Novel activated sludge “cake filtration” technology attracts S$1.4 million grant in Singapore

A S$1.4 (US$1.1) million grant has been awarded by the Singapore Environment and Water Industry Programme Office (EWI) to develop a novel wastewater filtration process that turns activated sludge into a filtration medium...

Grundfos Pub Grant Web

A S$1.4 (US$1.1) million grant has been awarded by the Singapore Environment and Water Industry Programme Office (EWI) to develop a novel wastewater filtration process that turns activated sludge into a filtration medium.

Global pump company Grundfos will use the grant to focus on the industrial treatment of wastewater using a cake filter made from activated sludge.

The cake filtration method is illustrated in the four-step process below:

Step 1: The cake filter is formed by collecting the activated sludge on a porous support frame.

Step 2: The cake filter is treated to deliver hydraulic properties and remove impurities so as to meet the required effluent-discharge standards.

Step 3: After treatment, the cake filter is now ready to be used to filter secondary effluents from wastewater treatment plants.

Step 4: A backwash will remove the used filter to make way for a new cake.

Grunfos said: “The cake filtration produces superior filtrate quality compared to traditional techniques and that can be safely discharged into the sea. The effluent discharge standard is comparable to that of membrane filtration, while halving the cost of effluent polishing, which is the removal of impurities from secondary effluent. There is further potential to treat the filtrate and recycle it for irrigation or industrial uses.”

The grant comes under the National Research Foundation’s Incentive for Research and

Innovation Scheme (IRIS). Administered by EWI, which is led by PUB, Singapore’s national water agency, and various partner agencies, the scheme provides funding support on a competitive basis for research. Besides funding the R&D, the grant will include a pilot demonstration of the technology upon successful proof of concept.

The Grundfos Water Innovation Centre in Singapore, headed by Dr Gao Xin, will be leading this project with support from the Nanyang Technological University’s Nanyang Environment & Water Research Institute (NEWRI).

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