The Water Research Foundation (WRF) has contributed $200,000 to the Advancing Low-Energy Biological Nitrogen and Phosphorus Removal project which will explore an alternative wastewater treatment method.
This alternative treatment method involves the application of low dissolved oxygen (DO) biological nitrogen removal (BNR) in existing activated sludge to provide a low-energy, sustainable option for biological nutrient removal at water resource recovery facilities (WRRFs).
The $1 Million USD project, which is partly funded by WRF’s Research Priority Program, with $800,000 USD in-kind contributions from several utility partners, will allow for further research to be conducted into developing and implementing low DO BNR processes.
Effective nutrient management is essential for addressing water quality issues, particularly in watersheds facing rapid population growth and urbanisation and population growth. Although conventional BNR technologies are overall effective at meeting water quality goals, they are both costly and energy inefficient.
Low DO BNR processes will help to “intensify treatment processes, reduce energy demand, and reduce chemical dependency” and reduce the cost and energy that conventional biological nutrient removal requires.
Scheduled for completion by year-end 2022, the project will be led by principal research team of Jose Jimenez (Brown and Caldwell), Belinda Sturm (University of Kansas) and Leon Downing (Black & Veatch).
“This important study seeks to pave the way for full-scale implementation of low DO BNR to improve effluent quality while significantly reducing the energy footprint of water resource recovery facilities,” said University of Kansas Associate Vice Chancellor for Research Belinda Sturm.
“Our team is proud to partner with WRF to help utilities meet stringent nutrient effluent limits while maximizing the use of existing infrastructure” she added.
The results will provide water utilities and other water practitioners with a blueprint on how to implement low DO BNR technology.