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Overcoming the Challenges of Wastewater Treatment Upgrades 

Overcoming the Challenges of Wastewater Treatment Upgrades 

 

Wastewater treatment plants are facing increasing pressure to upgrade their facilities to cope with population growth, industrial expansion and tightening of legislation however, upgrading is not a simple process, and the plants can face obstacles.

 

OxyMem MABR can help overcome the challenges facing wastewater treatment plant owners and operators and allow for a fast and easy upgrade.

 

 

HubSpot Video

 

The Land Challenge

Traditional plant expansion methods often require additional land, and therefore upgrades can take years of planning and implementation. 

 

OxyMem MABR Drop In

OxyMem offers an alternative method of plant expansion. The OxyMem MABR is a ZERO additional footprint solution as it is dropped into existing treatment tanks to intensify and enhance treatment performance. OxyMem's 'drop-in' technology can significantly increase existing biological treatment systems' capacity, without the need for additional land.

 

Our solution does not require additional civil infrastructure to be added. By adding OxyMem modules to an existing treatment process, more pollutants can be treated within the same existing footprint.

 

The Time Challenge

Wastewater treatment plant upgrades can be a lengthy process; from assessing needs, acquiring land, obtaining planning permissions, considering services, and then finally excavating and building work. In most cases, an upgrade can take years. 

 

The OxyMem MABR drop-in solution can help overcome the challenge of time. With our drop-in MABR, you can secure the most innovative and sustainable solution, facilitate upgrades without draining tanks or building new structures, and provide the lowest capital, process, and performance risk. 

 

OxyMem can enable a treatment plant upgrade in a matter of days once our modules are on site. Our modules are designed for ease of installation and commissioning and can be easily transported across the world; the modules are designed to fit neatly within sea freight containers.

 

The Energy Challenge

One of the main challenges facing treatment plant operators is that traditional expansion solutions result in more energy being required as more equipment means more power. This can be detrimental for companies with carbon footprint goals as it moves them further away from their commitments.

 

OxyMem MABR is much more efficient as the driving force for transferring oxygen across the membrane is diffusion and not pressure. This is one of the OxyMem MABR system's key features because it means the air blower does not have to overcome the hydrostatic head and thus can be operated at low pressures that save energy.

 

Our patented, bubble-less transfer of oxygen, designed to emulate a natural respiratory system, gives simultaneous nitrification and denitrification for total nitrogen removal, considerable energy savings, reduces sludge and decreases your plant carbon footprint, with no additional infrastructure needed.

The results are considerable OPEX saving over other upgrade solutions for the life of the

plant.

 

A Robust Environment 

Plant owners and operators need to have the confidence that their effluent will be within consent all year round. An unstable process is usually difficult and time-consuming to operate and can develop both operational challenges and environmental risks. Having a robust, stable treatment system in place is critical for consistent success and peace of mind. 

 

OxyMem Biofilm

OxyMem offers the market the most advanced attached-growth biofilm system available today. The OxyMem MABR habitat creates an ideal environment to support a biofilm which absorbs and consumes carbon and nitrogen-based pollutants.

 

With oxygen readily available and a protected aerobic biofilm layer, the MABR system is not as susceptible to process upsets (surface abrasion, washout or harmful chemicals) that may damage or kill the aerobic layers on typical MBBR or IFAS systems. The result is a very robust aerobic system and a more stable treatment process.

 

 

Contact us today to find out more about how OxyMem MABR Contact Us 

 

