WASTELESS TECHNOLOGY (EN: wasteless technology, non-refuse technology; DE: abproduktfreie Technologie; FR: technologie sans rejets; ES: tecnologia sin desechos; RU: безотходная технология) is the direction for the comprehensive utilization of the useful minerals, and for the protection of the environment against the pollutions, which implies the maximal extraction of all valuable components from the raw materials, with minimal emission or complete absence of the wastes in the solid, liquid, and gaseous form. In case of the implementation of the wasteless technology on the basis of the inter-sectoral cooperation, besides the obtainment of the major component, and of the accompanying ferrous and nonferrous metals, from the ore or coal, which have been extracted, there is also possible the production of the building materials (bricks, cement, cinder blocks, and so on), crushed gravel, paving material, chemical products (sulfuric acid, soda, potash, and others), fertilizers, and also the usage of the rocks from the waste dumps for the filling of the goaf space within the mines, and so on.
The necessity for the development of the wasteless technology has emerged during the middle of the 20th century in association with the sharp increase of the quantity of the solid wastes, of the gaseous emissions into the athmosphere, and of the pollution of the water bodies with the industrial sewage; the extents of the pollutions within many industrial regions exceed the capacity of their natural neutralization. At the basis of the idea for the industrial wasteless technologies, there lays the mutual association of the processes, which exists within the nature, in case of which the products of the life activity from the certain organisms are absorbed by the others, so that, as the result of the recycling, there does not proceed within the nature any excessive accumulation of the substances. The creation of the methods for the wasteless technology, and the introduction of them into the production during the processing of the ores, are associated with the replacement of many processes with the hydrometallurgical ones, which decreases the volume of the emissions of the harmful products into the atmosphere, and permits, with the method of the extraction and ion exchange, to extract additionally the valuable components from the solutions, and to create the recycled water supply. The successful development of the wasteless technology is associated with the development of the technological methods for the extraction of the components at low concentrations from the solid and liquid mixtures, of the methods for the recycling of the wastes with the method of the processing them to the marketable condition, and also with the optimization of the schemes for the industrial wasteless technologies, with taking into account the requirements of the ecology.
The constituent part of the wasteless technology is the sewage-less technology, which does not have the liquid wastes (sewage). The major directions for the creation of the sewage-less technology are: the introduction of the waterless technological processes, and of the processes with minimal water consumption, the choice of the productive complex with the sequential multiple usage of the water, the maximal development of the recycled water systems, the local cleaning of the waste waters with the recycling of the valuable components, the perfecting of the existing, and the development of the new (mostly of the reagent-less) methods for the cleaning of the waste waters, the replacement of the water cooling with the air cooling, the withdrawal of the wastes from the technological process preferably in the form of the solid phase, or in the form of the highly concentrated solutions, with the purpose of their subsequent recycling or burial. The wasteless technologies, in case of which the solid wastes are not forming themselves, are named as the ones without the waste dumps (they are associated with the processing of the solid wastes into the building materials, namely, the cement, glass, and so on). The problem of the wasteless technologies has found its reflection within the series of the international agreements on the issues of the protection of the environment.
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