A team of French scientists, backed by the European Union, has developed a novel wastewater treatment system that uses natural processes to treat effluent from industrial food cleaning and processing operations.
The system is based on bamboo-based intensified phytoremediation techniques.
According to the project's scientific manager Frédéric Panfili, the system looks like a bamboo plantation, making it hardly distinguishable from the environment, and is able to break down nitrogenous compounds (including nitrites and nitrates) and phosphates in effluent by over 99.5%.
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The food industry is a major producer of greywater, in which organic matter is the biggest pollutant. Although it is non-toxic, greywater can be considered a pollutant because the organic materials that it contains could put aquatic life at risk, the European Commission's Community Research and Development Information System reported.
In order to demonstrate how the system works, the research team has opened a full-scale pilot plant at a soft drinks manufacturing facility near Valence, France.
The project, called "BRITER-WATER," is funded by the EU.