Sandra Murray
Sandra Murray
Marketing Executive

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Nitrous Oxide, Not So Funny After All   Nitrous oxide emissions from wastewater treatment plants are 265 times more harmful to our environment than carbon dioxide. Nitrous oxide (N2O), a greenhouse gas which is emitted as an undesired bioproduct during the biological treatment of wastewater,  it is estimated to be responsible for six per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, and it has a warming potential 265 times that of carbon dioxide (CO2). It is also one of the main contributors to depleting the ozone layer. The gas is created during the nitrification and denitrification phase due to nitrogen present in urea, ammonia, and proteins found in municipal wastewater. Despite these concerns, there is some reason for optimism because nitrous oxide has a much shorter lifespan of only 114 years compared to carbon dioxide, which can survive hundreds of years in the atmosphere. Therefore, making changes to reduce N2O emission can have a profound effect on the environment in a much shorter time frame. A report from 2019 showed that 6% of nitrous oxide emissions in the United States come from wastewater treatment. Given this prevalence, reducing, and mitigating process emissions from N2O will be paramount for the water industry over the coming decade. Currently the water industry is working towards monitoring nitrous oxide on treatment plants and considering how best to reduce emissions through optimization or upgrading of treatment processes. Could OxyMem be the answer? Investing in technologies which can limit emission and make plant activities more sustainable will be key. To date there has been significant interest in carbon emissions within the sector, but momentum is growing as interest shifts towards targeting harmful nitrous oxide and lesser-known greenhouse gases.  Denmark  In 2018 the Danish EPA launched a funding scheme for Danish utility companies dedicated to measurements of and mitigation actions towards nitrous oxide emissions. In the period from 2018 to 2020, nine Danish utilities have measured and registered nitrous oxide emissions from nine different wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) under the EPA funding scheme OxyMem have supported Vandcenter Syd (VCS) Denmark, who partnered with Aarhus Vand Denmark, to demonstrate the benefits of MABR technology at the Ejby Mølle WWRF. Work started in the summer of 2018. The full-scale demonstration of MABR at Ejby Mølle provided some great insights into the technology, but one key aspect recorded was the significant difference in N2O emissions from MABR when compared against conventional activated sludge treatment. In this project VCS measured nitrous oxide emissions from the conventional activated sludge surface-aerated reactors and the MABR demonstration reactors. Liquid phase sensors were positioned in both the existing activated sludge tanks and the demonstration MABR tanks, and a gas analyser was used to measure nitrous oxide concentrations in the exhaust gas of the MABR units. Results showed that nitrous oxide emissions were on average one order of magnitude lower than those from the conventional activated sludge plant, even under much higher loading conditions. The initial results from the project are very promising and reflect the immense potential for MABR to achieve very intensive total nitrogen removal with low nitrous oxide emissions. United Kingdom -2030 Net Zero Goals Given the potential for the sector, further studies on N2O and the added benefits of MABR are to be formally carried out under a recent initiative by Anglian Water. OxyMem technology was chosen to demonstrate how MABR might help the UK achieve 2030 emissions goals. Plant design is already underway. The project will be funded through an Innovation Fund made available by Ofwat Anglian Water’s Triple Carbon Reduction solution, delivered in partnership with OxyMem, Element Energy Ltd, Jacobs, Cranfield University, University of East Anglia, Brunel University, Severn Trent Water, Scottish Water, Northern Ireland Water and United Utilities, has been awarded more than £3.5 million. It will use novel technologies to target a step change reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and electricity use in used water treatment and provide a new renewable energy source through green hydrogen production – 'triple carbon' synergy and contribution towards achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2030. Adam Brookes, Manager of Innovation Discovery, Anglian Water, said: “Funding for this project will greatly support the delivery of our own net zero routemap and the water sector's drive to Net Zero by 2030, filling a significant missing piece in the challenge. By collaborating with academia, businesses and other water companies, our project creates an elegant solution to eliminate part of the greenhouse gas emissions associated with wastewater treatment and position the sector within the developing hydrogen landscape, in line with the newly launched UK Government Hydrogen strategy.” Amanda Lake, Water Process Lead, Jacobs Europe, said: “We’re excited to couple an innovative pure MABR treatment solution with green hydrogen production. We know the outcomes could be significant for the water sector - lower nitrous oxide process emissions, a role in the green hydrogen economy, valuable resource recovery and application of best practice life cycle assessment methods. What a valuable chance to work together to open the door to the lower carbon, circular economy water sector we urgently require. OxyMem MABR technology could assist the sector in achieving their global environmental goals over the coming years, by enhancing current Wastewater Treatment Plants capacity and at same time help clients move towards achieving their future net zero carbon emissions.  OxyMem MABR enables clients to add or improve ammonia reduction on existing large works using only a few kW's, and the technology can be simply dropped into existing treatment plants without the need to build additional structures or stopping live processes which are key benefits to enable the sector to achieve global environmental goals over the coming years.