Water & Wastewater Treatment

WWT May 2016

Water & Wastewater Treatment Magazine

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Page 22 of 39

www.wwtonline.co.uk | WWT | MAY 2016 | 23 In the know Cranfield University's Water Sciences Institute has completed the first phase of a three-year research project that evaluates the various aspects of the plastic media produced by the manufacturer Warden Biomedia for wastewater treatment processes. The academic/industry collaboration is focusing on research and development of biofilm processes aiming to improve efficiency, cost-effectiveness and sustainability process units such as submerged aerated filters (SAFs), moving bed biofilm reactors (MBBR) and trickling filters. The first phase, which was undertaken by PhD student Joana Manuel Silva under the supervision of Dr Ana Soares and Professor Tom Stephenson, was dedicated to investigating the impact of the media with different shapes, RESEARCH ROUND UP Research on biofilm processes completes first phase geometries and surface area on mixing and aeration efficiency in a 1m 3 pilot- plant using tracer tests and oxygen transfer efficiency tests, respectively. The findings have highlighted significantly different efficiencies depending on the media characteristics, which will now be fed into Warden's product development. Warden's managing director, Mark Barrett says: "It's early days, but this will help us develop alternative design approaches for the RISING UP Affinity Water has announced that Teresa Perchard will be chair of its Customer Scrutiny Group from 22 June, taking over from the existing chair, Robin Dahlberg. Perchard is an experienced consumer advocate and non-executive director; she was director of policy and advocacy at Citizens Advice for more than 13 years. Peaches Golding OBE has been appointed as Independent Chair of Bristol Water's Challenge Panel. An award-winning business and community leader, Golding has chaired many local groups including Ofcom's Viewer Panel for ITV West. She replaces outgoing chair Charles Howeson. The Environment Agency has confirmed the appointment of two new senior directors. John Curtin will be Executive Director for Flood & Coastal Risk Management and Harvey Bradshaw will serve as Executive Director for Environment & Business. The pair had already been doing their respective roles on an interim basis. South East Water has appointed John Barnes to its board as a non-executive director. Barnes is a chartered engineer with more than 30 years of experience of the water industry; his previous senior roles include being Chief Operating Officer of United Utilities. Pump hire specialist Sykes Pumps has accelerated its growth plans in the north with the appointment of Mike Cook as Pump Sales Manager (North). Based in Manchester, he will cover an area from Birmingham to Scotland. next generation of biofilm processes. Energy in wastewater treatment can be up to 50-60 percent of the operational costs, so investigating the impact of different media on aeration is very important, enabling us to help our clients to estimate and potentially decrease energy consumption." The next phase of the project, starting this month and ending in early 2017, will focus on the impact of the different media on process performance. ● 24 Innovation Zone: BACTEST Shepherd ● 26 Research Notes: Heat recovery ● 29 Getting to Grips: Drainage design ● 31 Products: Filtration 17-18 May Utility Week Live, NEC, Birmingham 25 May WWT Wales Water conference, Cardiff.. 15 Jun British Water annual lunch and AGM, London.. 22 Jun WWT Water Industry Energy Conference, Birmingham. COmING UP The inner guts of cacti can be used to purify contaminated water for drinking and other uses, according to researchers at the University of South Florida (USF). Norma Alcantar, associate professor of chemical engineering at USF, said there is an attraction between the mucilage of cactus and arsenic. It also attracts sediments, bacteria and other contaminants. "It captures these substances and forms a large mass or 'floc' that looks like cotton candy. For sediments, the flocs are large and heavy, which precipitate rapidly aœer the interaction with mucilage," she said. Alcantar was first introduced to the process by her Mexican grandmother who described using boiled prickly pear cactus to capture particles in sediment-laced dirty water. The sediments sank, and the water at the top of the bucket became clear and drinkable. She and her team tried the approach to clean contaminated drinking water following the Haiti earthquake and found it worked well. Following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil rig disaster, Alcantar and her USF team began to explore the ability of cacti to clean up oil contaminated seawater. While the research programme never moved beyond bench scale, she says, cactus mucilage was found to be an effective oil dispersant. Alcantar and Tunan Peng, a graduate research assistant in her lab, are investigating the mechanism that allows mucilage to be such an effective purifier. Cacti 'guts' clean contaminated water, say researchers Cranfield researcher Joana Manuel Silva

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