Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

A biological technique could save up to 2 million euros at sewage treatment plants

15.07.2003


A new method for treating the smell of rotten eggs emitted by sewage plants, developed in conjunction by a researcher at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona’s Engineering School (ETSE) and a researcher from the University of California, could lead to worldwide savings of two million euros a year. The researchers have discovered a simple method for transforming the chemical odour filters currently installed in treatment plants into equally efficient, but cheaper and less toxic, biological filters.


Blocks of polyurethane foam with the bacterial covering that substitutes chemical filters in the treatment of smells


The Californian plant where the biological method was tested successfully. The tower on the left uses chemical filters, while the one on the right has been fitted with a biological filter



The treatment of sewage causes unpleasant smells due to emissions of such gasses as hydrogen sulfide (H2S), along with other compounds such as sulfur compounds, amines and carboxylic acids. Of all these gasses, the most noticeable is hydrogen sulfide, with its strong smell of rotten eggs. Therefore, sewage treatment plants include chemical filters for the control of such bad smells. These filters are fast absorbers and degraders of the whole volume of hydrogen sulfide generated, but there are major disadvantages: they are expensive, and generate and use toxic products. The alternative to using chemical filters is the use of biological filters, based on the biodegradation of hydrogen sulfide using bacteria. Until now, such filters were too voluminous to be used in plants treating large amounts of gasses.

The lecturer from the UAB’s High Engineering School (ETSE), David Gabriel, along with Marc A. Deshusses, lecturer at the University of California (USA), have developed an alterative that can transform the chemical filters used until now into biological filters that are just as fast and effective as the former. Via a cheap and simple conversion process, the new biological filters degrade the hydrogen sulfide in a record time: with some 2 seconds of contact between the gas and the filter. The invention has already been tested in Californian sewage plants (USA).


The transformation of a treatment plant’s filter to the new system designed by the two researchers would cost around 50,000 euros, but would imply savings of up to 30,000 euros a year in operational costs and expenses on chemical products. The researchers presented their findings in the prestigious magazine Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), and state in their article that, considering between 25% and 40% of the chemical filters currently in use around the world can be transformed into biological filters, this transformation could lead to worldwide annual savings of up to 2,000 million euros.

Octavi López Coronado | alfa
Further information:
http://www.uab.es

More articles from Process Engineering:

nachricht Innovative process for environmentally friendly manure treatment comes onto the market
03.05.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Grenzflächen- und Bioverfahrenstechnik IGB

nachricht No compromises: Combining the benefits of 3D printing and casting
23.03.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Produktionstechnik und Automatisierung IPA

All articles from Process Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Molecular switch will facilitate the development of pioneering electro-optical devices

A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.

The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...

Im Focus: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

Im Focus: Dozens of binaries from Milky Way's globular clusters could be detectable by LISA

Next-generation gravitational wave detector in space will complement LIGO on Earth

The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

When corals eat plastics

24.05.2018 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Surgery involving ultrasound energy found to treat high blood pressure

24.05.2018 | Medical Engineering

First chip-scale broadband optical system that can sense molecules in the mid-IR

24.05.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>