IT product company Fujitsu has deployed what is being called Japan's first wastewater treatment system to efficiently recovery copper from industrial wastewater by producing sludge, without chemicals.
Deployed in Nagano, Japan by the Toshiba Corporation, the system has been reported to enable a high level of concentration (at least 90%) of copper to be removed from sludge and recycled.
The Nagano facility focuses primarily on the development and production of printed circuit boards. Prior to the introduction of this system, the plant generated a large volume of sludge (35 tons per month) containing processing chemicals and other impurities.
Since deploying the system it has been able to generate a much lower volume (5 tons per month) of sludge with a high concentration of copper.
Toshiba’s system works whereby a coagulant is used in a coagulating sedimentation process to treat the wastewater, generating sludge that contains chemicals.
Through the use of a magnetic functional powder when filtering the wastewater, the new system is able to recover copper without using any chemicals other than a neutralizing agent.
Fujitsu said it will now undertake tests to verify the effects of the new system with a bid to consider extending the system across other group manufacturing facilities.