Proceedings

Metals Removal from Final Effluent using Virotec Filtration Media

Lowe, M., Aqua Enviro Limited, UK

(free)

Introduction

A tertiary treatment system has been operated at Marley WwTw, Yorkshire Water, using ViroFilter
media technology for the removal of metals from. If successful the study could provide options to keep
the site compliant with the tightening EA consent standards in the Yorkshire Water region.
ViroFilter media is a product of alumina production using the Bayer Process that generates a highly
alkaline red mud. Due to the red mud’s caustic nature (pH > 13.2) there are significant environmental
issues concerning its storage. The red mud can however, be neutralised using the Basecon™ process,
which in turn produces the Virotec product. It is this product which can be used to remove phosphorus (as well as heavy metals) from a waste stream such as a final effluent. The media is available in powder, pellet or slurry form. The pellets of ViroFilter media can be utilised as filter media in tertiary treatment to primarily remove metals to meet consent limits, but also further reduce suspended solids and BOD concentrations from a wastewater stream. The primary objective of the study was to observe the properties of the ViroFilter media with regard to maximum adsorption capacity, maximum adsorption speed, and the time-scale allowed for removal and re-filling of a filter. Heavy metals removal during the project was the main point of interest.

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