April 24, 2012  
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Will wastewater treatment plants look green in future?
First EU research project on mixed algae-bacteria biomass successfully completed

(From a press release from PTS The Paper Technology Specialists, dated April 19, 2012)

Algae in activated sludge can be an alternative to high energy-consuming aeration in wastewater treatment. This is the key result of two years intense research in the ALBAQUA EU project. Laboratory and pilot plant trials with paper mill effluents have shown that algae can integrate well into activated sludge flocs, producing oxygen for the degradation activity of bacteria. The water quality achieved by the green sludge was good. The algae-bacteria biomass could easily be removed from treated wastewaters because of its highly favourable settling characteristics. The excess sludge showed good potential for biogas production.

The project has generated an innovative approach to biological wastewater treatment, which will be of particular interest to high water and energy consuming sectors like the pulp and paper industry, but also to food production and municipal sewage treatment. The algae-bacteria symbiosis is expected to lower the energy consumption, leading to cost savings and reduced CO2 emissions. Further research projects are in the pipeline to optimize the technique and adapt it for wastewater from other sectors. The recycling of algae-bacteria biomass will be another focal point.

The ALBAQUA project (No. 23 EN) co-ordinated by PTS, was funded under the European Cornet (Collective Research Networking) programme and carried out by a consortium comprised of partners from TU Hamburg Harburg, Celabor (Belgium), Inštitut za Celuloso in Papir (ICP, Slovenia) and Paper Research Institute (PRI, Hungary). Further details can be found on the project homepage www.cornet-albaqua.eu. The project partners would like to express their sincere thanks for the project funding.

Press contact: Papiertechnische Stiftung, Erwin Polmann, Head of press and public relations 80797 Munich, Hess-Strasse 134, Phone: +49-89-12146-230, [email protected].


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