Company to Market Autotrophic MBfR Technology

After two years of research focused on developing the innovative hollow fiber membrane biofilm reactor (“MBfR”) technology for commercial water treatment applications, Applied Process Technology Inc.

After two years of research focused on developing the innovative hollow fiber membrane biofilm reactor (“MBfR”) technology for commercial water treatment applications, Applied Process Technology Inc. has licensed the MBfR from Northwestern University and now has exclusive, worldwide rights to market the technology for water treatment applications.

“The MBfR has truly great potential for solving serious, ubiquitous water contamination problems and has already generated significant interest from the water industry,” said Terry Applebury, president and CEO of Applied Process Technology. “The MBfR’s reductive process will complement our existing HiPOx oxidation technology platform. Together these two very different treatment solutions will enable Applied to address a vast range of contaminant issues at a given treatment site without generating waste concentrates.”

Licensed by Applied primarily for its environmental and cost advantages when compared with ion exchange, reverse osmosis and traditional biological treatment systems, the MBfR’s uniqueness lies in its autotrophic nature and use of hollow fibers. As water flows along the outside of the hollow fibers, hydrogen is diffused from the bore of the fiber outwards, acting as an electron donor to promote the growth of bacteria that naturally occur in the water. The bacteria then consume waterborne contaminants, either destroying them or reducing them to innocuous products. So, unlike ion exchange and reverse osmosis, no waste concentrates are generated.

The MBfR has been demonstrated to effectively reduce a wide variety of toxic compounds that are not adequately removed using traditional treatment methods. A few of these compounds include: nitrates, perchlorate, chlorinated solvents such as trichloroethylene (TCE) and dibromochloropropane (DBCP); and other already oxidized compounds.

“We are continuing to discover more and more applications for the MBfR technology,” Applebury said. “Contaminants such as chlorinated solvents, which were not initially identified as targets for the MBfR have been shown to respond well to the technology, even when multiple contaminants are present.”

The MBfR has immediate applications as a remediation technology, shows promise for treatment of industrial process waters, and is expected to qualify as a drinking water treatment technology. WW

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