GE to Generate Renewable Energy from Wastewater Using New Membrane Technology
General Electric (GE) has introduced a new step forward in membrane-based wastewater treatment tech. The company has combined anaerobic digestion with its ZeeWeed 500 membranes to create an anaerobic membrane bioreactor (AnMBR).
This is in hopes to reduce costs, meet more stringent discharge limits, maximize performance efficiency, and generate renewable energy from wastewater for its industrial clients.
The ZeeWeed 500 uses membrane technology to filter difficult-to-treat wastewater. The system is completely automated and has a wide range of applications, from industrial plants to water reclamation.
This new solution is designed to reduce the high costs associated with treating water with high biochemical and chemical oxygen demand. The AnMBR is designed with lower energy consumption, higher energy recovery, and cost-effectiveness in mind.
“By combining anaerobic digestion and ZeeWeed membrane technology, GE has solved the issues associated with traditional anaerobic processes,” the company said in a press release. “GE’s AnMBR separates solids retention time from hydraulic retention time for a more robust biological process, retaining methanogens in anaerobic reactor, increasing methane production with no suspended solids in permeate and improving final effluent quality.”
GE believes there is a large demand for more efficient wastewater treatments, and this AnMBR is a solid solution.
“GE’s most recent development in membranes unites our proven ZeeWeed reinforced hollow fiber membranes with anaerobic digestion technology to construct the new AnMBR. The future of water treatment has a new component and reinforces GE’s commitment to energy neutrality,” Yuvbir Singh, general manager, engineered systems—water and process technologies for GE Power & Water, said. “Our industrial customers are yearning for more energy reduction in wastewater treatment, and GE's AnMBR will give them a way to generate renewable energy from their wastewater.”
Drax advances biomass strategy with Pinnacle acquisition
The Group’s enlarged supply chain will have access to 4.9 million tonnes of operational capacity from 2022. Of this total, 2.9 million tonnes are available for Drax’s self-supply requirements in 2022, which will rise to 3.4 million tonnes in 2027.
The £424 million acquisition of the Canadian biomass pellet producer supports Drax' ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and will make a "significant contribution" in the UK cutting emissions by 78% by 2035 (click here).
This summer Drax will undertake maintenance on its CfD(2) biomass unit, including a high-pressure turbine upgrade to reduce maintenance costs and improve thermal efficiency, contributing to lower generation costs for Drax Power Station.
In March, Drax secured Capacity Market agreements for its hydro and pumped storage assets worth around £10 million for delivery October 2024-September 2025.
The limitations on BECCS are not technology but supply, with every gigatonne of CO2 stored per year requiring approximately 30-40 million hectares of BECCS feedstock, according to the Global CCS Institute. Nonetheless, BECCS should be seen as an essential complement to the required, wide-scale deployment of CCS to meet climate change targets, it concludes.