Researchers at the Country wide University of Singapore (NUS) are suffering from a new way to treat wastewater, which is easier, cheaper and more environmentally friendly than current methods.
Led by Associate Lecturer He Jianzhong of NUS City and Environment Engineering, the NUS team found a new bacterial pressure called Thauera sp., The SND5 strain that can remove both nitrogen and phosphorus from the sewer.
This discovery significantly reduces the high running costs and greenhouse gas exhausts associated with traditional wastewater treatment methods.
The new water treatment method developed by they is also in the race for honours International Water Association Project Invention Awards 2021.
A multitasking micro organism: eliminates two pollutants at the same time
In sewage, nitrogen is present in ozone, while phosphorus is present in phosphates. Too much of both compounds can dirty the environment, so they must be removed ahead of treated water can be released with regard to consumer use.
Most existing therapy systems use separate reactors to take out nitrogen and phosphorus, with different circumstances for different microbes. Such a process is usually expensive, both in terms of area and financially speaking.
Some current systems use a single reactor, are usually inefficient because different microbes inside the same reactor will compete with 1 another for resources. This makes it difficult to preserve a delicate balance between microbes, which results in lower overall efficiency.
Another issue with existing wastewater treatment methods is that it emits nitrogen oxide, a greenhouse petrol.
The new microbe of the NUS team solves this problem because it converts ammonia into harmless nitrogen. In addition, it was found that the phosphates primarily present in the sewage water were removed.
Faster, cheaper and healthier approach
This special bacterium was determined at a wastewater treatment plant within Singapore.
When the NUS study team performed a routine overseeing, they observed an unexpected removal of nitrogen in the aerobic tanks, as well as phosphate removal better than expected, despite the lack of known bacteria that remove phosphorus.
“This leads us to the speculation of the appearance of a biological sensation not described above, which produce your own . to understand and capitalize on with regard to future applications,” said Assoc. He Jianzhong.
NUS researchers next took samples of wastewater from a fish tank, isolated various strains of harmful bacteria, and tested each of them for their power to remove nitrogen and phosphorus.
One of the strains, which appeared while sticky, creamy, light yellow places on the particular agar medium, surprised the researchers with its ability to remove the two nitrogen and phosphorus from the drinking water.
In fact, it did the position faster than the other microbes analyzed.
The NUS team sequenced the particular genes and compared them with associated bacteria in a global database. Chances are they determined it was a new strain.
Compared to conventional nitrification and denitrification nitrogen removal processes, the fresh identified microbe can save about 62% of electricity due to its lower air demand.
This is of great relevance, as the ventilation system in a sewage treatment plant can consume pretty much half of the total energy of the vegetable.
“Population and economic growth include inevitably led to the production of more sewage, so it is important to develop new technology that cost less to operate and generate less waste as a whole – all of meeting the objectives of therapy,” said Assoc. He Jianzhong.
Meanwhile, NUS researchers are looking to evaluation their process on a larger size and formulate a “soup” involving several microbes to increase SND5 efficiency.