EnviClear purifies contaminated wastewater at biogas plants

By EnviTec Biogas AG | July 28, 2015

Individual solutions are the driving force behind A3 Water Solutions GmbH, a subsidiary of EnviTec Biogas AG. As an internationally active water treatment specialist, the company, based in Gelsenkirchen and Saerbeck, has just developed an innovative and environmentally friendly membrane bioreactor process in conjunction with EnviClear that purifies contaminated surface waters for biogas plant operators. The process has now been put to practice for the first time at the plant of Biogas Greven e.V. and was recently officially inaugurated by Peter Vennemeyer, mayor of the city of Greven, and operator Bernhard Averbeck. The 1.2 MW biogas plant of Biogas Greven e.V. is EnviClear's first operation site.

“At many biogas plants and in farms, organically contaminated wastewater occurs on roads and silo surfaces. The wastewater is usually collected separately and then often only cleaned insufficiently, for example in wastewater treatment ponds or reed bed treatment plants,” says Ulrich Brüß, managing director of A3 Water Solutions. This leads again and again to contaminated water being led into adjoining waters, especially in the winter months. “Reed bed treatment plants have the major disadvantages of being difficult to monitor, impossible to control and only seasonally functional. Plants do not grow in the winter, so the efficiency of the plant declines,” the biologist continues.

Biological treatment plant operation with the membrane bioreactor process in Greven aims to ensure compliance with the applicable discharge limit values. Until now, the operator had been using a wastewater treatment pond with a downstream reed bed treatment plant. With this method, contaminated water would sometimes end up in the nearby creek Menningbäumer Bach. “With a sustainable treatment technology, such problems are now part of the past,” says Brüß.

The wastewater treatment plant is based on the membrane bioreactor process (MBR), in which the wastewater is purified biologically, and the biomass is retained by submersed membrane filters. The filters are so fine that they also capture bacteria, thus ensuring an especially high-quality process and a purification capacity of over 99 percent. Moreover, the plant can also be remotely monitored. “Thanks to early detection, we can take proper measures and find a solution,” Brüß adds. The A3 innovation is also characterized by simple handling and a high level of flexibility. “The process is easily expandable and thus can be customised on an individual basis,” the biologist explains.

For over 15 years, A3 Water Solutions GmbH has been concerned with the purification of municipal and industrial wastewater both in Germany and abroad. Their customers include not only the field camps of the German armed forces, but also the cruise industry and the food, textile and chemical industries. One essential component of the plants is the use of self-developed and -produced membrane filtration modules for separating activated sludge and purified water. The MBR process was developed by A3 and transferred to small, compact plants, partially in containers. The team has also specialized in the construction of plants for processing fermentation residues from biogas plants. These plants cover the process steps of decantation, ultrafiltration and reverse osmosis. Plants of this type have already been in operation for more than seven years and have throughputs of 60,000 to 80,000 metric tons per year.