Dryden Aqua's Advanced Filtration Medium (AFM) is made from green and brown glass from recycled bottles, which has a much lower market value than white glass. It has already been tested in wastewater treatment plants and swimming pools, as well as undergoing small-scale tests with the UK's Wessex Water and Suffolk Water, while Scottish Water is currently looking for a larger site to scale up the trials.
The reprocessed glass replaces increasingly scarce silica sand and reduces the amount of quarrying needed. Entec's report on the new material also showed that, compared to traditional methods of filtration, it needed less maintenance and backwashing, provided enhanced particulate removal and more contaminant removal, and had a longer life. Currently AFM costs around £400 (E600) a tonne, which is four times the cost of good quality sand, but the price is expected to fall considerably when the factory is in large-scale production.
The £1million (E1.5million) factory where the AFM will be produced is being funded by Defra (the UK Government's Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) as well as the Waste and Resources Action Programme (Wrap).
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