General Electric has a new membrane-based wastewater treatment that combines its Zee Weed 500 membranes and the newest in anaerobic digestion, which in turn creates a new anaerobic membrane reactor (AnMBR). This new technology could be a real asset to industrial customers who need to find better water reuse methods.
The problem is that industrial leaders face stronger wastewater limitations, which ends up costing a great deal. This new AnMBR technology would be a low cost alternative, and better still, it would create renewable energy from industrial wastewater — or so GE believes.
Essentially, this is a biological process by which microorganisms break down biodegradable material when there is no oxygen available. The end products are several, but one is biogas which can be combusted and made to generate heat and electricity.
This not only offers an energy efficient solution, it also lowers wastewater treatment costs.
Why Hasn’t It Worked Before?
Traditional anaerobic processes have certain disadvantages. They offer less effluent, are process sensitive and have a slow biomass growth rate. Aside from these disadvantages they also create quite abit of sludge that is difficult to dispose of.
The Secret to Its Success
GE believes the success of their wastewater treatment method lies in combining traditional anaerobic digestion with their new ZeeWeed membrane technology. This solves many of the issues that have plagued the conventional anaerobic processes.
This new anaerobic process separates solid retention time from hydraulic retention time, thereby increasing methane that has no suspended solids, and ultimately improving the effluent quality.
Hopefully, this new anaerobic digestive method will be marketable soon, allowing industrial leaders to create alternative energy from wastewater instead of creating more of a terrible environmental problem.