In January 2016, the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) approved a research project within the framework of the “SME-innovative” funding programme, with the help of which an innovative biological wastewater treatment system with functionally differentiated biofilm reactors (abbreviated to IBAS in German) is to be developed to application maturity. The project is being carried out by WTE Wassertechnik GmbH, Essen, in conjunction with MARTIN Membrane Systems AG (MMS), Schwerin; the Research Institute for Water and Waste Management (FIW), Aachen, and Abwasserreinigung Dietzenbach GmbH (adg) as an associated member of the Dietzenbach Wastewater Treatment Plant. The project will run for two years and is worth € 900,841. The funding amount of the BMBF sums up to € 635,962.
The main objective of the project is the development of an innovative process for the extensive elimination of nitrogen. The innovation consists of two new developments. On the one hand, a new type of sludge blanket reactor is used as an upstream denitrification stage, which provides an effluent with low suspended matter. On the other hand, differentiated carrier materials are introduced into various parts of aerated reactors, which, for the first time, enable extensive separation of heterotrophic and autotrophic microorganisms.
The expected significant advantages of IBAS compared to conventional modifications of the activated sludge process are lower investment costs, less space requirements and significantly reduced energy costs. It can be assumed that after completion of the research project, the new IBAS process engineering concept will be suitable worldwide both for new municipal and industrial sewage treatment plants as well as for those to be expanded or renewed.