Filtering Waste Water for Heavy Metals Prior to Release of Influent Solves Many Problems

I’ve always said that corporations do not need regulations to force them to recycle or to reduce their waste. This is because any smart Six Sigma business process wouldn’t have any waste anyways. Anything left over in the manufacturing process is waste, and waste costs money, it is materials not used, components thrown away, mistakes which have been discharged, or is the loss of heat, chemicals, or pollution into the air.

Every molecule of air pollution is a form of matter. It takes energy to form molecules, and once formed they are worth something for some other process, perhaps to some other customer. In the local county for which I now reside half of the year, there is a newsletter put out where all industrialized businesses can list all of their waste, and anyone can come pick it up for free. That’s a good way to deal with recyclables, and it means the company doesn’t have to pay to have it hauled away. That makes sense right? Let’s take this conversation to a higher level, as you know I run a think tank, and I’m interested in solving larger problems.

Now then, there was an interesting piece on Gizmag Online (new technologies) titled; “New process recycles rare earth elements from wastewater,” by Ben Coxworth published on October 31, 2013.

Recycling REEs (Rare-Earth Elements) from waste water makes sense, and it could be a profit center for sewer treatment plants partnering with industry. Imagine removing the cost of a POTW from a city’s budget, helping with the energy costs – that could really help cities challenged with legacy costs and budgets. Many of these Rare-Earth Elements or REEs, had been formed and come from the center of the earth, or below the Earth’s crust – or perhaps landed here from a comet or asteroid long ago.

Many compounds of this type were created under extreme pressures, and we don’t find those types of pressures on the earth’s surface, rather we find them in the depths of the ocean, or inside the earth. Places of great upheaval where there is lots of seismic activity or volcanoes, it often distributes some of this material upon the surface, and becomes part of the mountain ranges. When that erodes, it flows into rivers, lakes, the Deltas and into the sea.

REEs also end up in our water supply and those things that we discharge into the sewer treatment plant. Basically it becomes a waste, but these are things we so desperately need for high-tech manufacturing, in our industrial age. It makes sense that we should mine these materials from the waste that we let go into our waterways and oceans.

Much of these elements and compounds are considered heavy metals, and not necessarily good for organic life. We can kill two birds with one stone, make some extra money, and pay for all the upgrades and energy costs of running our publicly owned treatment works and sewer treatment plant. Please consider all this and think on it.

Lance Winslow has launched a new provocative series of eBooks on Future Recycling Concepts. Lance Winslow is a retired Founder of a Nationwide Franchise Chain, and now runs the Online Think Tank;

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