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Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Tech Transfer

Rapid Activation of Biological Wastewater Treatment Systems, Phase II

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

Pancopia proposes development of a system with the capability to remove high levels of organic carbon and nitrogen from wastewater, capable of preservation for a year, and which can be used to reliably start up a biological wastewater system in 15 days. Phase 2 target criteria are 1) development of an inoculum capable of removing 95% of organic carbon, and 95% conversion of ammonium (75% removed as nitrogen gas and remaining 25% converted to nitrite/nitrate) when treating ersatz EPB wastewater with a startup time of less than 15 days; 2) development of a reactor that can effectively treat EPB wastewater; and 3) development of an operations manual providing process guidelines. PROBLEM/OPPORTUNITY: Properly configured biological wastewater systems can treat wastewater containing high organic carbon and nitrogen and produce a high quality effluent using minimal consumables. However, such systems can be difficult to startup rapidly and reliably. Developing a reliable inoculum to permit rapid startup of biological wastewater systems that treat high levels of organics and nitrogen would make such treatment viable. PLAN/PROCESS OUTLINE: Pancopia proposes to 1) To optimize lyophilization and reactivation of the inoculum developed in Phase I; 2) to develop a reactor system that permits accelerated startup; and 3) to operate the wastewater system for an extended period of time and develop an operations manual. BENEFITS: 1) Significant improvements in startup time and reliability for a system that can treat wastewater high in nitrogen, and 2) reduced costs due to optimization of bioreactor design and treatment optimization. More »

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