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Dereli R.K.,Biothane Systems International | Dereli R.K.,Technical University of Delft | Dereli R.K.,Technical University of Istanbul | Urban D.R.,Biothane LLC | And 5 more authors.
Environmental Technology (United Kingdom) | Year: 2012

The ethanol industry has grown rapidly during the past ten years, mainly due to increasing oil prices. However, efficient and cost-effective solutions for treating thin stillage wastewater have still to be developed. The anaerobic membrane bioreactor (AnMBR) technology combines classical anaerobic treatment in a completely-stirred tank reactor (CSTR) with membrane separation. The combination of these two technologies can achieve a superior effluent quality and also increase biogas production compared to conventional anaerobic solutions. A pilot-scale AnMBR treating thin stillage achieved very high treatment efficiencies in terms of chemical oxygen demand (COD) and total suspended solids (TSS) removal (>98%). An average permeate flux of 4.3 L/m2.h was achieved at relatively low transmembrane pressure (TMP) values (0.1-0.2 bars) with flat-sheet membranes. Experience gained during the pilot-scale studies provides valuable information for scaling up of AnMBRs treating complex and high-strength wastewaters. © 2012 Taylor & Francis.

Young M.N.,Arizona State University | Krajmalnik-Brown R.,Arizona State University | Liu W.,Siemens AG | Liu W.,Biothane LLC | And 2 more authors.
Bioresource Technology | Year: 2013

Solids retention time (SRT) is a critical parameter for the performance of anaerobic digesters (AD) in wastewater treatment plants. AD SRT should increase when active biomass is input to the AD by recycling anaerobic sludge via the wastewater-treatment tanks, creating a hybrid aerobic/anaerobic system. When 85% of the flow through the AD was recycled in pilot-scale hybrid systems, the AD SRT increased by as much as 9-fold, compared to a parallel system without anaerobic-sludge recycle. Longer AD SRTs resulted in increased hydrolysis and methanogenesis in the AD: net solids yield decreased by 39-96% for overall and 23-94% in the AD alone, and AD methane yield increased 1.5- to 5.5-fold. Microbial community assays demonstrated higher, more consistent Archaea concentrations in all tanks in the wastewater-treatment system with anaerobic-sludge recycle. Thus, multiple lines of evidence support that AD-sludge recycle increased AD SRT, solids hydrolysis, and methane generation. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Dunaev T.,Biothane LLC
AFS 2012 Fall Conference: Solid-Fluid-Separation - Innovation in Research and Applications | Year: 2012

Developing a reliable and operational system for coupling membranes with anaerobic process has been a ongoing challenge for wastewater professionals. Previous works identify various levels of success with the main obstacles listed as the price of the membranes, figuring out best configuration, effective fouling control and best operational practices for full-scale applications. Following lengthy research and piloting efforts, a reliable combination of anaerobic process and cross-flow membranes was developed. Biothane's Memthane is now a marketable product with several full-scale installations. Because the price of the membranes is driven mostly by the market, the main innovations considered were in the areas of set-up, controls and operations. Memthane Anaerobic Bioreactor has a patented mixing approach that allows for the most efficient biological degradation as well as pre-selection of feed to the membranes. The mixing pattern does not let heavy precipitant abrasive solids as well greasy fouling-increasing solids to the membrane skids. This mentioned mixing pattern addresses the challenging effluents. Memthane membrane skids have a modular design, allowing for easy construction and delivery. The membranes are arranged in a fashion that eliminates any need for mammoth pumps. A combination of cross-flow control, permeate control setup and retantate handling allows for a continuous operation below the critical flux values. Preemptive Clean-in-Place (CIP) practices contribute to effective fouling prevention, also addressing the effective operations of the system. The combination of a small footprint, modularity, easy maintenance and operations allow for a product that is able to easily address many of the previous challenges within the anaerobic market.

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