Most likely, it ends up in a municipal wastewater treatment facility to be cleaned and then released into a nearby river, bay or ocean
From sludge to clean water
The process of cleaning our wastewater results in a by-product called sludge. Municipalities need to dispose of large volumes of sludge every year, but it still holds a lot of water at this stage. This makes disposal more expensive and also means that significant resources are needed to transport and dispose of it.
Dewatering sludge in wastewater treatment facilities can be an expensive affair, and today’s dewatering solutions are not very effective. Energy consumption, disposal costs and the use of chemicals all add up.
In December 2018, Novozymes launched BioSec® to help wastewater facilities improve their sludge dewatering, reducing their chemical usage, energy consumption and overall disposal costs.
The magic of enzymes
EnzymesProteins that act as catalysts, helping to convert one substance into another. have a natural ability to transform one substance into another. In the case of sludge, enzymes work to break down particles in the water that make it difficult for chemicals to bond with the sludge solids. As a result, facilities are able to use fewer chemicals, making the process less energy intensive. The volume of sludge also decreases, lowering disposal costs.
“We’ve conducted some trials of our new product with a large treatment facility in Denmark,” says Jens Kolind, Vice President, Technical Industries. “The first results are very promising, and we’re receiving positive feedback from the plant. In an industry that focuses on cost reduction and sustainability, an innovative biological dewatering solution can make a profound difference.”
Working with customers for a successful launch
When Novozymes prepares for the launch of a new product such as BioSec®, close collaboration with customers that are willing to test the new solution at full scale is key to success.
“BioSec® was developed in close collaboration with a number of potential customers, and we’re grateful for their willingness to test it and share the results with us, so that we could optimize it along the way,” continues Jens Kolind. “While initial sales are expected to be limited, we’re excited about the launch, as it brings significant benefits to wastewater operators and to the environment.”