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Industrial Chemistry Research Institute


Department of Separation and Purification of Chemical Compounds; Rydygiera 8, 01-793 Warsaw, Poland; Phone number: +48 22 568 20 39, Fax number: +48 22 568 23 90; Website:


The most important element of the process is separation of the main pollutants of wastewater i.e. ethylene glycol from sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3). The crude wastewater stream (see scheme 1) is first subjected to a three-stage nanofiltration process resulting in desalination permeate I and final concentrated retentate solution (concentrate I). Concentrate I makes up to 15 vol. % of the processed wastewater stream and is directed to the factory wastewater biological treatment system. Permeate I bears ethylene glycol that can be recovered from the wastewater by a low-energy-consuming reverse osmosis process. The process yields in concentrate II, which makes 30 vol. % of the processed wastewater stream and is recycled to the ethylene glycol distillation system for final separation of glycol from water. Permeate II is of the same purity as the factory process water and thus it is recycled. The industrial scale installation is presented in Photos 1 and 2.


• reduction of the volume of discharged production wastewater by 88%
• reduction of wastewater COD by 92%
• recovery and recycle of 86% of ethylene glycol pollutant of the wastewater
• energy savings due to concentration of ethylene glycol from the aqueous solution

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National Contact Point

dr Włodzimierz A. Sokół
National Contact Point for Eco-efficient Technologies and Management Systems
Central Mining Institute (GIG)

Plac Gwarkow 1
40-166 Katowice

Tel: +48 32 259 22 11
Fax: +48 259 22 11