Great Lakes Regional Pollution Prevention Roundtable
Promoting Pollution Prevention Through Information Exchange

GLRPPR Sector Resource: Wet Air Oxidation

Wet Air Oxidation

Aqueous waste streams are generated from some manufacturing processes and from waste treatment processes such as absorption, adsorption, and membrane filtration. These waste streams are often too dilute for incineration and too refractory or toxic to be treated by other chemical and biological processes. Wet Air Oxidation (WAO, oxidation in aqueous phase) has proven to be an effective technology for ultimate destruction of a variety of these hazardous wastes. In 1984, the USEPA specified WAO as a "Best Demonstrated Available Technology (BDAT)" for many land-banned wastes under the Hazardous and Solid Waste Amendments to the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act(RCRA). As environmental regulations on discharge of harmful substances become restricted further, the use of WAO stands out as an efficient and cost-effective alternative for treating toxic and hazardous waste. WAO has been tested on process waste streams from petrochemical, pharmaceutical, pesticide, and metal processing industries. Concentrated waste streams such as industrial sludge, spend carbon from adsorption processes, or residuals from membrane separation processes can be treated successfully with WAO.


Illinois Waste Management and Research Center

Resource Type:
Fact sheet/checklist

Date of Publication:
December 1998

Associated Sectors:

GLRPPR is a member of the Pollution Prevention Resource Exchange, a national network of regional information centers: NEWMOA (Northeast), WRRC (Southeast), GLRPPR (Great Lakes), ZeroWasteNet (Southwest), P2RIC (Plains), Peaks to Prairies (Mountain), WSPPN (Pacific Southwest), PPRC (Northwest).


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