ArchaeaSolutions, Inc. specializes in providing our patented Arkea Wastewater Aeration System and bioaugmentation technology with Arkea microbial cultures for wastewater treatment. Other services are consultation and training for wastewater process control, troubleshooting assistance, and lab analyses, including microscopic analyses. Archaea are found in soil, fecal waste, wetlands, and surface water, and enter treatment processes through fecal waste and inflow and infiltration (I/I). Unfortunately, the relatively small population size of archaea in the biomass does not permit the organisms to significantly influence treatment performance. Approximately one percent of the biomass consists of archaea.
Archaea are a diverse group of single-cell, microscopic organisms that have no nucleus and other membrane-bound organelles. They have several unique features that are different from bacteria. These features include:
- Enzyme systems that can degrade organic compounds that bacteria cannot degrade, including the degradation of wastes produced by bacteria.
- Higher metabolic rates that provide for more rapid degradation of organic wastes.
- Unique structural features that permit the archaea to exist as extremophiles. That is, they are able to tolerate extremes in temperature, pH, and salinity.
Use of Archaea in Wastewater Treatment
Sun coming up over lakeArchaea are a group of microorganisms that improve wastewater treatment plant performance.
Perhaps the best-known archaea that degrade carbonaceous wastes are the methanogens or methane-producing organisms in anaerobic digesters.
Archaea are able to tolerate and grow in cold and hot temperatures (- 4 to 90oC), low pH (< 3), high pH (> 10), and high salinity (> 10,000 mg/L total dissolved solids). The structural features that contribute to the extremophilic nature of these organisms consist of tightly coiled proteinaceous enzyme systems that resist damage (denaturation) and chemical bonds in the lipids that make up the cell membrane that are tolerant of changes in environmental or operational conditions.