Sumitomo Corporation of Americas Signs Sales Agreement to Market EcoVAP's Groundbreaking Wastewater Solutions
Sumitomo Corporation of Americas ("SCOA") has signed a non-exclusive sales agreement with EcoVAP, Inc. ("EcoVap"), a leader in advanced water reduction solutions for agricultural, municipal, and industrial users. EcoVAP's patented and patent-pending water technologies provide both environmentally friendly and cost-effective alternatives to conventional water elimination and recovery practices; Sumitomo Corporation of Americas will introduce the company's industrial water elimination technology to its diverse global network.
Textile Industry: Responsible for Up to 20% of All Industrial Wastewater
Textile dying is one of the most polluting industries, consuming 21 trillion gallons of water annually to be mixed with textile colorants, and then disposing of nearly an equivalent amount (enough to fill 37 million olympic sized swimming pools, or about 20% of all industrial wastewater). The contaminants are often disposed of in sewage plants that aren’t geared to handle these micro-toxins (especially in the US), or in Southeast Asia directly into lakes, rivers and ultimately the ocean. The World Bank has identified 72 toxins in the textile wastewater streams. As with all industrial wastewater, ECOVAP believes its natural enhanced evaporation process can reduce the volume of textile-dye wastewater by >95%, allowing for more efficient capture/reuse of the dyes and/or final dry or near-dry disposal.
A “Dirty Dozen” of Mining Environmental Risk is Called Out, Mostly Citing Tailings Pond Issues
Despite improvement following the 2014 Mount Polley tailings pond disaster, significant wastewater management risks remain in mining-rich British Colombia. This article calls for further reforms and stronger enforcement, listing a “dirty dozen” with various environmental challenges, often including the inherent risks and wastewater management problems associated with tailings ponds. With its ability to naturally evaporate water at >59x the normal rate, ECOVAP can mostly eliminate the need for large tailings ponds.
Audit of British Columbia’s Tailings Pond Regulations Casts Shadow on Government’s 'World Class’ Mining Claims
In 2014, a collapse of the Mount Polley copper/gold mine tailings pond unleashed 24 million cubic meters of wastewater into British Columbia waterways, becoming one of the worst mining environmental disasters in history. Subsequently, a myriad of new regulations were imposed, but a 2021 audit by the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation cites numerous ongoing shortcomings in data, ambiguous regulations, enforcement challenges and outright violations.
Even Shallow Wastewater Injection Can Cause Earthquakes
Geoscientists have found that even shallow wastewater injection - not just deep wastewater injections - can also cause widespread earthquake activity. This conclusion goes against many geoscientists’ prior thinking, but is explained by the interaction of poroelasticity of surface flows vs. solid deformations. The study was done in the Delaware/Permian Basin of Western Texas which has seen an exponential rise in seismicity with increasing shale exploration.
Salton Sea: Possible Mega-Project Would Require Enormous Brine Disposal
The Salton Sea in Southern California has been dubbed one of the worst human-caused environmental disasters, worsening every year as farm run-offs deposit more chemicals to the lake, with these chemicals and the lake’s salt concentrating to ever-more toxic levels as the lake slowly evaporates. The California government continues to mull a plethora of multi-billion dollar proposals to remediate the lake. This article discusses a plan to replenish the lake with saltwater from Mexico’s Sea of Cortez, coupled with building desalination plants to provide water for the severely constrained local agribusiness and 40mn people. With this plan, or with many other potential plans (such as evaporating the entire lake away), ECOVAP could be an ideal low-cost solution for disposing of the brine, either directly from the lake or from desalination plants.
California “One of the Worst” in Regulating Oil/Gas Industry Waste
Notwithstanding its branding as one of the most environmentally-protective states, California ranks poorly in its regulation and enforcement of oil/gas waste, and particularly the industry's wastewater (aka, “produced water”). The recent audit cites many deficiencies, including being the only state that allows produced water to be disposed of in unlined percolation/evaporation ponds (which can seep into underground freshwater aquifers), inadequate regulation of radionuclides, and human-induced earthquakes (from underground injection wells). Finally, even with its more lax regulations, the report calls-out many “exemptions” that have been allowed, as well as poor enforcement.
Rising Earthquakes Leading to Greater Scrutiny of SWD; Reuse Option is Limited
The first article below, “Treating the US Oil Industry’s Dark Water: As Earthquakes Increase, Billions Needed to Switch Course”, details increasing earthquakes and other negative environmental impacts as reasons to “switch course”, specifically calling for more reuse of wastewater. The second article, “Challenges in Reusing Produced Water” details the high cost of this treatment for most end uses. Reuse is inherently limited to the extent that contaminants are usually not destroyed, but become more concentrated as good water is separated from toxic water, and the more contaminated the residual water becomes, the more expensive to treat. On the other hand, reuse is benefitting from continually rising freshwater prices in some very water stressed areas. ECOVAP is uniquely able to provide low cost disposal for any produced water waste stream up to 200k ppm, avoiding all of the environmental impacts of SWD’s (earthquakes, trucking/CO2, pressurized energy consumption and aquifer contamination).
ECOVAP: A Win-Win for the Rare Earth Market that is Critical for Green Energy
ECOVAP is proud to have provided a financial/environmental win-win to a large producer in the rare earth mining business (see Mining Case Study: https://ecovap.com/ecovap-product/). This article summarizes the growing environmental importance of rare earths as critical elements in wind and solar power, EV cars and energy storage, and in dramatically reducing the weight of all transportation vehicles. On the other hand, rare earth mining itself is very environmentally challenging, particularly in the water of tailings ponds: "for every ton of rare earth produced, there are 2,000 tons of mine tailings”. As a result, 95% of the industry has migrated to the relatively lax or unenforced environmental regulations in China. However, as China increasingly addresses these environmental challenges, the concern is that rare earth costs will increase significantly such that green, renewable power becomes less competitive.