17 Sept 2015
Integrated Environmental Protection Takes Centre Stage in Guangzhou
New mainland government directives aimed at spurring environmental responsibility throughout China saw exhibitors at the China Guangzhou International Environmental Protection Industry Expo only too keen to prove their effectiveness.
The implementation of a new mainland Environmental Protection Law as of 1 January this year has inevitably proved a boost for the green industries. This was more than apparent at the ninth China Guangzhou International Environmental Protection Industry Expo. Among the many new technologies on show, there was also a distinct focus on integrated environmental protection solutions.
Greater efficiency through ever more advanced technology was the mantra for many exhibitors, with all of them keen to play their part in the new era of environmental responsibility envisaged by the central government. In line with this, many systems on display had the capacity to process ever-greater quantities of waste material, while using less energy, less manpower and less space. Chinese companies were well represented, as were international firms – including a number from Hong Kong – with all of them aiming to capitalise on the combination of growing waste output and tighter environmental controls.
Environmental Technology Race
Overall, competition among the exhibitors was fierce, with many displaying new products in an effort to take a clear technological lead. One particularly eye-catching offering came in the shape of the Unmanned Surface Vessel (USV) developed by Zhuhai's Yunzhou Intelligence Technology Ltd (Yunzhou-Tech). The compact, streamlined USV, comes equipped with a waste collection device, with a 360-degree revolving probe, a small horn and a warning light on top, along with two rectangular LED panels on both sides allowing maximum visibility.
According to Chen Zaixing, Sales Manager of Yunzhou-Tech, the company's USVs are mostly used for environmental protection, hydro-geological mapping and cleaning maintenance. The blue and white coloured USV is able to collect floating rubbish, as well as serving several other functions. The automated catamaran provides all-round water surface cleaning at a speed of two metres per second and can collect one cubic metre of floating waste per operation.
The USV needs six to eight hours' battery charging on a domestic 220 volt electric adaptor for every 12 hours' operation. The vessel also comes complete with an LED screen, which can broadcast clients' commercials and environmental protection slogans. Its 360-degree revolving probe can detect and avoid nearby objects, while also providing remote surveillance.
The USV can accommodate clients' specifications, carrying various devices to serve different functions. When installed with side scan sonar, for example, Chen says the vessel can detect hidden pipes in order to prevent the illegal discharge of wastewater. In addition, the craft's small size enables it to be attached to an SUV (sports utility vehicle) for easy deployment. The vessel can then enter restricted zones to remotely survey the conditions within the polluted areas, ensuring safety for any scientific research teams during emergencies.
The USV sells for between Rmb300,000 and Rmb400,000 and is most commonly used in rivers and lakes. With more than 40 cities in 14 provinces already using the vessel, Chen was confident the company had found a real niche.
For those looking for more land-based solutions, Beijing's Foton Daimler Automotive had on offer its Foton Auman EtX9 Dump Truck, which boasts impressive slope climbing ability and high levels of reliability. The truck body has been constructed in line with EEC safety regulations, while its WEVB exhaust valve braking technology raises the braking power by 60%.
Han Xiangyang, the company's Marketing Manager for the Guangzhou region, said: “Construction waste and domestic waste are continuously growing in terms of volume, inevitably boosting the market demand for solutions.” As a response to this, the company has dedicated R&D teams briefed to develop a wide array of dump truck models and varieties.
Many exhibitors at the expo demonstrated an increased focus on comprehensive treatment solutions and services. While some exhibitors were innovative in their technologies, others chose to highlight their long experience in the environmental services sector.
Founded in 1980, Hong Kong's Baguio Green Group was one of the latter. A comprehensive environmental company, it has long provided an array of integrated professional services and has worked with government, public utilities and private organisations. Cao Mingti, the company's representative at the event, said Baguio offers services in four major areas – waste management, environmental sanitation, landscaping and disinfection. It currently employs more than 9,000 staff in Hong Kong.
Cao believes that, in light of the scale of the greater China market and the company's many years of management experience, it is well placed to provide one-stop services for mainland clients. To facilitate this, the company has set up an office in Shenzhen, with plans tackle to projects throughout Guangdong before gradually moving further north.
Shenzhen Hexu Environmental Investment, by contrast, has more of a focus on its technological applications. Hexu bills itself an environmental improvement systems solution and service provider and looks to integrate investment, construction and operations all in one. Since its launch in 2005, the company has provided comprehensive environmental improvement solutions to a number of government departments and investment enterprises, including managing domestic sewage treatment in villages and towns, implementing domestic waste handing programmes, as well as introducing straw and livestock manure pollution control measures.
