The project focuses on the construction of a recycling line for waste bentonites used during clarification processes in wineries, although the solution could be further adapted to clays from different sources. The treatment line will be constituted by two modules: the first one for the purification and chemical modification of the raw material and the second one for the conditioning of it through drying and milling processes. The final product will be a bentonite-Fe3O4 complex with great retention capacity for a range of heavy metals present in industrial waste waters. The project includes activities related to the testing of the efficiency of the obtained product both individually and incorporated into several treatment systems that will be constructed during the project duration, with the aim of providing a range of proved real solutions for different industrial processes.
It is worth to mention that this project will suppose two great environmental advantages. On the one side, it will develop the first industrial line for the recycling of bentonites, a product generated in great amounts and that nowadays is discharged in landfills or collected by alcohol-producing plants, where they can be treated by means of a process which consumes great amounts of energy and generates considerable amounts of CO2. Despite bentonites are not toxic products their presence in soils can considerably affect the properties of the ecosystems. On the other side, the developed solution will be applied to the removal of heavy metals present in waste waters produced in different industrial sectors, thus helping to reduce a very important environmental problem. In addition, although the focus of the project is the removal of heavy metals, the developed complex could be also an efficient adsorbent for other groups of contaminants that must be eliminated from industrial wastes.
Furthermore, due to the presence of a magnetic particle in the complex, the withdrawal of the adsorbent once the removal of toxic elements has finished can be easily carried out by means of a magnet.