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Research Helps Chinese Paper Plant Realize Zero Waste Discharge

The treatment film filtering technology turns waste water into clean water, industrial salt and dried mud

May 19, 2015

Chinese researchers have achieved the breakthroughs necessary for zero waste paper plants, significant for environmental protection. Xu Nanping of the Chinese Academy of Engineering said that treatment film filtering technology has turned the 32,000-tonnes of waste water discharged by Jiangsu Oji Paper Co., Ltd each day into clean water, industrial salt and dried mud.

It took Xu and his team from Nanjing Technological University nine months to design the equipment. Xu is also deputy governor of east China’s Jiangsu Province and head of the provincial department of science and technology. The project is managed by a local water treatment firm and has been running successfully since January 2014.

“Zero discharge of pulping waste water is unprecedented,” said Oshima Tadashi, deputy general manager of Jiangsu Oji, a Japanese company with an investment of nearly two billion U.S. dollars.

Paper plants are major polluters worldwide and it is common practice to discharge waste into rivers or the sea after treatment. The Oji plant once planned to discharge waste water into the Yellow Sea via a pipeline but the project was canceled due to protests by people living along the coast. The recycling project cost half as much as the pipeline was expected to and its operation costs are 30 percent lower.

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