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Destruction of Organic Wastes in Supercritical Water


Development of Fundamental Basics and Principles of Designing a Universal Mobile Plant for Oxidation of Toxic, Hazardous Organic Wastes and Energetic Materials in Supercritical Water

Tech Area / Field

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

3 Approved without Funding

Registration date

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

Supporting institutes

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


  • The University of Kansas, USA, KS, Lawrence\nKumamoto University, Japan, Kumamoto\nForschungszentrum Karlsruhe in der Helmholts-Gemeinschaft, Germany, Karlsruhe\nSyracuse University / L.G.Smith College of Engineering and Computer Science, USA, NY, Syracuse\nHanwha Chemical R&D Center, Korea, Daejeon\nSupercritical Fluid Technologies, Inc., USA, DE, Newark\nUniversita degli Studi di Salerno / Dipartamento di Ingegneria Chimica e Alimentare, Italy, Salerno\nUniversitat Kaiserslautern, Germany, Kaiserlautern\nHelmut Schmidt Universitat, Germany, Hamburg\nTexas A&M University / Department of Chemical Engineering, USA, TX, College Station\nSEPAREX Supercritical Fluid Technology, France, Champigneulles\nValladolid University, Spain, Valladolid\nUniversity of Michigan / Colledge of Engeneering / Department of Chemical Engineering, USA, MI, Ann Arbor\nUniversity of Illinois / Department of Chemical Engineering, USA, IL, Chicago

Project summary

The project goal is fundamental and applied studies aimed at the getting of new knowledge on chemical conversion of chemical compounds in supercritical fluids, in particular SCW, and designing on the basis of the obtained knowledge of the process and mobile plant for the destruction and oxidation of toxic organic compounds and wastes, toxic chemicals and energetic materials.

It is known that a wide range of wastes includes low-concentrated water solutions of liquid and gaseous compounds that must be converted (oxidized) to ecologically safe products with an efficiency of 99.9%. World experience shows that only the technology of oxidation in supercritical water (SCWO) allows the realization of these processes with the required efficiency. Moreover, supercritical fluids are quite promising for the synthesis of valuable compounds and materials.

Currently, several stationary SCWO plants have been created in the world, which demonstrate excellent operation on the oxidation of organic compounds. However, stationary SCWO plants present some shortcomings, including high costs of equipment, construction and operating premises, inflexibility with regard to waste type, immobility and high overall dimensions. Therefore, the problem of the development of a mobile compact SCWO plant is quite urgent.

Advantages of the mobile SCWO units are as follows: feasible delivery to an industrial spot, rapid assessment of the process efficiency for the oxidation of various wastes, operability in small premises and closed spaces (in sea crafts, underground facilities, etc.), low cost of equipment and operation.

Mobile SCWO units can occupy a separate application niche and serve as an auxiliary facility rather than a competitor for the stationary SCWO plants.

Fundamental tasks of the project devoted to the development of a mobile SCWO unit include the studies of regularities and particular features of the selected chemical reactions and physicochemical processes in SCW. Laboratory experiments, mathematical modeling, thermodynamic and kinetic calculations will be the main tools for the solving these tasks and forming basis for the designing of the SCWO process. Data processing and computer modeling will allow the locating and drift tracing of critical point of a multi-component fluid, calculation of the equilibrium composition of non-ideal mixture, determination of the optimum conditions (solvent concentration, temperature, pressure) for chemical reactions in the reactor, optimization of operating conditions of each constituent unit. Laboratory experiments will help to determine kinetic regularities, to understand how the density and pressure of the supercritical fluid and catalyst presence affect the rate of chemical reaction. Among the most important fundamental tasks of the project are the creation of the database on kinetic characteristics of several tens of chemical reactions performed in SCW and studies of thermophysical properties of the reaction mixture in critical region.

The results of fundamental studies will form the basis for the development and creation of the first in world mobile SCWO plant and new approaches for the reactor designing. In the project framework, it is planned, first, to develop a new concept of an efficient compact reactor of a 50 kg/h throughput for the SCWO of a wide range of wastes, including chlorinated and fluorinated compounds; second, to solve the problem of the reactor material corrosion under high temperature and pressure. To prevent corrosion, it is intended to develop anticorrosive metals, bimetal or alloys coatings, which are supported on the reactor walls by plasma spraying or explosion welding. Final aim the project will be the mounting of the mobile SCWO plant and demonstration of its efficient operation.

The members of the project team are highly skilled scientists and engineers who possess extensive experience of research and applied works and fruitful cooperation with foreign partners in the solving of specified tasks. The team has designed and mounted the first in Russia pilot SCWO plant for the destruction of energetic and toxic organic compounds with a throughput up to 40 kg/h.

The proposed project responds completely to the primary ISTC objectives, focuses on the solving of national and international science and technology problems and promotes international integration of researches and engineers. The role of foreign collaborators is extremely important for the implementation of the proposed project, first, as experts and, second, as partners possessing wide experience and knowledge on the stated tasks.


The International Science and Technology Center (ISTC) is an intergovernmental organization connecting scientists from Kazakhstan, Armenia, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Georgia with their peers and research organizations in the EU, Japan, Republic of Korea, Norway and the United States.


ISTC facilitates international science projects and assists the global scientific and business community to source and engage with CIS and Georgian institutes that develop or possess an excellence of scientific know-how.

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