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Wastes Treatment in Supercritical Water


Development of ecologically pure technology for effective and safely treatment and destruction of organic and inorganic materials and hazardous wastes in supercritical water

Tech Area / Field

  • CHE-IND/Industrial Chemistry and Chemical Process Engineering/Chemistry
  • ENV-WPC/Water Pollution and Control/Environment

8 Project completed

Registration date

Completion date

Senior Project Manager
Alexandrov K A

Leading Institute
Boreskov Institute of Catalysis, Russia, Novosibirsk reg., Akademgorodok

Supporting institutes

  • Federal Research and Production Center «Altai», Russia, Altay reg., Biysk


  • Valladolid University, Spain, Valladolid\nUniversity of Salerno, Italy, Fisciano\nThe University of Kansas, USA, KS, Lawrence\nKumamoto University, Japan, Kumamoto\nGunma University, Japan, Gunma\nFoster Wheeler Development Corporation, USA, NJ, Livingston\nPaul Scherer Institute, Switzerland, Villigen\nVito, Belgium, Boertetag\nForschungszentrum Karlsruhe in der Helmholts-Gemeinschaft, Germany, Karlsruhe\nNew Jersey Institute of Technology, USA, Newark\nUniversitat Kaiserslautern, Germany, Kaiserlautern

Project summary

The fundamental researches of chemical transformations of organic and inorganic compounds in supercritical fluids (SCF), in particular, in supercritical water (SCW), development of novel reactor concepts, design and build-up of pilot plant on treatment and destruction of wastes from manufacture of industrial explosive substances, other organic and inorganic compounds are the main goals of the proposed project.

The unique properties of supercritical fluids cause the huge interest on the one hand to fundamental researches of their chemical and physical properties, with another, to practical applications for creation of essentially novel technologies.

Supercritical fluids are examined today as the reaction media for many different processes: complex organic and new materials synthesis, treatment of harmful and toxic industrial wastes, conversion of biomass and heavy petroleum rests. Nevertheless, application of SCFs for environment preservation technologies is more attractive and urgent today.

Boreskov Institute of Catalysis Siberian Branch of Russian Academy of Science (BIC), Novosibirsk and Federal Research and Production Center "Altai" (FRPC), city Biysk are main participants of the project. All participants of proposed work are the leading experts in a project subject, known scientists in the world, qualified engineers and designers, many of which are worked in weapon area a many years.

Supercritical oxidation processes, in particularly water oxidation (SCWO), have been focused as environmentally acceptable technologies for the treatment of various wastes. They advantages are oxidation reactions in SCW occur at significantly lower temperature than combustion reactions, in result, not emissions of nitrogen oxides. Such processes have a high reaction rate in condensed phase, making they suitable for mobile operation; they are very adjustable and have controlled effluent. High destruction efficiencies (> 99.99%) can be achieved by the treatment of many organic compounds. A lot of effects (density and solvation effect on the chemical rate constants) occurring in supercritical fluids are both scientifically interesting and technologically significant.

Most of previous works in above subject done in field of theoretical calculations and lab-scale kinetics and thermodynamics experiment. There are only a few examples in the world when SCWO processes have been realized in pilot and industrial scale.

One objective of the project is to study the fundamental aspects of chemical reactions of the chosen (nitrogen-containing) compounds (ethers C3H5 (ONO2)3, C2H4 (ONO2)2 and others) in supercritical water. The laboratory experiments, mathematical modeling, molecular dynamics, thermodynamics and kinetics calculations will be the main tools at execution of this part of the project and transitive stage to creation of new technology and pilot plant. Non-ideal thermodynamic calculations allow simulating the phase diagrams and critical point of complex multi-component mixes, equilibrium concentrations and partial molar volumes of the reactants. Kinetics models of main chemical reactions in SCW will be developed. Mathematical modeling is needed to describe and predict the main phenomena and effects, to optimize the chemical processes in SCFs and design of supercritical flow reactors and pilot plant. The laboratory experiment allows to study the fluid density effect, hydrodynamics and catalysts influences on the rate of selected chemical reactions in SCW.

Oxidation, (de) hydration, hydrolysis and hydrogenation reactions selected organics compounds in SCW plan to examine for achievement of required selectivity and degree of conversion. The effectiveness of several heterogeneous and homogeneous catalysts will be examined for achievement of required degree of chemical conversion. The fundamental researches will be carried out in the Institute of Catalysis with use of the equipment and devices both acquired for a means of the ISTC grant, and having in the BIC.

A second objective of the project is the design, build-up of reactors and pilot plant for treatment of approximately 100 m3 of wastewater per year in continuous or periodic modes in supercritical conditions. This part of the project includes a choice of reactor constructive materials, solution of the reactor walls corrosion problems as a result of selection of materials and coverings and by application of special un-corrosive methods of shielding and veils. The project is focused also on reach of optimum ways of heating wastewater to supercritical conditions and organization of reactants feed. A final stage of work on the project will be creation of pilot plant, full-scale demonstration tests and its inclusion to technology for treatment of wastewater from manufacture of highly safety on methane and coal’s dust industrial explosives in the FRPC.

The project corresponds completely the main purposes and tasks of ISTC. First, the activity of its many participants working in weapon area will be oriented on creation ecologically pure technologies having commercial application. Second, the project solves fundamental and applied problems and is directed on the solution of the national and international fundamental and technical problems and promotes the international integration of the scientists and experts in this area.

The role foreign collaborators in performance of the proposed project is extremely important, first as experts and second, and partners with experience both knowledge that help in the fast and effective solution of the project’s tasks.

So, proposed project is directed towards the development of fundamental knowledge and the transfer of this know-how to the practical applications by intense scientific co-operation and interaction with many collaborated organizations.

The duration of the project will be 33 months.


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