How is Biotechnology Used in Sewage Treatment
Today, a large amount of wastewater is generated from urban and rural households, manufacturing industries, agricultural activities etc. It has become a major global challenge to treat sewage efficiently.
The sewage treatment plants have been utilizing physical, biological and chemical treatment methods to treat all kinds of solid waste, toxins, chemicals and other harmful substances present in the sewage. Thus, the main purpose of a sewage treatment plant is to clean wastewater so that it can be released outside to protect public health and the environment. Biotechnology is one of the latest technological innovations that use living organisms to improve the performance of existing biological processes and treat sewage effectively.
Since the 1970s, biotechnology has garnered attention and proved capable of solving challenges in different sectors like food production, agriculture and environmental protection. As biotechnology comprises various disciplines like biochemistry, microbiology, genetics etc., the definition of the same is quite varied.
According to an OECD report, biotechnology for the treatment of waste materials is stated as “fermentation using bioreactors, bio-processing, bio-bleaching, bio-pulping, bioleaching, bioremediation, biofiltration and phytoremediation.” The microbiological processes use living organisms such as bacteria to degrade waste and convert it into usable forms.
Use of Biotechnology in sewage treatment
There are several wastewater treatment methods based on biotechnology that are used worldwide. It includes Activated Sludge, Oxidation Ponds, Tricking Filters, Bio-filters and Anaerobic treatment. All the methods are part of the biological wastewater treatment and use microbes to treat organic waste in sewage.
Activated Sludge – In the activated sludge process, a biological floc of bacteria and protozoa are used to metabolize wastewater organically. The process contains aerated tanks to keep the flow of oxygen consistent. One of the features of this process is that the solid wastes settle at the bottom of a clarifier tank along with the flow of liquid waste known as activated sludge. Thereafter this activated sludge is brought back to the aeration tank to repeat the aeration process containing the new lot of sewage.
Trickling Filters – Trickling filters are either made up of stones or installed plastic media. The bed is covered with microorganisms and slime. A sufficient amount of air is passed as it is an aerobic process, and water is trickled through the bed pores when microbes act and degrade sewage. This process is known to minimize Biological Oxygen Demand – BOD and suspended solids.
Membrane Bioreactors (MBR) – Membrane Bioreactors act as a micro-filtration system that helps in separating suspended solids. A highly advanced filtration system is capable of separating high-quality effluents. Also, it is capable of separating nutrients.
Anaerobic Treatment – Anaerobic treatment involves the function of microorganisms in the absence of air. It is a complex process that further helps in the digestion of nutrient waste as well. Also, the by-products of the process include carbon dioxide and methane which helps in forming biogas.
The latest advancements in the biotechnology field enable the generation of electric current using sewage. When the microbes degrade organic waste through the oxidation process, it develops electrons. It is used to produce current.
Benefits Of Biotechnology
Biotechnology in sewage treatment is cost-effective when compared to traditional methods, and the effluent quality is enhanced as well. It protects the environment and the public from the harmful effects of releasing untreated effluent. Also, it allows the reuse of waste as an energy resource.
Organica Biotech is one of the leading companies with advanced solutions for sewage treatment. Based on biotechnology, Cleanmaxx STP is a consortium of highly adaptable natural microbes that degrades high organic loads of waste effectively. It boosts the biological treatment process in sewage plants as well. Thus, you can use Cleanmaxx STP for maintaining the sewage treatment plant performance.
Also read: Where Does Sewage Go?