On average, 35% of municipal energy budgets are reserved for the treatment of fresh and wastewater. This financial burden is also a window for opportunity—whereby energy efficient treatment options could potentially free up much needed funds that could be reallocated to alternative city services.
Recognizing this challenge, a new technology developed by GE promises to slash energy demands. The new process, which is currently being tested in Illinois, is up to four times as efficient as the previous water treatment system, and through a specialized process, is able to generate enough power to reach energy neutrality. GE claims that the new technology will “transform wastewater treatment plants from disposal facilities to resource recovery centers that yield clean water, nutrients and renewable energy from wastewater.”
GE’s water treatment technology marks a new approach to freeing up city funds, and treating a precious resource. City and municipal leaders can advance climate solutions in their communities by adopting innovative technologies that are both good for the environment, and for the bottom line. Join the move towards climate solutions by visiting Path to Positive Communities.
Water and wastewater treatment typically account for 35 percent of a municipality’s energy budget, which would mean big savings for local governments that can make the facilities energy neutral — that is, increase energy production to a level equal to or greater than the amount of energy it consumes.
GE recently began a demonstration project in Illinois to prove its newest wastewater treatment product can do just that. The company announced today it has several wastewater treatment products that it asserts are energy neutral, the latest being the ZeeLung Membrane Aerated Biofilm Reactor (MABR) — a gas-transfer membrane that diffuses oxygen to a biofilm that grows on the outside surface of the membrane. The microorganisms in the biofilm remove nutrients and organics in the wastewater by metabolizing them in the presence of oxygen. The product is immersed in existing bioreactors to improve performance and capacity of the facility.
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