Industry News

Collection of water and wastewater new headlines form industry news

FO membranes show 'no flux decline' ahead of CSM/Porifera deal

CSM membrane manufacturer Woongjin Chemical Co has signed a deal with Silicon Valley start-up Porifera to market its forward osmosis (FO) membrane products for desalination through its global sales channels.

Porifera said the membranes have been tested with "no flux decline" under the US Department of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency programme.

In addition, Woongjin Chemical is currently participating in the National Research Project in developing Pressure Retarded Osmosis (PRO).

Forward Osmosis membranes differ to Reverse Osmosis (RO) membranes as they use natural osmosis to filter water, whereas RO require additional energy through the form of pumps.

Woongjin Chemical Filter Division said as well as entering into this "next generation membrane market", it will continue to focus on membranes in the RO, Nanofiltration, Ultrafiltration and Microfilter space. CSM said that opportunities exist for FO membranes in shale gas wastewater treatment, and in the treatment of wastes from the food and beverage and pharmaceutical sectors.

Currently UK firm Modern Water is the first to prove its FO membranes on a commercial scale, with its Omani Al Najdah 200 m3/day project.


Thames Water to generate 1 MW at Crawley with THP

As part of utility giant Thames Water's plans to install thermal hydrolysis (THP) process plants at six of its main sewage works, it has contracted Norwegian firm Cambi to provide its B6-3 unit to site in Crawley.

The signed contract is part of the "Thames Water Crawley STW Enhanced Digestion (Thermal Hydrolysis) Plant Project" from GBMjv, a joint venture between Galliford Try Infrastructure, MWH Treatment and Mott McDonald.

Thames Water expects to import sludge from other nearby plants so that over 1 MW of electrical energy can be produced from the biogas made in the upgraded digesters.

In May this year the Norwegian company broke into the Spanish market with a project to supply THP technology for the Vigo WWTP, to handle 22,000 tons of dry solids per year.


NEWS IN BRIEF

Jordan's moves Red Sea desalination project ahead

The first phase of Jordan's planned $980 million Red Sea desalination project has been given the go-ahead by the government, according to the Jordan Times. Plans include a 200 million m3/year facility in the Wadi Araba region and a conveyor to transfer seawater from the Red Sea.

$33.5m Storm water project awarded in saudi arabia

Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Municipal & Rural Affairs in Riyadh has awarded contractor Abdullah A. M. Al-Khodari Sons Company a contract to construct a Storm Water Drainage Network in Murooj, Massif and Nakhil Districts in Riyadh. The project is worth SAR125.5m ($33.5m).

Solar desalination set for islands north of Australia

Solar powered desalination could soon start providing potable water on the island nation of Vanuatu, north of Australia. The 96 m3/day units are expected to supply drinking water to over 10,000 people on Eastern Ambae, as well as to 350 residents on the island of Aniwa

UK utility fined for wastewater breach

Utility Southern Water has been fined £200,000 for discharging wastewater into the sea. The utility is allegedly spending £1.7 million addressing issues at a pumping station and said that it might have to replace the infrastructure altogether.


Bacteria combo could render biofilms haven for e. coli in drinking water

Biofilms in water pipes created through a combination of harmless bacteria could provide a safe haven for harmful bacteria such as E. coli and Legionella, according to new research by Engineers at the University of Sheffield.

The research team, from the University of Sheffield's Faculty of Engineering, studied four bacteria found in the city's drinking water to see which combinations were more likely to produce a biofilm, which is made up of layers of bacteria that form on the inner surfaces of water pipes.

"Biofilms can form on all water pipes and as these are usually non-harmful bacteria, they don't present a problem," explained lead researcher, Professor Catherine Biggs. "However, biofilms can also be a safe place for harmful bacteria such as Escherichia coli or Legionella to hide."

According to Biggs, if the bacterial growth is too heavy, it can break off into the water flow, which at best can discolour the water or create an unpleasant taste. At worst it can release more dangerous bacteria.

The research looked at which conditions enable biofilms to grow with the aim of finding ways to control the bacteria in the water supply more effectively and ensure drinking water remains safe, while still reducing the need for chemical treatments and identifying potential hazards quickly.

Funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, the research isolated four bacteria in water taken from a domestic tap. Two were widely found in drinking water everywhere, one was less common and one was unique to Sheffield.

The researchers said that they mixed the bacteria in different combinations and found that, in isolation, none of them produced a biofilm. However, when any of the bacteria were combined with one of the common forms, called Methylobacterium, they formed a biofilm within 72 hours.

"Our findings show that this bacterium is acting as a bridge, enabling other bacteria to attach to surfaces and produce a biofilm and it's likely that it's not the only one that plays this role," explained Biggs. According to the Professor, this means that it should be possible to control, or even prevent, the creation of biofilms in the water supply by targeting these particular bacteria, potentially reducing the need for high dosage chemical treatments.

The researchers explained that drinking water supplies in the UK are regularly tested for levels of bacteria.

However, the standard tests look for indicator organisms rather than the individual types which are present. The researchers said that the testing methods they are developing - as used in this research - involve DNA analysis to identify the specific types of bacteria present.

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