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First results of water treated by ELAN® technology!


The first samples of water treated by ELAN® technology in the UMBRELLA prototype are available

ELAN Aqualia
At the beginning of June, the permeate obtained in the AnMBR (Anaerobic Membrane Bioreactor) of the UMBRELLA prototype was started to be treated by means of the ELAN® technology (acronym for sp. Autotrophic Nitrogen Elimination, a system patented by Aqualia (EP2740713 A1)). A few weeks later, in July, Aqualia successfully obtained the first sample of treated water.

As can be seen in the following table, this sample complies with the discharge requirements required of Ecoparc del Besòs.

Parameter Units Dicharge limit SampleAnMBR + ELAN®
Temperature º C 40 27
pH upH 6 - 10 7,8
Total suspended solids mg·L-1 750 31
Total chemical oxygen demand mg·L-1 1.500 545
Nitrates mg·L-1 100 66
Ammonium mg·L-1 60 <5

This sample demonstrates the technical feasibility of the water treatment approach proposed in LIFE METHAmorphosis, which aims to meet the requirements for purification of effluents from waste treatment with a train of technologies (AnMBR + ELAN®) whose energy consumption is 70% lower than conventional treatment.

Currently the capacity of the ELAN® reactor is still low (1 m3 permeate/day or about 0.05 kg N/m3 reactor and day), which can be easily understood since the amount of granular inoculum is small and the biomass is not yet adapted to the usual operating conditions. During the following months, the purification performance and the energy consumption of the treatment will be optimized. Due to the slow growth of the biomass involved in the treatment, the strategy to follow is to encourage the growth of this biomass, to accumulate it and to adapt it to the conditions of the medium in order to increase the capacity of the reactor up to 14 m3 permeate/day.

The ELAN® process consumes less than half the energy consumed by the conventional system based on alternating processes Nitrification - Denitrification. In addition, it does not require biodegradable organic matter and the production of excess sludge is negligible.