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Comment Water Treatment

Turning wastewater treatment into resource recovery

By Dorothy Lozowski |

In late September, GE Power & Water (Trevose, Pa.; www.gewater.com) introduced its new Membrane Aerated Biofilm Reactor (MABR) technology, tradenamed ZeeLung, at the Water Environment Federation Technical Exhibition and Conference (Weftec; Chicago, Ill., September 26–30; www.weftec.org). This technology is poised to enable “energy neutrality” in wastewater treatment. In biological wastewater treatment, aeration typically represents 60% of a facility’s power usage, and the ZeeLung MABR can reduce the energy needs by a factor of four, according to GE. In conventional biological wastewater treatment, oxygen is delivered to the microorganisms via fine bubble aeration. Much of the O2, however, is wasted as the bubbles disperse on the surface of the water. The ZeeLung MABR technology replaces this method with a gas-transfer membrane that delivers the O2 to a biofilm that is attached to the surface of the membrane. Hollow-fiber O2-permeable membranes are assembled around a core to form a “cord”. These flexible, but strong cords are fitted into headers to form a module (photo). Air is distributed to the membranes from the top header and collected in the bottom header. Modules are installed in cassettes for installation into…
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