At Polyeco we constantly invest in research and development and strive for continuous improvement of our processes, as well as the development of new methods for sustainable and total waste management. In practice, we prove our orientation towards sustainable development and environmental enhancement, through the recovery and final disposal of increasing quantities and different types of industrial waste in our facilities in Greece.
The goal of the project is to develop a semi-continuous or continuous soil feed system for the removal of organic pollutants from heavily polluted soils through the advanced oxidation processes of cold plasma. The up-to-date studies in batch reactors with synthetic pollutants have revealed that the main advantages of the cold plasma technology, compared to the conventional ones applied at large-scale for the ex situ soil remediation (e.g. incineration, bioremediation), are: the low energy cost, the fast oxidation of pollutants, and the weak environmental fingerprint. To optimize the operational parameters of cold plasma under real and variable conditions, tests will be performed on a batch reactor for various soil types contaminated by a variety of mixtures of organic pollutants. The results of tests will be utilized for the development of a semi-continuous or continuous soil feed reactor (or array of reactors) of co plasma with a remediation capacity of 10-20 kg-soil/hr. The performance of this prototype lab-scale apparatus will be evaluated with respect to the removal efficiency of real pollutants from real soils, whereas its functions will be automated. Finally, the cost for the installation and operation of a large-scale pilot unit will be estimated, and a cost-benefit analysis will be carried out to assess the long-term viability of such a unit.
The management of end-of-life photovoltaic (EOL-PV) panels is an important issue that is anticipated to become very critical in the years to come. The project PHOTOREC concerns the management of EOL-PV in a circular economy concept. PVs are installed in a decentralized manner and the presence of hazardous components and significant amounts of valuable materials and critical elements renders their end-of-life valorization very important. Thus, the planning of appropriate management practices for PV waste is of high priority for their timely and successful implementation, with positive prospects for society and market as well. The project involves designing a mobile dismantling unit for EOL-PVs, implementing and setting-up a prototype for material/metal recovery at lab scale and life cycle assessment for the various alternatives.
Representative samples of soils contaminated with various organic pollutants as well as oil-drilling cuttings (drilling muds) will be selected, and their properties will be determined. At the same time, the advanced oxidation of polluted soils and drilling cuttings will be studied at lab-scale, by injecting an ozone-enriched gas or ozone-diluted aqueous phase through a soil column. A laboratory soil ozonation apparatus will be designed and constructed under semi-batch conditions and a systematic parametric analysis of the performance of the advanced oxidation process through ozone delivery will be carried out. A numerical model will be developed to describe the multiphase flow, mass transfer and oxidation processes in porous media (soil) and used to estimate the kinetic parameters of reactive processes. The lab-scale tests will become the basis to specify the design parameters for manufacturing a mobile pilot unit with a processing capacity “on-site” 500 kg / cycle of polluted soil treatment. Subsequently, semi-industrial scale tests will be conducted on contaminated soils and oil-drilling cuttings to optimize the system performance, in terms of efficient soil decontamination under realistic conditions. Finally, a feasibility study of a large scale unit of estimated capacity 20t / h will be done, the environmental impact of the technology will be assessed, and a benchmarking of ozonation vs other competitive technologies will be carried out.