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Three next-generation MBR projects in Belgium and China
Koch Membrane Systems will provide PURON submerged membrane modules to Waterleau, a Belgium-based company specializing in water, air and waste treatment, and energy recovery applications. The modules will process municipal and industrial wastewater for three of Waterleau’s customers located in Belgium and China.
The Waterleau project in China represents the country’s first large-scale municipal deployment of PURON technology. PURON modules will process 317,000 gal per day (gpd) of municipal wastewater that contains a considerable volume of industrial wastewater from nearby textile works. The MBR process was chosen over a sequential batch reactor (SBR) to achieve a very high quality effluent.
The two Belgium plants operate in sites that produce sustainable energy sources. One of the projects is for an industrial customer that will produce biodiesel from soy and rapeseed oil. Waterleau proposed its Atlantis MBR technology, which uses PURON modules, to upgrade an existing wastewater treatment plant to the expected future load without having to modify existing civil structures. The modules will process a flow up to 190,000 gpd, increasing plant capacity to 1.8 tons COD/d.
The other Belgium plant is a waste-to-energy facility where potato and vegetable waste is converted into energy by biological fermentation. The wet fraction is polished by an Atlantis MBR wastewater treatment system, again using PURON modules. The plant will be operational early next year with a capacity to produce 1.6 megawatts of electrical power. The dry fraction will be further dried to approximately 95% solids and will be refined into high quality fertilizer granules.
The PURON technology is a second-generation MBR system that employs hollow fibers in a very compact design. Unlike the “double header” configuration of first-generation hollow fiber MBR systems that encase the hollow fibers at the top and the bottom, the PURON system has no top header that can trap hair and other debris and cause clogging of the fibers. Instead the upper ends of the hollow fiber membranes move freely, with a seaweed-like action.