Firm set to cash in thanks to money down the drain

An invention to remove potentially harmful chemical waste from manufacturing processes has been developed by a North East company.

The new process, developed by Integrated Effluent Solutions (IES) of Spennymoor, County Durham, uses hypersonic vibrations to separate sulphate from waste water. The potentially toxic sulphate is rendered harmless to the environment and in some cases it can be recycled and used as a base material for in the manufacture of concrete and cement.

One of the company’s first customers is going to be the Royal Mint, which produces 40% of the world’s coinage. The company will use the new chemical process to remove sulphates in their drainage system created during the finishing of copper and nickel-plated coins.

IES Managing Director, Andy Dargue, who is also a chemist and devised the new process, said: “This chemical process helps companies meet ever-tighter environmental controls as well as negating the impact potentially harmful sulphates can have if they leak into the drainage system.

“It also has the added benefit of producing a waste product that can be recycled into building materials such as cement and concrete so not only will the waste water be made safer, the businesses will save on transport and landfill costs and also significantly reduce its impact on the environment.

IES was created five years ago by Andy and business partner Phil Grainger. The firm employs five people from its base in Enterprise City, Spennymoor. The new process has been developed with the aid of £74,000 Research and Development grant from regional development agency One North East.

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