This release is available in Spanish.
A group of researchers from the University of Granada (Universidad de Granada) have come up with a wastewater treatment system which has three clear advantages with respect to systems currently used: it is possible to obtain cheaper water of a higher quality, it considerably reduces the size of treatment plants (by more than half) and it minimizes the resulting mud production.
Jos Manuel Poyatos Capilla, researcher from the Department of Civil Engineering of the University of Granada, is the main responsible for this work, which has been directed by professor Ernesto Hontoria Garca, director of the Superior Technical Engineering School of Roads, Channels and Ports of the UGR. Research of Prof. Poyatos is particularly interesting if the current global drought is taken into account, as well as the lack of space many municipalities have when the number of inhabitants grows, which makes it impossible to enlarge their water treatment plants.
Prof. Poyatos has used a new technology based on membrane bioreactor systems which makes it possible to shorten the water clarification process (by which active mud is separated), eliminating the stage known as secondary decanting. The structure of every plant currently has four stages: pre-treatment, primary decanting, biological reactor and secondary decanting. A tertiary treatment can also be added whenever water is used for irrigating.
An advantageous system
Research carried out at the UGR could reduce the size of the biological reactor between 40 and 60%, and would completely eliminate secondary decanting. In the future explains the researcher - we could even suppress the primary decanting stage. In exc
Contact: Professor Jos Manuel Poyatos Capilla
Universidad de Granada