Solve Your Nitrogen Problems

Apr 01 2010 Read 1003 Times

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Nitrogen pollution is a major issue causing eutrophication of fresh water systems. The member states of the EU, as well as most of the developed non-EU countries have, over the past few decades, introduced various programmes to reduce the amount of nitrogen entering their systems, mostly in terms of gradually tightening of wastewater discharge limits. Municipal as well as industrial wastewater treatment plants have found themselves facing the challenge to meet these strict limits using traditionally available technologies. Lentikats Biotechnology is a new tool to help meet the challenges of removing those last few milligrams as well dealing with the high nitrogen-loads of industrial effluents.

Lentikats Biotechnology presents a modern solution for the removal of inorganic forms of nitrogen from industrial as well as municipal wastewater. This patented technology is based on the immobilisation (encapsulation) of nitrification and denitrification bacteria, commonly found in activated sludge, in a porous hydrogel matrix made of polyvinyl alcohol (PVA). Apart from its high immobilisation capacity, the matrix possesses excellent physical and mechanical characteristics (elasticity, low abrasion), which provides a lasting durability of the “Biocatalyst”. The unique lentil-like shape (see Fig. 1) ensures unlimited substrate diffusion to the immobilised cells, while still retaining a convenient size for easy separation of the Biocatalyst from the reaction media. Moreover, the PVA is biologically non-degradable and has zero toxicity. It is an inexpensive immobilisation material with no side effects on the biochemical process.

In comparison to other immobilisation techniques applied to current wastewater treatments that are usually based on the growth and development of a mixed microbial community on the surface of a solid carrier, Lentikats Biocatalyst contains a high concentration of pre-defined biomass encapsulated within the carrier. Consequently, the Biocatalyst retains its high activity regardless of
the varying composition of the treated media. The outer shell of the porous matrix protects the encapsulated biomass, thus increasing its robustness against negative environmental effects, such as chemical shocks or the presence of any potentially toxic compounds (Schlieker and Vorlop, 2006).


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