The introduction of high-purity oxygen (Oxy-Dep) technology at wastewater treatment facilities can serve to augment the capacity of sewage aeration basins in the short term, says gas supplier Air Products national sales manager Sachin Kulkarni.
“Companies around the world are facing increasing pressure to reduce their environ- mental impact and re-examine their long-term sustainability. To this end, many companies are seeking solutions to effective wastewater treatment. This is in line with the global trend towards zero liquid discharge, which encourages industries to adopt wastewater technologies to assist in the drive towards water recycling and reducing water wastage.
“In a country such as South Africa, where water is a precious resource and needs to be carefully managed, effective waste- water technologies have become an impe- rative, which cannot be ignored,” he states.
Owing to this, the Oxy-Dep technology offers treatment plants a highly efficient oxygen dissolution system, which optimises wastewater processing and addresses bio- logical oxygen demand. This is because it is a biological wastewater treatment process which uses pure oxygen, instead of air.
The Oxy-Dep technology incorporates a side-stream injector to deliver oxygen in the form of very fine high-purity oxygen bubbles to an activated sludge process, with minimal power consumption. It provides recognised benefits, compared with conventional aeration methods, he explains.
“The drive towards effective water use is not only an environmental concern, but has also become a strong business imperative. While legis- lation is in place regarding wastewater management, it is the business community which is driving demand for new technology. The market is actively seeking water treatment solutions in order to become sustainable in the long term,” Kulkarni points out.
He indicates that wastewater technologies must be cost effective in addition to being environment friendly. Air Products is continually looking for ways in which to optimise wastewater treatment facilities through improved oxygen-based technologies, which bring direct benefits to the user.
As a result, he notes, the Oxy-Dep technology is ideal when space is too limited for the installation of new or additional plants, as it increases the treatment capacity of the existing plant. This has important implications in minimising the need for large capital expenditure,” Kulkarni points out.
He adds that wastewater technologies must have econo- mic benefits to companies, which is why there are ongoing advances in the field – through research and development efforts – to gain a deeper understanding of the role of oxygen in the biological and water treatment process.
“The key to the efficient use of oxygen includes the design of the wastewater plant, the equipment used to transfer gaseous oxygen into the liquid effluent and an intimate understanding of the biological process,” concludes Kulkarni.