GE announces World’s largest membrane aerated biofilm reactor system will use ZeeLung* technology

The YorkvilleBristol Sanitary District (YBSD) in the Fox River watershed in Illinois is the first customer for its new ZeeLung* membrane aerated biofilm reactor (MABR) technology, GE has announced. YBSD will use ZeeLung MABR to upgrade the existing plant to increase its treatment capacity within the existing biological reactors. The upgrade also involves modifications to enable biological phosphorus removal. When commissioned in 2017, the plant will be the world’s largest MABR system.

YBSD provides wastewater collection and treatment services for the city of Yorkville, Illinois, with a population of 18,035 residents. YBSD’s treatment facility is an activated sludge plant with a design average flow of 3.62 million gallons per day. The plant is operating near its design load and to accommodate new industries within the city, YBSD sought a cost-effective solution to increase the treatment capacity. The plant also faces more stringent discharge regulations for phosphorus.

ZeeLung MABR technology

GE says that their ZeeLung MABR technology is a simple solution that allows municipalities to achieve nutrient removal and/or capacity expansion in existing tank volumes while significantly reducing energy consumption. It employs an innovative gas transfer membrane to deliver oxygen to a biofilm that is attached to the membrane surface. Immersing ZeeLung cassettes into mixed liquor increases the inventory of biomass in a treatment system thereby intensifying the biological treatment process. Oxygen is delivered to the biofilm by diffusion through the membrane, which reduces the energy required for oxygen delivery by up to four times compared to conventional aeration.

'When we introduced ZeeLung MABR last year, we knew it was going to be a transformative new technology for municipalities to upgrade wastewater treatment plants for nutrient removal and capacity expansion within existing plant footprints. As our first ZeeLung customer, the YorkvilleBristol Sanitary District can increase treatment capacity to meet Yorkville’s growing industrial and residential population while also enabling phosphorus removal and reducing energy consumption,' said Kevin Cassidy, global leader, engineered systems—water and process technologies for GE Power.

* Trademark of General Electric Company; may be registered in one or more countries.

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