Wastewater if managed intelligently can be brought to numerous constructive uses. Bringing a sustainable management solution for wastewater into limelight is a Victoria University student, who proposed this ingenious method as part of his PhD project. His idea is undergoing commercial development as an exciting clean technology project called Wetox. Under this project, wastewater and runoff from dairy farms, wineries, and meatworks in New Zealand will be treated to convert it into usable by-products such as water, steam, fertilizer and acetic acid.
Wetox short form for wet oxidation is a process that helps in eliminating smelly, liquid organic sludge from wastewater using heat and oxygen under high pressure. Due to the high cost associated with this process, it has not seen commercial use until now. But, this new method developed the New Zealand researchers is quite cost effective. Acetic acid that has a wide variety of uses in manufacturing, from plastics and glues to fabric, household cleansers, and food additives presently comes from petroleum feedstocks. This new project shows way to acetic acid from non-toxic, sustainable non-petroleum feedstock.