So much more than “waste”

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Building a profitable, circular economy from tailings, residues, sediments and water with INVOQUE sustainable performance dewatering

Humanity has always been resourceful. Our unique ability to discover has transformed our world and our societies, largely to our benefit. However our insatiable appetite for the very resources that have driven our success is diminishing their availability, while also contributing to unprecedented levels of waste and water pollution.

The focus on the Circular Economy is one way in which we can mitigate the effects of our endeavors. We can massively improve the yield of our finite resources, reduce the carbon footprint and lessen the impact on scarce water resources, by seeking novel ways to exploit not just the primary materials we extract, or the primary products we produce, but by also creating multiple or extended lifecycles for these materials, their products and their associated waste-streams.

This beneficial use of materials is a vital initiative that fits perfectly with a core element of Clariant’s vision: to help to shape our future by creating value through sustainability and innovation. Business leaders must enable the circular economy for it to truly deliver value, and in this area our Sediment Management business is already making an impact.

Tasked specifically to work with the global extractive industries to unlock the value of sediments and residues, delivering customer value in the circular economy is the raison-d’étre for this recent newcomer to the Business Unit Functional Minerals.

Invoque, our proprietary mineral-based conditioning and dewatering process, is turning the tide on waste perception. It is helping problem holders to discover both new and untapped opportunities for the beneficial use of materials previously viewed as unusable, hard- to-treat, or simply as waste. What’s more, Invoque can deliver superior filtrate water quality from previously contaminated water streams, which in many cases can then be returned directly to the environment.

Invoque is creating value from mineral/metal ores, mine tailings, tunnelling and dredging spoil, and contaminated or environmental sediments, all whilst delivering enhanced productivity and improved water resource management performance.

Through Invoque our goal is to deliver improved options for reusability/recovery so that unwanted resources are converted to sustainable secondary materials. It also provides both technical and economic performance benefits throughout the process. This is possible through enhanced handling characteristics, reduced energy and water consumption, lower capital investment and downstream logistics costs, and lower operational interface requirements.

Successful large-scale trials at one of Europe’s largest ports demonstrate its value.

In Spring 2016, around 1,000 tons of dewatered harbor silt was generated over an approximate two-week period using an Invoque three-component high-performance dewatering process that contains no harmful chemicals. The following benefits were delivered compared to the incumbent treatment:

• Enhanced dewatering rate by 15%

• Improved sediment shear strength by 27%

• 20% higher solids content in the dewatered sediment

• Increased batch throughput by up to 25%

• Created sustainable value chain for extracted sediments from the River Elbe

• Low complexity solution–increased plant availability/low staffing requirements

• Reduced need for maintenance for cleaning/replacement of filter clothing

From the point of view of the sustainable use of resources, benefits such as these open up opportunities for owners to sell the produced sediment as a raw material and avoid or offset further deposition of the material in landfill/landbuild. They therefore contribute significantly towards circular economy goals around sustainability and resource stewardship.

The financial benefits of being able to sell former waste materials are clear and substantial. What’s more, the improved sustainability performance allows businesses to become substantially better corporate citizens.

At Clariant, we think this is something worth pursuing. It is precious to us. And to you.

Discover the power of Invoque at www.clariant.com/Invoque