Improving Energy Efficiency and Performance of Wastewater Recycling
This project’s intent is to test and demonstrate, the controlled operation of intensive high-rate algal ponds for year-round wastewater treatment. This includes low-cost harvesting of the algal biomass by a combined algal settling and membrane
In 2020, MicroBio Engineering further advanced their RNEW(r) technology for recovering nutrients, energy, and water from the wastewater treatment process in three main ways. They completed the setup of the full-scale experiments and the pilot-scale recycled water filtration experiments. These, along with a 10-unit pilot nutrient removal study, are generating weekly water quality data sets to be used to develop operation models and guidelines. The Technical Advisory Committee and Critical Project Review meetings also generated valuable feedback for the project leaders on advancing the RNEW(r) technology.[br /]
During 2021, the recipient continued optimization experiments in all three study areas, with the main objectives of nitrogen recovery/removal and filtered recycled water production.
This project will advance the RNEW (Recycle Nutrients Energy and Water) process, which will overcome the seasonal limitation of current wastewater treatment pond processes by the selective use of mechanical aeration to optimize wastewater treatment in winter months and incorporating a two-stage process of biomass settling and filtration for algae - biomass harvesting. The products resulting from this process are unrestricted reuse water, and biomass that can be used to generate biofuels and fertilizers. RNEW is suitable for both small and large communities. The RNEW process can be applied to new, or retrofitted to existing, wastewater treatment plants. The technological and scientific knowledge being advanced by this project are the controlled operation of intensive high-rate algal ponds for year-round wastewater treatment. This includes low-cost harvesting of the algal biomass by a combined algal settling and membrane separation for recovery of energy, fertilizers and reclaimed water.
The projects economic goals are to improve the cost effectiveness of the RNEW system, which will increase consumer appeal. Improvements in greenfield purification are projected to reduce cost by $2,600 per 1M Gal. Improvements fo
The RNEW technology has projected 80% lower electricity consumption and 50% lower annualized capital and operating costs than conventional activated sludge.
Environmental & Public Health
The estimated annual greenhouse gas emissions reduction for all cities within the San Joaquin Valley (with a population greater than 100,000) is 46,000 to 48,000 mt CO2e/yr (metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent, per year) by