Coal mine in Poland desalinates wastewater to protect environment

TVN24 News in English


A coal mine in southern Poland has successfully tested a new water treatment process which desalinates wastewater and extracts minerals to protect the environment.

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The treatment facility, installed in July at the Bolesław Śmiały mine in Poland's heavily industrialized Silesia region, operates with the participation of the Silesian University of Technology and is part of the EU-funded Zero Brine Project.

According to scientists, the coal mine wastewater is treated using a system of nano-filtration, reverse osmosis and electrodialysis in order to extract valuable raw materials such as sodium and magnesium chloride which are then reused.

The process is saving up to 50% of energy compared to the current best practice for water waste treatment.

The scientists behind the project say it proves that minerals and desalinated water can be extracted from industrial processes for reuse in other industries, for example, to fireproof materials in the steel industry.

Poland derives around 80% of its power production from coal-fired plant generation and for decades, wastewater from the coal mining industry has been diluted and dumped into local river systems.

According to Zero Brine, the coal mining industry in Poland discharges around 4 millions tons of sodium chloride into rivers every year damaging the environment and reducing aquatic life.

The project which is also being pilot tested in the Netherlands, Spain and Turkey, covers several industries concerned with saline waste waters including production of silica and textile.

Autor: gf / Źródło: TVN24 News in English, Reuters