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The SCWO method

About the SCWO technology

SCWO is short for Supercritical Water Oxidation – an innovative wastewater treatment technology refined by Aquarden. Aquarden’s proprietary Waterox system makes use of the properties of water in its supercritical phase to dissolve and oxidize even the toughest organic compounds including health-threatening toxins.


How Aquarden’s SCWO system, Waterox, works

The Aquarden reactor heats and pressurizes wastewater and air to above 374 °C and 221 bar. At these conditions water turns supercritical. Because inorganic salts have very low solubility in this supercritical phase of water, they precipitate and are concentrated as brine. The brine can then be safely disposed of or diluted.

The salt-free supercritical wastewater is then further heated to 450-550 °C, where all organics – including the toughest of harmful toxic compounds – are completely destroyed. The end product is water virtually free of salts and organics. This product is so clean and safe that it can be disposed of through the sewage system, sent to the sea, or reused as process water.

Phase diagram

Why is Waterox better?

We have developed and refined our Waterox technology through years of research and development from early concept through to today’s SCWO industrial systems. Waterox is a leap forward in cleantech technology because it completely destroys organic compounds while competitive systems only dilute.

SCWO not only cleans better than competitive systems. Studies also document that SCWO is the more cost-efficient alternative to traditional methods, such as incineration, chemical oxidations, and others.

  • All organics are eliminated producing harmless CO2 and water
  • Compounds containing nitrogen are fully oxidized producing harmless N2
  • Compounds containing sulphur oxidize to form sulfate
  • Compounds with phosphor convert to phosphate
  • Halogens are converted to their corresponding mineral acids
  • The process produces no toxic by-products
SCWO Reactor
What types of wastewater can SCWO treat?

Aquarden Waterox technology is a powerful method for dealing with tough, hazardous organic compounds produced across a variety of industries: Pharmaceuticals, Chemical, Biotech, LandfillsPetrochemical, Hospitals, etc. Because SCWO completely destroys all organics, our Waterox technology can be applied to a wide variety of wastewater types:

  • Medicinal drugs
  • Hormones and hormone disrupting compounds
  • Pesticides
  • Phenols
  • Chlorinated phenols
  • Solvents
  • Etc.
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