Innovative Sewage Treatment
During the course of the event, Hexu took the opportunity to showcase its sewage treatment facility. According to He Haibo, Hexu's Vice President, the company can offer integrated as well as distributed sewage treatment facilities, serving both urban and rural areas.
The company's sewage treatment units are equipped with the Bass MBBR, a high-efficiency biofilm reactor. The system comes with a variety of innovative, patented technologies, including the 'A³/O-MBBR' integrated technique, ringed water distribution, gas reflux, solid-liquid separation, and upgraded suspended bio-carriers. All of these are said to contribute to the low-energy, low-cost de-nitrogenation and de-phosphorisation of wastewater, while also improving performance.
He said that the company's 6m x 2.7m x 2.9m unit can treat 60 tonnes of wastewater each day in accordance with Class 1A drainage standards. The facility consumes only 0.5 kWh of electricity for every tonne of wastewater, with the whole treatment process operated automatically, thus cutting labour requirements. The unit was originally launched in 2012 and is still said to be selling well.
Another exhibitor, Haosen Wanrong, a Zhuhai-based water treatment technology company, chose to showcase its spin flocculation sludge-water separation (SFSWS) system. Tang Shengwen, the company's representative, said, compared with traditional sludge-water separation methods, the SFSWS technique significantly reduces the land area required. Apart from cost reduction, this technique also solves the problems of floating sludge and anti-phosphorisation.
Shenzhen's KWD Group was also displaying wastewater treatment equipment. Representing the company, Cheng Lianghuisaid its greatest strengths lay in its vacuum and evaporation applications. Its system allows for evaporated water to be emitted directly after the cooling process, as the equipment is designed and produced for full automation. Cheng added that the company's products are sold both domestically and overseas, with its largest international markets being Japan and the US.
Solid Waste Treatment
China's municipal waste output is now around eight billion tonnes per annum. With the refuse generation rate continuing to grow by around 5-8% a year, the land area designated waste sites is also increasing, rising by an average 4.8% per year. This is seen as inevitably leading to a clear public health hazard.
One company set on tackling this is Shanghai Shenjia Sanwa Co, a Sino-Japanese joint venture, specialising in solid waste integrated treatment solutions, as well as the engineering of solid waste recycling applications. The firm's integrated municipal waste treatment technology systems handle sorting and selection, recycled plastic granulation, refuse-derived-fuel (RDF), gasification-power and anaerobic biogas.
Hou Xurui, the company's Head of Technical Support, said its mainland operations mostly focus on domestic waste treatment. He maintains that, at present, landfills are a necessary solution for waste management, as China has an enormous domestic waste market with huge unmet demand. Direct landfill is, however, seen as irresponsible, with all domestic waste needing to be sorted before proceeding to landfill sites.
As China's domestic waste is mixed, Sanwa's patented 'bounce separator' is designed to sort different types of garbage, which can then be processed further. Sorted plastic, for instance, can be recycled into garbage bins or chairs in order to fulfil recycling objectives, with recycled plastic fetching between Rmb3,000 and Rmb4,000 per tonne.
Also attracting a lot of attention at the event were the absorbable organic binding materials available from Germany's OILEX. Its materials are used for cleaning up oil leaks, speedily and efficiently absorbing all sorts of oils, including fuel, hydraulics, engine lubricants, gasoline and chemicals. The company also provides 24-hour emergency services for disaster events around the world.
Another exhibitor at the expo, a Shenzhen-based ecological technology company Runcheng, drew considerable attention with its three-dimensional planting exhibits. The company claims to be able to tailor-make various types of greening for roofs, vertical walls, verandas and indoor environments.
Also exciting interest was Dingfei, a Xiamen-based environmental technology firm, which launched an eco-tank with a negative-ion air purifier at the fair. The device integrates ecologically sound fish breeding with negative-ion purification, enabling simultaneous aquatic farming and air purification.
Similarly of note was the water- and bamboo-charcoal ceramic domestic water purifier on offer from Jiangsu's Yabo Environmental Protection Materials. Designed with a surprisingly elegant and antique appearance, the device purifies water via bamboo charcoal filtering. Through the three processes of filtration, extra-strength absorption and water improvement, the filtered drinking water is said to have an appealingly mellow taste.
The 9th China Guangzhou International Environmental Protection Industry Expo was held at the China Import and Export Fair Pazhou Complex in Guangzhou from 20-22 of August. The exhibition featured some 960 stands and attracted 40,000 professional visitors from across Asia, Europe and America.
Xing Bin, Special Correspondent, Guangzhou