Soiled groundwater quickly purified by mobile activated carbon filters

Mobicon mobile activated carbon filter

Just like practically every production company, companies in the (petro)chemicals industry also have an important responsibility to operate as sustainably as possible. Should something nevertheless go wrong, it is good to know that dedicated partners such as Desotec are on immediate stand-by to resolve problems quickly and effectively. This was recently demonstrated once again at a specific project in Spain.

A worldwide-operating and leading producer of special phenol resins met with an annoying problem in September 2017. Measurements of the quality of the groundwater showed that this water was seriously contaminated with phenol. Moreover, not only was the groundwater on the company’s site polluted, but the groundwater in the surrounding area was also significantly affected. A leak in a phenol storage tank was at the root of the problem.

A solution within 72 hours

The company immediately assumed its responsibilities, informed the goverment administration and immediately went looking for a solution. This pioneer in the field of plastics contacted Desotec immediately and provided us with detailed results of the measurements. Within 24 hours they received a quotation from us, which was quickly approved. Less than three days after the first contact, we installed a Mobicon mobile activated carbon filter on their site.

The company immediately installed a pump to pump up the contaminated groundwater and had the water flow treated by the mobile activated carbon filter. The completely purified water was then again injected back into the ground.

Three filters in a series setup

After about three days it appeared that one mobile filter would not suffice to treat all the groundwater adequatly. It was therefore quickly decided to install three such filters in series. Desotec’s flexibility allows the treatment capacity to be adapted in no time at all to a larger or smaller demand. We have substantial stock levels on our various sites, precisely in order to be able to quickly anticipate such urgent demands for qualitative rental solutions.

After a treatment period of three months, detailed tests and analyses by the authorities revealed that the polluted groundwater had been completely purified. Moreover, in the meantime the customer had carried out all the necessary work to effectively seal the leak in the phenol storage tank. At the end of 2017 both the company and all stakeholders from the surrounding area could breathe relieved anew and the groundwater is again of excellent quality.


At DESOTEC’s facilities, all used carbon is analysed so the right measures can be taken for handling and removing the saturated carbon out of the mobile filters. All molecules that were adsorbed on the activated carbon at the customers’ site, are desorbed inside DESOTEC’s reactivation furnaces. These contaminants are then fully destroyed, in accordance with National and European legislationby an incineration and neutralisation setup. The entire installation and it's emissions are under continuous on-line monitoring, which guarantees that only harmless water vapour is seen exiting the chimney.