Enpar wastewater treatment system passes first round of tests in Edmonton
First-phase tests of Enpar Technologies' AmmEl-HC system at Edmonton's Wastewater Research and Training Centre hav been extremely successful, the company reported early this month. The system, developed by Guelph, Ontario-based Enpar, is an advanced electrochemical wastewater treatment technology which converts toxic ammonia directly to environmentally benign nitrogen gas. It is being tested at Edmonton's Gold Bar wastewater treatment plant, home to the research centre. Effective management of high ammonia-content waste streams will enable municipalities to achieve year-round compliance with environmental regulatory standards and limits.
The first stage of the testing was conducted by Sam Su, an MSc student working under the direction of Dr Ian Buchanan, an environmental engineering professor from the University of Alberta's department of civil and environmental engineering. Based on the positive test results obtained by Su, Enpar carried out an optimization program designed to reduce the overall operating cost for centrate/filtrate wastewaters with a temperature range between 8 and 24* C.
The optimization process succeeded in reducing the operating cost by 33%, from a mean of $7.17 to $4.79 per cubic metre (m3) of water treated. The water contains extremely high ammonia levels ranging from 1 to 1.2 kilograms of ammonia per m3. These levels are approximately 40 times the normal concentration of ammonia in municipal wastewater where the estimated operating cost for a biological system averages $1.00 per m3. The AmmEL-HC system was able to remove 40 times the normal amount of ammonia for only five times the normal operating cost.
As predicted, the AmmEL system performed extremely well, confirming the system's effectiveness at treating high-ammonia waste streams. Enpar believes the implementation of a full-scale system would effectively address the ammonia problem that Edmonton experiences during the colder months of the year.
The next phase of testing will involve treating centrate from the anaerobic digester. Modeling indicates that the operating cost will drop further to $4.25 per m3, as the temperature of the effluent averages 35* C and increased temperature is known to enhance the removal of ammonia from the waste stream during the first stage of the treatment process. Enpar anticipates that successful testing will result in commercial installations within the near future.
Based in Guelph, Ontario, Enpar is an environmental technology company applying its proprietary electrochemical processes to the treatment of wastewater and drinking water contaminated by metals or nutrients, e.g. nitrate/ammonia associated with the mining, metal processing, chemical, agricultural, municipal and waste management sectors.
Its patented DesEL (deionization), AmmEL (ammonia) and NitrEL (nitrate) technologies offer alternatives to biological, ion exchange, and reverse osmosis systems for contaminant removal, while its AmdEL (acid mine drainage) is dedicated to the prevention of acidic leachate production from sulfide mine waste. For high value metals recovery, Enpar is currently in the advanced stage of development of the ExtrEL (extraction) product.