Historical Journey Towards Energy Neutrality
100 years of energy intensive wastewater treatment
In 1914, around the same time Henry Ford was constructing his first assembly line for the model T, the Conventional Activated Sludge (CAS) process was developed. Since then the treatment of wastewater has been using bubble aeration to treat wastewater. This is a highly wasteful process as 60-70% of the energy is lost to atmosphere with bubble aeration which has led to major financial and operational challenges for operators. On a global scale, this process will typically consume 2-3% of the total electricity production of a nation. Operators have had to endure high OPEX costs driven by; high energy demands, high cost of skilled labour, and significant sludge disposal costs. To date there has been a lack of a commercially viable alternatives in aeration technology space…until now.
Helping wastewater operators achieve Energy Neutrality goals
OxyMem MABR does not use bubbles for oxygen delivery and therefore has multiple technical and commercial advantages for operators. We utilise gas permeable membranes to deliver oxygen directly to the micro-organisms that break down the carbon and nitrogen based pollutants. OxyMem achieves superior performance, on a smaller footprint, with less sludge production, less operator hours, and achieves energy savings in excess of 75%. In this way, OxyMem provides aeration through the most efficient delivery system available on the market today, the Membrane Aerated Biofilm Reactor (MABR).
15 years of blood, sweat and R&D
In the late 1990’s the researchers of OxyMem began with the objective of developing a more efficient way of treating wastewater. Embedded within the school of Chemical and Bioprocess Engineering, University College Dublin (UCD) they built on the 1970’s concept of using gas permeable membranes for the aeration of wastewater. By late 2013 OxyMem Limited was successfully spun out of the University and began selling commercial MABRs in mid 2014. Since then, the OxyMem has delivered multiple systems at varying scales to clients like: Severn Trent Water (UK), South Dublin CC (Ireland), Enisca (NI), Xylem (Sweden), Agbar (Spain), Dow Water (Brazil), & Kurita (Japan). OxyMem is currently offering it’s 4th Generation ‘drop in’ MABR and is busy working on Generation 5.
Foundation Intellectual Property and Patent Development
OxyMem invented a system that provides a unique and convenient way of measuring biofilm thickness, utilising this method to detect excessive biofilm growth allows for automatic removal of excessive biofilm by air scouring. University College Dublin filed a PCT application for this invention on the 28th November 2008 (European Patent Application EP08105882.8 / United States Patent Application No. 13/131,605 PL Ref: P10249USPC). The patent was issued by the EPO in January 2013 and on April 15 2014 in USA. Since 2013 OxyMem have filed a number of ground breaking PCT applications in the MABR field. We look forward to sharing these with you in the near future.