organic components from drinking waters. CSIRO says the process makes water cleaner and safer at a lower cost than existing methods and in less time.

“DOC is one of the key challenges facing today’s water treatment industry as it can have many detrimental effects on the treatment of drinking water,” says CSIRO scientist Dr Neil Furlong.

“These effects include reacting with other processes and either slowing them down or creating carcinogenic byproducts. It can also act as a food source for micro-organisms resulting in bacterial regrowth in distribution systems.”

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