Wastewater Treatment System for DBC
EEI was engaged by Dardanup Butchering Company (DBC) to design, and commission a new wastewater treatment system for their meat processing plant in Picton, Bunbury to replace their old treatment system. Based on analysis of baseline data, EEI decided to install its proprietary EEI Hybrid Anaerobic Reactor Technology (EEI-HART) and Advanced Nitrogen Removal Using Ponds (ANRUP) system for this project. Previous computer models and laboratory scale studies in the development stages on these processes have contributed significant knowledge of operational aspects. However, there was a significant lack of data on the constructability, operational constraints in a field situation. The HART system was to treat a daily wastewater flow of up to 0.5 MLD with a BOD of 9, 000 mg/L and total nitrogen of 300 to 400 mg/L. The HART system is 4,500ML HDPE lined steel tank and has the advantages of both UASB system and counter current mixing technology for rapid carbon removal and to avoid extra alkalinity addition
The system was constructed in nearly 40% of the cost of conventional pond system, and over the last 12 months of operation shows that this system has successfully treated wastewater to achieve a reduction of 99.9% of BOD, and about 90% reduction of TN. The HART system produces biogas with about 70% CH4 content but only <5% CO2 and non-detective levels of H2S. The system produces minimal sludge and the HAR system can contain the sludge from the treatment system for over 2 years before regular desludging commences. The system operation is monitored remotely.
UNFCCC - Tool for determination of emissions from anaerobic digesters
The United Nations agency for climate change, UNFCCC's Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) engaged Dr Raj Kurup to develop a methodological tool to determine emissions from anaerobic digestion projects. The project was commissioned in 2011 and the final product was approved the board of CDM in April 2012 as an approved methodological tool. The tool can be downloaded from the attachment.
Water quality of northern Australia and its impact on animal health- Meat & Livestock Australia
Meat and Livestock Australia engaged EEI to author a book on Water Quality of Northern Australia and its impact on ruminant health and productivity. The project included review of water quality of groundwater resources of northern Australia, and its impact of livestock health. In collaboration with faculty from Veterinary School of Murdoch University, this project assessed the groundwater quality, mapped the groundwater quality profile and provided solutions for treatment of those parameters that exceeded the limits for livestock. Also, the project covered the on-site testing procedure for regular assessment of groundwater quality that can be carried out by producers.
Nutrient removal upgrade of BioMAX wastewater treatment plants for BHP
BioMAX Pty Ltd has engaged EEI to upgrade its wastewater treatment plants installed at various mining sites of BHP in Newman. This project will evaluate the performance of the plants, and upgrade the systems to provide advance levels of removal of total nitrogen and total phosphorus.
Eco-tourism development Broome - Wastewater Treatment
EEI is providing technical and consulting services for an environmentally sustainable wastewater treatment for the proposed eco-tourism development project at Broome. At this stage, the project is in the final stages of approvals from various regulatory authorities.
Environmental Approvals for Kimberly Freerange Beef Processing Plant in Gingin Western Australia
Kimberly Freerange Beef Pty Ltd appointed EEI to obtain operating licence from the Department of Environment & Conservation (now Department of Environment Regulation) to reopen a previously operated abattoir in Gingin, Western Australia. Following review of the existing operating and wastewater treatment facilities, projected throughput, EEI provided independent consultant reports to DEC. Based on EEIs reports, DEC approved Kimberly Freerange Beef Pty's application to start processing operations at their newly acquired Gingin abattoir.
Nutrient and Irrigation Management Plan for a brewery
Environmental Engineers International was commissioned by Vernon Arms and White Lakes Brewery in Rockingham, