The Arkema group mobilizes its research capabilities to address issues relating to water quality and access to water. The Group is developing effective treatment and filtration solutions to help meet this universal challenge.
Water treatment is a major focus of research for the Arkema group. Its major products and solutions for this field are fluoropolymer membranes and activated carbon.
The Group also markets various other products with applications in water treatment:
- Acrylic acid is used to make polyacrylates that serve as flocculants for suspended solids removal in water treatment plants.
- Hydrogen peroxide is used to lower the chemical oxygen demand (COD) of an effluent. The Arkema group received the Pierre Potier Prize in 2011 for its innovative process to remove sulfur-containing residues from industrial effluents using hydrogen peroxide. This is a “clean” reagent par excellence: it has the advantage of generating neither treatment sludge nor toxic by-products – simply water and oxygen.
- Rilsan® fine powders have been selected by many cities for their strength, stability and low friction coefficient (better flow) as a lining for drinking water mains and wastewater treatment installations.
The Arkema group is also taking steps to promote universal access to water by limiting its own water consumption.
The challenge of universal access to water
Today, just over one-third of the world’s population lives in regions plagued by scarce water resources. According to the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), water shortages are likely to become much more acute by 2050. The Organization’s model, IMPACT, predicts that most countries in the Middle East and North Africa will be facing severe water shortages by that time.
In its resolution of July 28, 2010, the United Nations General Assembly declared the right to safe and clean drinking water as a
human right that is essential for the full enjoyment of life and all human rights
However, nearly 900 million people in the world lack secure access to clean drinking water, according to the United Nations. And where access is available, the quality of the service varies greatly in different regions of the world.
The difficulty of securing access to water will become more acute in the years ahead due to population growth and the many competing needs for water (domestic uses, agriculture, industry).