A new way to purify sludge may help the meat and dairy industries lower the environmental impact of their wastewater treatments, Phys.org reports.
Sludge accounts for half the operating costs and 65 percent of the environmental impact of wastewater treatment, conditioning and management, Jose Luis Bribián Fisac, head of sales at wastewater treatment company Bioazul, based in Málaga, Spain, tells the blog.
His company has joined an initiative, called Wastered, co-funded by the EU, that intends to increase waste reduction in the European meat and dairy industry — two of the highest sludge generators in the food industry, Bribián Fisac says.
One technique to reduce the amount of sludge produced involves using Bioazul’s oxygen-based wastewater treatment additive called Lodored, “Lodo” meaning sludge in Spanish and “red” meaning reduction. The company says the additive has been tested in some 50 wastewater treatments plants in Spain, Germany, Poland, Switzerland and Italy. It was originally invented for sewage sludge, but the company is now trying to open up a new market in the meat and dairy industry, Phys.org reports.
The additive, which is biodegradable, can be released onto activated sludge that undergoes an aerobic digestion to degrade its biological content, the blog explains. It encapsulates what are called flocs of bacteria.
In the process’ first step, the gelatinous floc layer removes minerals and particulate from the wastewater, improving the sedimentation of the sludge. During the second step, encapsulation increases the level of degradation as enzymes and vitamins manipulate microorganisms’ metabolism and lower sludge production.
Late last month, Advantageous Systems (ADS) received final NSF/ANSI Standard 61 Certification for its ADS Arsenic Absorbent Filter Water Treatment Technology. The patent-pending technology can remove arsenic selectively from potable water and embed it in a solid matrix without producing sludge or needing backwashes, ADS says.
The global wastewater aeration systems market will grow 72 percent to reach $8.39 billion in 2020, driven by demand for secondary wastewater treatment services in developing regions and the need to revamp existing infrastructure in developed countries, according to a December 2012 report by Frost & Sullivan. Aeration is a biological method in the secondary stage of wastewater treatment, used in the activated sludge process by municipal facilities globally.