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Thames Water and Microvi Biotechnologies complete collaborative 9-month trial

  • Thames Water and Microvi Biotechnologies complete collaborative 9-month trial

About the entity

Microvi is a green technology company based in the San Francisco Bay Area that delivers next-generation biotechnologies for the water, wastewater and renewable chemical industries.

Thames Water and Microvi Biotechnologies completed a collaborative 9-month trial demonstrating Microvi's novel wastewater treatment, Microvi MNE™ (MNE). The fully automated MNE demonstration plant was configured as a tertiary nitrification system for ammonia removal. Operating between 5-22 degrees Celsius, MNE consistently removed ammonia from wastewater during continuous operation outperforming the ammonia removal rates of the existing nitrifying sand filters. 

MNE showed resilience in performance with temperature, variability in flow, process shutdowns and rates of load change. It intensified the treatment process and under all conditions comfortably met less than 1 mg/l effluent ammonia with the majority less than 0.2 mg/l. The process also did not increase suspended solids across the reactor.

"Microvi MNE continues to demonstrate superior capabilities and unique advantages across many facets of water and wastewater treatment," said Ajay Nair, Global Director of Commercial and Technical Strategy at Microvi. "We are fortunate to work with Thames Water who values innovation and is looking for ways to optimize for the future.  By supporting the development of the technology, they are able to create a pipeline of solutions that can support the delivery of their objectives in AMP 7 and beyond."

"Microvi have taken an innovative approach to wastewater process intensification by engineering natural biological processes to enhance efficiency and effectiveness. The trial demonstrated that MNE outperformed the ammonia removal performance of our nitrifying sand filters, providing us with a viable solution to augment process performance to meet increasingly stringent consents," said Andrea Gysin, Head of Research, Development and Innovation at Thames Water.

In addition to MNE's ability to maintain performance in spite of seasonal variations in temperature and influent concentration, Microvi's wastewater technology has potential advantages over conventional treatment processes including smaller footprint and flexibility in process configuration. The simple and operator friendly MNE process can be used in existing infrastructure, has no complex process controls or maintenance requirements, and is stable and robust.

MNE has been successfully applied in applications across the water, wastewater and biochemicals sectors. Along with existing installations, the advantages of Microvi MNE for ammonia and BOD removal were demonstrated with Scottish Water. MNE was selected for the first full scale sidestream treatment project in the San Francisco Bay, and for drinking water projects at Hillview Water Company and Cucamonga Valley Water District

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