Membrane bioreactor chosen to treat wastewater on Queen Mary 2

Orelis, a Rhodia subsidiary and specialist in membrane filtration technologies, has just installed a very compact treatment plant onboard the Queen Mary 2, the world's largest cruise ship.

Chicago, April 19, 2004 -- Orelis, a Rhodia subsidiary and specialist in membrane filtration technologies, has just installed a very compact treatment plant onboard the Queen Mary 2, the world's largest cruise ship who set sail on maiden voyage on January 12, 2004.

This plant will treat 39,000 ft3/day of wastewater and discharge perfectly clean water back into the sea all thanks to Orelis' PLEIADE® external loop membrane bioreactor technology. The system can be compared in size to the wastewater treatment plant for a town of 8,000 inhabitants.

This technology enables the ship to operate in waters protected by extremely stringent wastewater discharge regulations. Using this technological performance, the Queen Mary 2 can be called the first entirely "environmental friendly" ocean liner.

As a proven technology applied to industrial effluent treatment, the PLEIADE® ultra-filtration process from Orelis has been used successfully for over 25 years in Japan for recycling building wastewater. This leading edge technology has now found further application in the construction of a new generation of cleaner ships, more respectful of the oceans' ecosystem.

The PLEIADE® membrane process brings an economical, high performance and upgradeable solution for reducing wastewater production at source, recycling wastewater or treating effluent for safe discharge into the sea. It provides fully autonomous control of the complete water cycle.

Associated with biological treatment, PLEIADE® ultra-filtration membrane technology enables significantly higher performance in terms of waste treatment, compared to conventional biological treatment plants. It also ensures compliance with the most stringent environmental protection standards.

This modular, ultra-compact system is particularly suitable for tight space constraints such as ships' lower decks and bilges. The PLEIADE® system's modularity offers adaptability to various changes in terms of the quality and volume of wastewater to be treated.

It is also simple and easy to use. The "external" loop-mounted membranes can be inspected visually, in contrast to "immersed" ultra-filtration membranes. Both installation and maintenance activities are facilitated by easy access, similar to that of a simple pump or a marine motor. In addition, full automation of treatment and membrane cleaning provides ongoing and uninterrupted operation throughout the entire voyage, including stopovers.

With its numerous benefits such as high waste treatment performance levels, compact design, ease of use and maintenance, the PLEIADE® membrane bio-reactor provides the perfect answer to all the liners' requirements, especially their goal of operating a totally environmental friendly cruise ship. This technology is also available for warships, inhabited oil platforms, or any other type of floating vessel operating in protected waters and requiring high quality wastewater treatment prior to offshore discharge. It can be adapted to retrofit older vessels.

About Rhodia Orelis

Rhodia Orelis, a provider of membrane technology filtration, offers manufacturers, civil engineers and local authorities technologies, products and services for reducing pollution at its source and for treating wastewater with emphasis on water or treatment product recycling. Orelis is a Rhodia group subsidiary.

As a worldwide specialty chemical group and an organization committed to sustainable development, Rhodia develops broad ranges of innovations for the foodstuff, industrial, pharmaceutical, agrochemical, automobile, electronics, textile and consumer goods industries by providing tailor-made solutions for its clients based on the crossover of its technologies and markets. In 2003, Rhodia achieved revenues of 5.5 billion Euros. It employs about 23,000 people worldwide. The company is currently seeking business contacts in both the United States and Canada.

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