July 3, 2022

The Queens County Citizen

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Sorrel-Tracy | Giving Poo … a second life

Sorrel-Tracy |  Giving Poo ... a second life

It is now possible to reuse body waste due to the hydrothermal oxidation laboratory. This unique pilot project in Canada is led by the Center for Technology Transfer in Industrial Ecology (CTTEI). Overview.

Posted at 10:00 a.m. yesterday

Samuel Larochel

Samuel Larochel
Special contribution

As a general rule, toilet water goes to the water treatment plant. Solid elements called “the supernatant” must be decontaminated, filtered and chlorinated, and the collected water must be tested and discharged into waterways.

In terms of solid residues, about 450 Quebec municipalities process them into large uncovered ponds. “Municipal sludge, we are talking about feces, municipalities accumulate in 10 to 25 years to drain it,” explained CTTEI Director General Claude Mahex-Picard.

Photo provided by Center for Technology Transfer in Industrial Ecology

Pilot unit of CTTEI

CTTEI wants to provide an alternative to this last step. “Our hydrothermal oxidation unit allows us to collect clear water and sand – like inorganic substances at low temperatures, without producing pollutants. This sand is used in concrete to prevent sludge transport and centrifugation.”

Preliminary studies conducted at Sorrel-Tracy show a 40% saving compared to the solution previously considered for evacuating aerated ponds. Financial interest is our main problem as landfill costs are low in Quebec.

Claude Mahex-Picard, CTTEI General Manager

Valuable skill

For 23 years, the Center has been trying to increase the performance of businesses and associations by helping to divert their waste from landfills, which can be seen as residues or by-products. “We see these materials as real resources that companies themselves or others in the vicinity can reuse. ⁇

Researchers, engineers, chemists and technicians analyze the composition of materials to determine if they are hazardous, whether contaminants need to be extracted from them and to whom they are interested. “Every business brings us a new challenge. It keeps our team excited. We want to show companies their waste as a business opportunity rather than a money-spending management. ⁇

Other achievements

This focus of industrial ecology pushes industries towards zero waste, material and human resource optimization, as well as the revival of local ecology. Among CTTEI’s other successes, note its partnership with Société Laurentide in recycling paint cans that Quebecars bring back to hardware stores and surplus paint in stores. One of the solutions found was: the use of latex milk found in these paints in pavement concrete to improve its resistance to freeze-tha cycles and de-icing salt.

According to Claude Mahex-Picard, companies and municipalities are more interested in these examples of the circular economy than ever before. “The epidemic is focused on the possibility of doing things differently. Now that people and governments have a better understanding of what it is, there are more funding programs to support our work. And activities, there are!” Our team is constantly evolving. “

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