Biotechnology Company


Reduced volume of runoff/leachate
Eliminated need for new lagoon storage
Enabled growth and expansion
Ultrafiltration (UF)

Case Study: Ultrafiltration, Biotechnology

A biotechnology company produces 85,000 GPD of wastewater from their process stream, which is then processed by conventional wastewater treatment including dissolved air flotation(DAF) units. Due to very high yearly cost for chemicals and polymer, the industry approached us to provide a sustainable solution. We have tested our unique UF, designed to treat wastewater without the addition of polymers or processing aids, significantly reducing the operation cost.

Company Issue / Challenge

Reducing OPEX cost. Annual polymer and chemicals required for DAF runs in millions.

The cost for land application is high and runoff has few nutrients, so paying to truck this material to farm fields is not efficient.

Managing the storage and hauling of leachate is a constant challenge and requires coordination of various trucks throughout the year.

Concentrating the nutrients in the leachate for storage and later land application with manure would be most efficient.

What We Delivered


System Update

We placed the UF after anaerobic digester, making it a membrane bioreactor (MBR) system. Our proprietary UF system uses stainless-steel modules containing multiple porous tubular UF membranes. For this project, we used a tubular membrane with an average pore size of 0.02μm. We recovered about 80% of the mixed liquor as UF permeate at a very high average flux rate of ~68 GFD.

The approach produced better quality water, while reducing the OPEX cost for the client. The use of ultrafiltration also improved the anaerobic digester performance.

PARAMETERUnitUF FeedUF PermeateUF ConcentratePercent Removal by UF
Total solidsmg/L 18,300 5,400 54,64070%
Ammoniacal Nitrogenmg/L 741 704 9105%
Organic Nitrogenmg/L67936N/A95%
Total Kjeldahl Nitrogen (TKN)mg/L 1,420 740 3,34348%
Phosphorus (total)mg/L2401.03900>99%
Potassium (total)mg/L40636750010%
Sulfur (total)mg/L13453.630060%
Calcium (total)mg/L21312.481594%
Magnesium (total)mg/L37623281538%
Sodium (total)mg/L 1,110 1,040 1,2106%
Copper (total)mg/L0.6n.d.3>99%
Iron (total)mg/L18.8n.d.79>99%
Manganese (total)mg/L8.60.3963495%
Zinc (total)mg/L1.72n.d.7>99%

These data reveal that the UF removed 70% of total solids, while 95% of the organic nitrogen and almost all of phosphorus was removed from the mixed liquor. The UF permeate was transparent and devoid of all suspended solids.

Liquid Pictures

Scroll the gallery to see pictures of the materials from our filtration equipment.

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