MIcrovi Biotech, Inc.

Microvi Awarded Funding to Demonstrate Intensification of Activated Sludge Treatment for Biological Phosphorus Capture and Nitrogen Removal


Source: MIcrovi Biotech, Inc.

Microvi announced today that they were awarded another round of funding from the Water Test Network (an Interreg North West Europe project which is funded by the European Regional Development Fund).  The new trial will use a combination of different Microvi MNE biocatalysts to achieve the removal of phosphorus and nitrogen at significantly smaller reactor volumes.  The trial will also further develop and demonstrate the ability of Microvi’s wastewater technology to successfully intensify the activated sludge process. The trial will be hosted on Scottish Water’s Wastewater Development Centre at Bo’ness, Scotland.

“There is an increasing desire to move away from unsustainable chemical precipitation and towards phosphorus capture to recycle for beneficial reuse, however many existing plants require extensive capital works to convert to biological phosphorus removal.  Through this trial we hope to demonstrate that Microvi can provide an efficient and effective way of making biological phosphorus removal accessible by significantly reducing capital and operating costs,” said Ajay Nair, Global Director of Commercial and Technical Strategy at Microvi. “We are extremely excited to provide another new innovative example of how Microvi’s unique MNE technology can bring much needed innovation to the sector. Microvi would like to thank the Water Test Network for continuing to support our technology’s commercial development.”  

“The wastewater industry faces increasing challenges such as climate change and emerging pollutants on a global scale.  Many treatment works will need to meet tightening consent requirements which conventional methods may struggle to achieve,” said Dave Ross of the Water Test Network. “Facilitating new innovations such as Microvi’s MNE biocatalyst technology will help to combat these challenges to secure a more sustainable future and we’re delighted the Water Test Network can play an active part in supporting this.”  

The new trial builds upon the successful completion of another product trial funded through the Water Test Network and completed in March of 2020 at Scottish Water’s Development Centre. Tested in a large-scale environment, this trial confirmed Microvi MNE’s ability to increase the capacity of existing activated sludge processes and treat more load with a single biocatalyst. It was able to meet requirements for BOD and Ammonia removal while operating in a reactor volume 50 percent that of conventional activated sludge. The intensified process yields additional advantages including reduced aeration energy costs and the potential for higher biogas production during anaerobic digestion of waste solids for value recovery.

The integrated Microvi MNE and activated sludge system can be designed to provide a retrofit option for existing treatment plants requiring process intensification to meet increasing flows and loads. 

Microvi MNE uses novel biocatalytic composites (biocatalysts) that intensify biological processes, while maintaining a controlled population of microorganisms at a much higher density than existing technologies. Despite the complexity of the biocatalysts, the design and operation of the systems are simple. 

Microvi’s wastewater technology has significant advantages over conventional water treatment processes. It requires a smaller footprint and does not generate biological solids, while removing BOD, ammonia, phosphorus and nitrate. The solution is operator friendly, stable, robust, and can be used in existing infrastructure or as part of a new build.

Microvi’s water technologies have been successfully applied in a number of applications across the water, wastewater and bio-based chemicals sectors.  Along with a project focused on tertiary ammonia removal completed at Thames Water in the UK, the technology was recently selected for the first full scale wastewater sidestream treatment project in the San Francisco Bay, and for drinking water projects at Hillview Water Company in Raymond, CA and Cucamonga Valley Water District.  

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