Water expertise France

Sanitation and rainwater

INNOVATION / Industrial pilot on Air Wet Oxidation developped with Aix Marseille University to treat specific wastes


Sanitation and rainwater ( 28 posts )

Industrial and Plant wastewaters contain chemicals difficult to dispose and whose treatment is complex and expensive

R&D organisms: INOVERTIS, Aix-Marseille University (AWO pilot), Chamber of Commerce of Drôme (IFS)

Financing organisms: CIFRE ANRT Agency

R&D Organism’s Annual budget or turnover : Turnover 4 M euros

Date: 2012-2015


A few words on the innovation…

Industrial and Plant wastewaters contain chemicals difficult to dispose and whose treatment is complex and expensive. INOVERTIS and its partners developed an industrial pilot on Air Wet Oxidation to validate the feasibility of the technology to treat several wastes.

Technology principle:

- Implementation of water in sub- or supercritical conditions;

- Modification of solving properties of water according to the conditions (p,T)


Background of the challenge

Main values

+ To find clean alternatives for industrial wastes, WWTPs sludge’s and liquid wastes incineration

+ To help industrial companies (chemistry, textile, paper, leather and health) in their innovation project

+ To optimize solutions for specific wastes treatment

+ To find new ways of recycling solid wastes


Description of the Innovation

 A family of processes, called hydrothermal conversion, includes oxidation process combining pressure and temperature: high temperatures to activate the reactions and high pressures to keep the water in the liquid state. In these processes, the reactor is fed with the diluted waste (in water) and the oxidant, which can be air, pure oxygen or hydrogen peroxide H2O2 (which decomposes under the effect of heat in water and oxygen). These processes are particularly suitable for treating effluents too dilute to be incinerated.

The wet air oxidation (WAO) or oxidation in subcritical water consists to oxidize the organic fraction from an aqueous effluent or a slurry, without removal of water, by contact in a reactor, with an oxidizing agent at a temperature generally between 150 and 325 ° C for a total pressure (air or oxygen, depending on the choice of the oxidizing agent) of 2 to 17, 5 MPa. Under these conditions, the oxygen solubility in water is greater than in the ambient conditions, which favors the kinetics of degradation of the organic fraction in CO2 and H2O.


Possible areas of application:

Waste Water Treatment Plants (WWTP) and industrial companies (chemistry, textile, paper, leather and health for example).

 Projects where the innovation was implemented: in progress.

An Industrial pilot on Air Wet Oxidation as been developed with Aix Marseille University.


More information (link to webpage)

IFS Website to have more information about supercritical fluids: http://www.supercriticalfluid.org/

INOVERTIS Web Site (French): http://www.a3i-inno.fr/index.php/rad/projets-en-cours/demeau.html


Download : Voir la fiche-projet en français