The utility is installing GE's ABMET® wastewater bioreactor system, which uses a special molasses-based product as a nutrient for microbes that reduce selenium.
The system utilizes special strains of common, non-pathogenic microbes that facilitate the conversion of soluble selenium into elemental selenium, which is removed from the system during periodic backwashing.
Selenium is an element found in coal that is not consumed in the combustion process and typically can be found in several of a plant's post-combustion waste streams.
The installation will enable AEP's 1,300-megawatt Mountaineer generating station to comply with a new discharge limit for selenium. Construction of the treatment facility began in July 2010 and is scheduled to become operational by the end of 2011.