GE Introduces New Membrane Technology to Generate Renewable Energy from Wastewater

Sep 29, 2014
  • Next-Generation Wastewater Treatment Technology Combines Anaerobic Digestion with ZeeWeed* Ultrafiltration Membrane Technology to Create New AnMBR Product
  • GE’s New AnMBR Offers Ability to Generate Power and Water for Reuse from Industrial Wastewater
  • Anaerobic Technology Provides a Cost-Effective Solution for Challenging Wastewater with Added Benefit of Reduced Energy Consumption

NEW ORLEANS-September 29, 2014-GE (NYSE: GE) today introduced the latest in membrane-based wastewater treatment technology, combining anaerobic digestion technology with its ZeeWeed* 500 membranes to create anaerobic membrane bioreactor (AnMBR). As industrial customers seek greater water reuse, while facing more stringent discharge limits, AnMBR offers lower costs, better performance and the ability to generate renewable energy from industrial wastewater.

GE’s new technology is an ideal solution for industrial wastewater with high biochemical oxygen demand and chemical oxygen demand concentrations that result in higher aerobic treatment operational expenses. GE’s AnMBR provides reduced energy consumption, energy recovery and reduced sludge production both economically and reliably.

Anaerobic digestion is a biological process in which microorganisms break down biodegradable material in the absence of oxygen. One of the end products is biogas, which can be combusted to generate electricity and heat. Advantages of anaerobic treatment include energy savings by not requiring oxygen, reduced sludge production and reduced footprint. However, the traditional anaerobic processes have disadvantages such as lesser effluent quality, process sensitivity, slow biomass growth rate, difficulty retaining methanogens and long-time or difficult-to-settle sludge.

By combining anaerobic digestion and ZeeWeed membrane technology, GE has solved the issues associated with traditional anaerobic processes. 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’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. 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,” said Yuvbir Singh, general manager, engineered systems-water and process technologies for GE Power & Water.

About GE

GE (NYSE: GE) works on things that matter. The best people and the best technologies taking on the toughest challenges. Finding solutions in energy, health and home, transportation and finance. Building, powering, moving and curing the world. Not just imagining. Doing. GE works. For more information, visit the company's website at www.ge.com.

About GE Power & Water

GE Power & Water provides customers with a broad array of power generation, energy delivery and water process technologies to solve their challenges locally. Power & Water works in all areas of the energy industry including renewable resources such as wind and solar; biogas and alternative fuels; and coal, oil, natural gas and nuclear energy. The business also develops advanced technologies to help solve the world’s most complex challenges related to water availability and quality. Power & Water’s six business units include Distributed Power, Nuclear Energy, Power Generation Products, Power Generation Services, Renewable Energy and Water & Process Technologies. Headquartered in Schenectady, N.Y., Power & Water is GE’s largest industrial business.

Follow GE Power & Water and GE’s water business on Twitter @GE_PowerWater and @GE_Water.

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* Trademark of General Electric Company; may be registered in one or more countries.

Beth Coffman
Soteryx Corporation
beth.coffman@soteryx.com
+1 518 886 1076

Howard Masto
Masto Public Relations
howard.masto@ge.com
1-518-786-6488