Wabag project in Iran proves nitrate-removal technologies

A three-year research project on nitrate-removal in Iran, including reverse-osmosis and ion-exchange desalination treatment, was successfully concluded in January 2009 by Vienna-based Wabag.

Various high-performance processes for removing nitrates from drinking water, including two in-house developments from Wabag, were tested in Mashhad, which has 2.6 million inhabitants and is Iran’s second largest city.

Mashhad’s supply is largely obtained from groundwater, which, especially in summer, can be in short supply. In addition, probably as a result of inadequate wastewater treatment, increased inputs of nitrogen have led to a rise in the level of nitrates in the water from numerous wells. These nitrates require advanced processes in order to reduce them to the WHO stipulated value of 50 mg/L and below.

The related research project was initiated and delivered within the scope of German/Iranian co-operation. As the technology leader, together with German research institutes and relevant ministries, Wabag selected four suitable processes, designed and delivered all pilot plants, put them into operation on site and also provided operational management support.

The following processes have been tested in continuous operation:

  • Biological denitrification (the Wabag Bioden® process)
  • Reverse osmosis (RO)
  • Ion exchange (IE)
  • Electrodialysis process (the Wabag ENR® process)
  • The results showed that all four processes could meet the desired requirements: the nitrate content was reduced from approx 120&nbspmg/L to 40&nbspmg/L and below. The best overall ratings were achieved by the Bioden and RO processes.

    The test series also demonstrated, says Wabag, that its Bioden and ENR technologies for nitrate removal are capable of safely turning groundwater with a high saline content into clean drinking-water. Also, that RO and IE desalination processes can provide safe nitrate removal.

    For more information, contact Dr Floran Hell, Wabag Research & Development
    Tel: +43 1 25105-4375
    Email: [email protected]
    Web: www.wabag.com