The partners, including water purification expert Pantarein, have successfully completed the VITO/Vlakwa Open Call project AEROGRAM.
Their aim was to broaden the scope of aerobic granular sludge technology by demonstrating that this technology can also be used and offers advantages in industrial wastewater. They also wanted to demonstrate that a good sludge structure positively influences the performance of an MBR by reducing membrane pollution. This demonstration was set up at Izico, a company specialising in frozen snacks.
Tests were carried out at WZI Olen, a processor of wastewater that to a large extent comes from meat processing factories. The consortium managed to achieve both objectives.
An important finding is that this technology is of interest not only for domestic wastewater, but also for industrial wastewater. At Izico, sludge with excellent sedimentation properties was formed via an adapted process control system, which makes it possible to increase the capacity of the existing installation without major investments. This also makes it possible to build very compact new installations. At WZI Olen, tests were carried out to demonstrate the influence of a good sludge structure on the operation of an MBR installation. It was demonstrated that the cleaning frequency of the membranes containing javel and/or citric acid is much lower. In concrete terms, this means that a good sludge structure increases the efficiency of an MBR installation and thus facilitates water reuse.