Navigation Links
Notre Dame research could improve sustainability and cost effectiveness of wastewater treatment
Date:11/16/2012

University of Notre Dame researcher Robert Nerenberg can tell you many things you might not know about wastewater treatment plants, including their significant carbon footprint, energy demands and chemical costs. His past research has addressed ways to drastically improve the energy efficiency of wastewater treatment. He now is telling the wastewater treatment industry about his promising new line of research that has the capability of significantly decreasing chemical costs and carbon footprint.

Nerenberg, an associate professor of civil and environmental engineering and earth sciences, points out that wastewater treatment plants are increasingly using a biologic nutrient removal (BNR) process to protect human health and the environment. This BNR process typically adds an external electron donor, or carbon source, such as methanol or ethanol. However, these chemicals are expensive, have toxicity and handling concerns, and can have a significant carbon footprint.

Nerenberg notes that gaseous electron donors have rarely been used in wastewater treatment because of their sparse solubility. However, a new biofilm reactor technology known as the membrane-biofilm reactor (MBfR) effectively delivers gaseous substances directly to the biofilm, bypassing the solubility problems. Hydrogen gas has been delivered to an MBfR to remove oxidized contaminants such as nitrate.

Nerenberg is studying the feasibility of using several inorganic or gaseous compounds, such as sulfur, sulfur dioxide, sulfite, hydrogen sulfite and methane, for delivery to MBfRs. Many of these compounds are waste products of other industries and can be much more cost effective and sustainable than the carbon compounds currently used in BNR processes. Elemental sulfur, for example, is a waste product from a number of industries, including oil refining and coal or gas-burning refining plants, and in many cases these industries would be happy to provide the sulfur for free to entities willing to remove it. The research thus also offers a means to transform a waste product into a valuable resource.

Nerenberg's research offers such promise that the Water Environment Research Foundation (WERF) Endowment for Innovation n Applied Water Quality Research awarded him its 2012 Paul L. Busch Award. The $100,000 award recognizes an outstanding individual whose ongoing efforts contribute significantly to water quality research and its practical application in the water environment.

The Busch Award Committee identified Nerenberg's work as feasible and able to demonstrate results and full-scale application quickly. Nerenberg will initially focus his research on sulfur and sulfur dioxide, which have the highest potential for immediate application. And he is already moving the research forward quickly with help from the Hampton Roads Sanitation District in Virginia, where preliminary denitrification tests have been conducted with sulfur and sulfur dioxide.

Nerenberg hopes the research will provide the basic information necessary to quickly develop treatment applications and help identify the most suitable reactor configurations, thereby dramatically decreasing operational costs and improving sustainability at wastewater treatment facilities.


'/>"/>

Contact: Robert Nerenberg
nerenberg.1@nd.edu
574-631-4098
University of Notre Dame
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Notre Dame research could provide new insights into tuberculosis and other diseases
2. Notre Dame researcher is shedding light on how jaws evolve
3. Notre Dame establishes professorships in adult stem cell research
4. Notre Dame researchers using novel method to combat malaria drug resistance
5. New paper by Notre Dame researchers describes method for cleaning up nuclear waste
6. USDA funded research leads to key discoveries in the pig genome
7. Dartmouth research: The clocks are ticking and the climate is changing
8. A class of RNA molecules protects germ cells from damage, Penn vet researchers show
9. Researchers sequence swine genome, discover associations that may advance animal and human health
10. Researchers uncover some good news for BCs troubled salmon populations
11. Researchers use GPS tracking to monitor crab behavior
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:12/16/2016)... -- Research and Markets has announced the addition of ... 2021" report to their offering. ... The biometric vehicle access system market, in ... 14.06% from 2016 to 2021. The market is estimated to be ... Million by 2021. The growth of the biometric vehicle access system ...
(Date:12/15/2016)... , Dec 15, 2016 ... Research and Markets has announced the addition ... offering. The report forecasts the global military biometrics market ... The report has been prepared based on an in-depth market ... and its growth prospects over the coming years. The report also includes ...
(Date:12/12/2016)... -- Researchers at Trinity College, Dublin, are opening up ... material with Silly Putty. The mixture (known as "G-putty") ... sense pulse, blood pressure, respiration, and even the ... The research team,s findings were published Thursday in ... Due ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:1/17/2017)... Jan. 17, 2017   Pulmatrix, Inc . (NASDAQ: ... developing innovative inhaled therapies to address serious pulmonary diseases, ... infections in the lungs of CF patients, PUR1900, has ... by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration. ... to speed the development of novel drugs against important ...
(Date:1/17/2017)...  Only nine percent of U.S. consumers believe pharmaceutical ... 16 percent believe health insurance companies do, according to ... of U.S. adults believe health care providers (such as ... hospitals (23%). "We are in the midst ... , vice president of reputation management and public affairs ...
(Date:1/17/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... January 17, 2017 , ... Pono ... balanced, peaceful and healthy lifestyle, announced today the official launch of its much-anticipated Pono ... the mind. , In development for over a year, the patented Pono ...
(Date:1/17/2017)... ... January 17, 2017 , ... Diagenode, ... recently announced a collaboration with the Heidelberg University Hospital and the German Cancer ... preparation, following the company’s successful launch of its CATS (Capture and Amplification ...
Breaking Biology Technology: