The aim of the cooperation between Finnish Defense Forces, Defence Properties Finland and Weeefiner is to examine whether 4D Scavenger technology is suitable for removing metal residues from shooting ranges. Based on promising results, the project has been continued this spring.
One of the areas of activity of the Defense Forces is to proactively investigate the environmental impact of its operations and to develop environmental technical solutions and sustainable operating methods. For example, several construction projects have been implemented in the shooting and training areas to improve environmental protection.
A joint development project between Weeefiner, Defense Properties Finland and the Finnish Defense Forces aims to investigate whether 4D Scavenger technology is suitable for treating metal-containing runoff water.
"Joint research and development projects between the Finnish Defense Forces and the Defense Properties Finland are actively seeking innovative solutions to environmental challenges. Technology that recovers and recycles metals dissolved in runoff water, even in challenging field conditions, is definitely worth developing”, Defense Forces comments.
After previous laboratory tests, the suitability of the 4D Scavenger was verified by a longer use test. Various passive 4D Scavenger, which operate without electricity, were built for the application test. These scavengers were installed as a part of an existing well system for four months to test the impact of field conditions on their operation.
The results confirmed the laboratory findings; the 4D Scavenger removed lead and other target metals excellently from runoff water. The development project has been continued in early 2022 and the next phase of field piloting began in the spring of 2022.
The suitability of the 4D Scavenger for Defence Forces’ treating runoff water was tested under laboratory conditions already in 2019–2020. The runoff of the shooting range and the washing water of the heavy rocket launcher were used for the filtration experiments.
“Innovative 3D printing technology, selective laser sintering was utilized in the manufacture of custom metal scavengers,” says Jutta Koskinen, who completed her master's thesis on the development project. "It incorporated a material capable of recovering metals into the form of easy-to-use filters."
Extensive experiments were performed on the printed porous scavengers, based on which 4D Scavenger technology proved to be a very efficient solution for purifying metal-containing waters on a laboratory scale.
The 4D Scavenger is Weeefiner's innovative filtration technology which can be used to recover soluble metals and nutrients efficiently from a variety of water streams. The technology has previously been applied specifically to industrial processes, but due to its customizability, it can also be harnessed for wastewater and runoff water treatment.
Based on the results of the development project, 4D Scavengers are well suited for discharge pipes, treatment wells and collection tank discharge valves.
In the future, the importance of runoff water and wastewater treatment will increase as the limit values for harmful metals become stricter and treatment costs increase. For this reason, we need a technology which can be connected directly to existing well systems and can control the harmful metal content cost-effectively.
Field piloting the 4D Scavenger solution. On the right, a close-up of the installation.