Envirogen Technologies Inc. and Inotec Inc. have entered into a joint technology development agreement to advance the performance of bioreactors in groundwater, mining water and a range of wastewater treatment applications.
The initial focus of the development activity will be on reducing the amount of substrate (electron donor) required to successfully operate anoxic bioreactors as well as on minimizing the amount of solids generated during operation. Bioreactor treatment operating costs are among the lowest of any type of water treatment technology on the market today—with electron donor and solids handling representing a significant portion of long-term project costs. Initial targets for technology development will be removal of metals and inorganics such as perchlorate, nitrate, sulfate, selenium, arsenic, mercury and more.
According to Dave Enegess, senior vice president for Envirogen, the potential synergies for Envirogen’s fluidized bed reactor (FBR) and Inotec’s electro-biochemical reactor (EBR) technologies can be a boon for companies in need of high-performance, lower cost water treatment.
“Jack Adams and his team have been at the forefront of bioreactor technology development for decades. The innovation in the EBR technology is apparent and addresses key industry concerns,” Enegess said. “This agreement is another step in our drive to push bioreactor technology to meet new challenges for treatment efficiency and cost-effectiveness. The goal here is first to be able to develop better solutions tailored to groundwater and wastewater treatment applications in mining, power, chemical and refining facilities—and potentially to develop revolutionary, next-step bioreactor technology.”
Envirogen’s FBR is a fixed-film bioreactor in which biological media is suspended, or fluidized, within the reactor vessel by the upward flow of water through the system. Inotec’s EBR provides electrons to microbes in reactor environments using low DC voltage potential (1 to 3 volts) and mA current in configurations that provide an electron density gradient or a controlled electron density. The provided electrons result in increased microbial contaminant transformation kinetics, reduced retention times, and reductions in the amount of nutrients and chemicals required for contaminant removal.
“The Envirogen team are pioneers in fluidized bed bioreactor technology for water treatment,” said D. Jack Adams, president of Inotec. “Development of hybrid bioreactors, like an electro-biochemical fluidized bed reactor technology, holds considerable potential for more economical and more effective water treatment. The FBR process obtains one of the fastest contaminant removal kinetics, while the EBR technology consistently demonstrates metal and inorganics removals to low- and sub-ppb values. We look forward to working with Dave Enegess and the Envirogen team to apply the synergistic benefits of our combined technologies and to continue advancing the science and performance of bioreactor technology."