Molybdenum removal from wastewater: what is involved?

Molybdenum removal from wastewater: what is involved?

Molybdenum removal from industrial wastewaters occurs in a variety of ways, but could a more innovative treatment process be developed? Let’s find out…

What is Molybdenum?

An essential trace mineral, molybdenum is a naturally-occurring metal that can be found in small amounts in rocks, soil, plants, animals and bacteria. It is also found in foods such as milk, cheese, cereal grains, nuts, leafy vegetables, and organ meats.

Molybdenum is used in the production of structural steel, stainless steel, cast iron and other alloys, aswell as in the manufacture of various electronic components, pigments, and other specialty applications such as metal finishing.

Molybdenum can therefore be found in the wastewaters generated by these industries.

Is molybdenum harmful?

Molybdenum is considered an essential trace element for human health. It cleans up waste in the body, gets rid of sulphites and prevents uric acid buildup.

However, as with many elements, exposure to high doses of molybdenum can be detrimental and there is some evidence that prolonged, very high-level exposure may result in higher uric acid levels and gout-like illness.

Methods for molybdenum removal

There are a number of existing processes for molybdenum removal:

Ion exchange: this is a method of removing molybdenum from wastewater by exchanging unwanted ions for other ions of the same charge.

However, this method is expensive as it involves high set up and operating costs. In addition, this method of molybdenum removal is not effective in the treatment of oily wastewaters.

Reverse osmosis: a type of filtration, this form molybdenum removal forces water through a semi permeable or selective membrane that separates the contaminants from the water.

The thin-film membranes have a limited pH and chlorine tolerance and are vulnerable to bacteria. They can also degrade at temperatures greater than 35oC. As a result, they must be frequently replaced, which has cost and manpower implications.

Distillation systems: this water treatment process involves boiling water so it evaporates into steam. The molybdenum is left behind, as are other heavy metals, organics and inorganics. This process also kills bacteria, viruses and other microbes.

Distillation does not remove volatiles, and other chemicals with a boiling point lower than or near that of water. This process may also have a corrosive effect to plumbing.

Molybdenum removal from Aqua Advice

After assessing the benefits and drawbacks of existing methods of molybdenum removal, Aqua Advice has developed a unique and innovative treatment method using of novel technology.

Using a chemical precipitation process, we developed a process that enabled the molybdenum to be precipitated at a pH of 6.5 so the molybdenum did not go back into solution.

This efficient, single-stage settlement process removes molybdenum and heavy metals to below consent levels.

With over 30 years in the wastewater treatment industry, Aqua Advice has innovative and effective methods for removing molybdenum and other contaminants from your wastewater. Get in touch to find out more.