Severn Trent Water has installed SUEZ’s ZeeLung* Membrane Aerated Biofilm Reactor (MABR) technology at its Spernal sewage treatment works in Redditch. The full-scale installation will be used to demonstrate the benefits of the technology to meet more stringent effluent ammonia targets that are a requirement of the newly enacted Asset Management Plan (AMP7) for the United Kingdom’s water sector. The project is part of an innovation strategy focused on the circular economy and net zero carbon emissions, and will be used to promote the adoption of new technologies aimed at intensifying the biological process of existing wastewater treatment schemes without adding civil works.
SUEZ’s ZeeLung technology was selected by Severn Trent Water for its ability to improve nutrient removal in existing tank volumes, while also reducing energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions such as nitrogen dioxide, a crucial step in achieving the 2030 net zero carbon target for the United Kingdom’s water industry.
“ZeeLung is a proven technology that quickly and easily upgrades existing wastewater treatment plants for nutrient removal and capacity expansion, while directly reducing the energy consumption needed for operation,” said Kevin Cassidy, executive vice president engineered systems for SUEZ – Water Technologies & Solutions. “We’re excited to be a part of Severn Trent Water’s program into groundbreaking strategies to develop a more sustainable future.”
The ZeeLung installation will be at Severn Trent Water’s Resource Recovery and Innovation Centre, located at the Spernal STW in Redditch, Worcestershire and will treat a hydraulic capacity of approximately 5,800 m3/d. It was designed to upgrade one lane of the existing Spernal STW activated sludge system to demonstrate the ability of ZeeLung to intensify treatment and reduce energy consumption. The project includes supply and commissioning of five ZeeLung cassettes and ancillary equipment.
ZeeLung technology is used to retrofit conventional activated sludge plants for nutrient removal and capacity expansion. ZeeLung employs a gas permeable media to deliver oxygen to a biofilm attached to the media surface. In conventional wastewater treatment, 60% of the energy used is consumed by blowers that deliver bubbles to provide the oxygen necessary for the biological process. With ZeeLung technology, oxygen is delivered through molecular diffusion without the use of bubbles, which reduces the energy required for oxygen transfer by up to four-times. This allows plants to significantly reduce their energy footprint while also increasing capacity and improving treatment quality. ZeeLung technology is in operation at full-scale on 4 continents.