EEI's strength in research innovation has been recognised for a second consecutive year at the WA Australian Water Association (AWA) Water Awards Dinner 2018. The Self-Regulating Suspended Biogas Collector (SSBC) Technology developed by EEI won the coveted Research Innovation Award. While EEI's field study of sensor technology for wastewater treatment plants was also an awarded finalist in the Sustainable Water and Environmental Outcomes category.
The SSBC is a new approach to gas capture for reactors and lagoons. The global biogas industry market is expected to grow to $48.8 billion by 2026, and there are significant economic and social benefits for Australian industry and the community resulting from the development of the SSBC technology.
EEI have always been passionate about implementing anaerobic technology where conditions are appropriate. It is the most energy and cost-effective treatment pathway for high organic wastewater streams. When engaging with local industry however, there is typically an inherent trepidation surrounding biogas collection and the anaerobic pathway.
The conventional biogas capturing technologies have a number of problems such as limited access to the internal of the reactors, risk of damage to the cover that can cause complete loss of methane produced, and difficulty in retrofitting to open reactors.
The SSBC can capture and retain produced biogas while floating on top of anaerobic lagoons or reactors. The system consists of a number of small floating biogas capturing modules that operate independently. The system also integrates live weighting to stabilise the modules from capsizing or to control internal pressure.
SSBC's modular design negates the need to shut down the entire anaerobic system for maintenance. Desludging and crust removal operations of the anaerobic system itself have been shown to be much more accessible in contrast to the current technologies. The patented SSBC technology presents an opportunity for business to implement biogas energy generation with reduced maintenance costs and better production efficiency using a flexible system that can be retrofitted to current reactors or irregularly shaped lagoons.
The community also benefit through the improved environmental outcomes associated with increased renewable energy use to combat climate change, and odour prevention through improved opportunity to capture harmful gas emissions.
EEI wish to congratulate our fellow award winners and finalists and are keen to showcase continued innovation in 2019 and beyond.