Energy-saving UCD technology breathes life into wastewater treatment

 

“The stress on water and energy supplies will increase with climate change, and MABR technology is reducing energy consumption in wastewater treatment, thus lowering its environmental impact and enabling clean water supplies for communities around the world.”

Part 9 of our researcher case studies we meet the second researcher from the UCD School of Chemical & Bioprocess Engineering, Professor Eoin Casey.

Research at UCD has developed new technology to save up energy in wastewater treatment.  Conventionally, bubbles of oxygen are forced through wastewater to support bacteria that remove nutrients and contaminants, but this wastes energy.  Professor Eoin Casey and colleagues at UCD have developed an alternative technology: membranes that diffuse or ‘breathe’ oxygen and thereby directly support biofilms of bacteria. 

Their studies show that this Membrane Aerated Biofilm Reactor (MABR) technology can save up to 75% of the energy conventionally needed to support bacteria in their wastewater treatment role. In 2014 UCD spin-out company OxyMem delivered the first commercial MABR technology to the market, and it is now reducing energy use for wastewater treatment in numerous countries.

You can read more about their discoveries here: Energy-saving UCD technology breathes life into wastewater treatment