SUEZ MABR unit
A SUEZ ZeeLung membrane aerated biofilm reactor (MABR) unit being installed at a customer site. Photo credit: SUEZ.

SUEZ – Water Technologies & Solutions announced on August 17 that the Region of Waterloo has selected SUEZ’s ZeeLung technology to equip what will be the largest membrane aerated biofilm reactor (MABR) system in the world at the Hespeler Wastewater Treatment Plant, in Ontario.

SUEZ said the innovative technology will support the regional government’s objectives to deliver better water quality, while improving nutrient removal, reducing energy and maximizing the treatment capacity and performance from existing assets.

“This is a first-of-its-kind project for Canada that will demonstrate ZeeLung’s benefits, including the ability to quickly and easily upgrade existing wastewater treatment plants on a cost-effective basis, with little disruption to ongoing operations,” said Kevin Cassidy, executive vice president engineered systems for SUEZ – Water Technologies & Solutions. “The technology allows customers to increase the treatment capacity of their plants, for a better water quality in a compact footprint, while also reducing energy consumption.”

ZeeLung technology is used to upgrade conventional activated sludge plants for nutrient removal and capacity expansion, according to SUEZ. ZeeLung employs a gas permeable media to deliver oxygen to a biofilm that is attached to the media surface. Oxygen is delivered through the media by molecular diffusion, which is done without the use of bubbles.

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In conventional wastewater treatment, 60% of the energy used is consumed by blowers that deliver bubbles to provide the oxygen necessary for the biological process. With ZeeLung MABR technology, oxygen is delivered without bubbles, which reduces the energy required for oxygen transfer by up to four times, according to SUEZ. This allows plants to significantly reduce their energy footprint, while also increasing capacity and improving treatment quality.

The Region of Waterloo serves a total population of more than 600,000, using its 13 wastewater treatment plants to process 180 million litres of wastewater per day. To meet the projected population growth, the secondary treatment process of the Hespeler plant has to be upgraded. The new contract follows an eight-month pilot, which demonstrated the ZeeLung technology and refined the design for full-scale implementation.

SUEZ said that when commissioned in 2021, the 9.34 MLD upgrade will be the largest implementation of membrane aerated biofilm reactor technology in the world.

Click here to read the original news release.

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