Bad Soden, Germany,

Pure air thanks to pure oxygen

Messer, the largest privately run industrial gases specialist, is supplying Südzucker AG in Ochsenfurt, Germany, with pure oxygen in order to eliminate oxygen deficiency in settling ponds – and to prevent recurrences in the future. Oxygen injection here supports the natural purification processes.

The large quantities of water which Südzucker uses to wash beets are treated in a wastewater treatment plant. The wastewater is stored temporarily in settling ponds. Aerobic bacteria here already decompose some of the organic substances in the water, such as sugar and beet residues. But last spring an oxygen deficiency upset the chemical balance of the water in the sugar factory’s settling ponds and released objectionable odours. Because where there is a lack of oxygen, decomposition processes occur rapidly. With partial oxygenation (PO process) from Messer, the problem was soon solved: the injection of pure oxygen raised the oxygen content in the ponds again, thereby effectively suppressing the decomposition.

Messer installed a network of fine-pored aeration hoses from which tiny bubbles of pure oxygen flow continuously and quickly dissolve in the water over a wide area at the bottom of the settling ponds. And the aeration hoses offer an additional benefit: their use does not consume any energy. Südzucker in Ochsenfurt will continue to use the PO process until the expansion of their wastewater treatment plant.

Many different conditions, such as the degradation of sunken biomass, can cause oxygen deficiency in bodies of standing water in the summer. Messer has developed a rapid solution for this: the use of hose mat, which can be simply laid in a body of water which has turned foul, makes it possible to inject oxygen rapidly and effectively. This involves aeration hoses that have been pre-assembled on metal frames.