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:6/7/2016)... TORONTO , June 7, 2016  Syngrafii ... begun a business relationship that includes integrating Syngrafii,s ... pilot branch project. This collaboration will result in ... for the credit union, while maintaining existing document ... http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160606/375871LOGO ...
(Date:6/1/2016)... Favorable Government Initiatives Coupled With ... Identification to Boost Global Biometrics System Market Through 2021  ... report, " Global Biometrics Market By Type, By ... 2011 - 2021", the global biometrics market is projected ... of growing security concerns across various end use sectors ...
(Date:5/9/2016)... May 9, 2016 Elevay is ... to expanding freedom for high net worth professionals seeking ... today,s globally connected world, there is still no substitute ... ever duplicate sealing your deal with a firm handshake. ... by taking advantage of citizenship via investment programs like ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... Rolf K. Hoffmann, former senior ... the University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School effective June 27. ... Kenan-Flagler, with a focus on the school’s international efforts, leading classes and participating ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016 Epic Sciences ... detects cancers susceptible to PARP inhibitors by targeting ... cells (CTCs). The new test has already been ... in multiple cancer types. Over 230 ... damage response pathways, including PARP, ATM, ATR, DNA-PK ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... WI (PRWEB) , ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... supplements, is pleased to announce the launch of their brand, UP4™ Probiotics, into ... for over 35 years, is proud to add Target to its list of ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Houston Methodist Willowbrook Hospital has signed ... to serve as their official health care provider. ... will provide sponsorship support, athletic training services, and ... volunteers, athletes and families. "We are ... and to bring Houston Methodist quality services and ...
Breaking Biology Technology: