Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Purification of purines through electroflotation


ADE Biotec and the INASMET Foundation, both from the Basque Country, after three years of working together, have developed a new purification technique for purines. The technique is based on electroflotation and could be very beneficial for agriculture as it has a high level (80%+) of purification and very low costs (1 euro/m3). Most of the development project has been carried out at a pilot plant on a Toledo pig farm.

Nowadays purines (excrements plus sewage water from farms) constitute one of the most important problems for agriculture, both from an environmental point of view (its massive use produces contamination of water and land), as well as from an economic aspect (its management demands a lot of time and dedication).

The key to this problem is found in the intensification of agriculture: pastoral farms have ever-increasing numbers in their herds. This logically results in an increase of purines on the farms, assuming there is no increase in the extension of the land on which this fertiliser is used.

In recent years new technologies have been proposed to solve the problem of the purification of purines: anaerobic digestion, biological reactors, composting, drying through co-generation, etc. Even so, the sector still does not have any economically and environmentally viable technique to tackle the problem. In this sense, electroflotation could provide an important step to the answer.


Electroflotation consists in transferring the purine from one metal plate to another while injecting a low-voltage electrical current between the plaques. Using this method and, as a consequence of the electric current, two phenomena are observed:

- On the one hand, the iron (Fe2+) from the plates dissolves, coagulating the organic material of the purine and making it flocculent. Thus, the organic material takes the form of small balls and can be easily separated from the water.
- On the other, hydrogen bubbles are created making the organic materia float on the water and creating an upper layer easily extractable.

In this way, more than 80% of the chemical Demand of oxygen (quantity of oxygen consumed by the compounds which are oxidised in the water), phosphorous, and nitrogen can be removed from the purine and thus complying with the requirements for its dumping into tanks or for its use on irrigated land). After the process the purine has the aspect of water that is somewhat clearer than natural cider. Moreover, if the procedure is prolonged, using the appropriate techniques, a liquid which is suitable for release into rivers can be achieved.

Other advantages of this technique are its low costs (1 euro/m3 of purine), chemical reagents being unnecessary and without limitations of scale (i.e. applicable to both large and small farms) as well as its easy automation.

Currently, ADE Biotec has a pilot plant in Santa Cruz de Rematar (Toledo) where 1,000 litres of purine per hour are treated. It is hoped that a new plant will be shortly built with a greater capacity and, thus, to validate the technology at an industrial level.

Garazi Andonegi | Basque Research
Further information:

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Gene therapy shows promise for treating Niemann-Pick disease type C1
27.10.2016 | NIH/National Human Genome Research Institute

nachricht 'Neighbor maps' reveal the genome's 3-D shape
27.10.2016 | International School of Advanced Studies (SISSA)

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

How nanoscience will improve our health and lives in the coming years

27.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

OU-led team discovers rare, newborn tri-star system using ALMA

27.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

'Neighbor maps' reveal the genome's 3-D shape

27.10.2016 | Life Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>