There is an emerging category of wastewater components, many toxic, that are resistant to conventional treatment processes. These treatment resistant (or 'refractory') components are becoming increasingly common in wastewater and other water sources, including drinking water. Examples of such refractory organics include trihalogenated chloramines (from chlorine disinfection of wastewater) and estrogenic mimics that arise from chemicals such as BPA (Bisphenol A). They also arise from oral contraceptives that are being used increasingly throughout the developed world, and refractory organics found in groundwater from rapidly expanding fracture stimulation of oil and gas fields.
The rapid industrialisation of East and South East Asia is also seeing increasing volumes of complex refractory chemicals including phenols, chlorinated benzenes and complex organics. These chemicals are discharged, at low levels, to aquatic systems from vast industries including dyestuffs, pesticides, herbicides, pharmaceutical, steel production, coal and coal chemical production.
Wastewater derived from many mining and industrial processes also contains commercial quantities of highly valuable constituents including rare earths, precious metals and iron. These can be recovered using Hydrus' proprietary ElectroChemical and Catalytically Enhanced Oxidation Processes.
Hydrus has developed and owns the intellectual property for an Advanced ElectroChemical process and several wastewater treatment technologies.