Federal Government, Membranes, Sustainability, Water Reuse
CDM Smith to Conduct $1.5-million AnMBR Research and Development Project for U.S. Department of Defense and EPA
…technology could transform how wastewater is treated…
November 10, 2015
BOSTON—CDM Smith is conducting a $1.5-million research and development (R&D) project funded by the U.S. Department of Defense and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Under the Environmental Security Technology Certification Program (ESTCP), the R&D project is evaluating anaerobic membrane bioreactor (AnMBR) for the energy-neutral, sustainable treatment of wastewater.
The Anaerobic Membrane Bioreactor for Sustainable Wastewater Treatment Project will demonstrate and validate the use of AnMBR—a low-energy, low-footprint and scalable technology for treating domestic wastewater. AnMBR technology integrates anaerobic biological treatment and physical membrane filtration that enables operation at low temperatures and produces high-quality water for reuse.
GAC-Fluidized AnMBR Pilot System (click to enlarge)
An alternative to conventional aerobic treatment, AnMBR processes do not require energy-intensive aeration to oxidize organic material in the wastewater, resulting in a lower energy demand; minimizes sludge production; and creates methane-rich biogas that can be used to generate electricity, heat or vehicle fuel. The energy content of the biogas has the potential to completely offset the energy used by the treatment process, making the process energy-neutral (i.e., does not require a net input of energy).
“Water reclamation is important for a sustainable future and AnMBR is a high-priority technology. If this research is successful, this technology could help to transform how we treat wastewater,” says Dr. Pat Evans, CDM Smith vice president and the project’s principal investigator. “Demonstrations, such as this one, will help advance the technology and prove its value for numerous applications.”
As part of the project, two pilot-scale AnMBR treatment systems will be tested for 15 months. These include a gas-sparged AnMBR, to be demonstrated at Fort Riley, Kansas, and a granular activated carbon-fluidized AnMBR, to be demonstrated in South Korea by team members Dr. Perry McCarty of Stanford University and Dr. Jaeho Bae of Inha University.
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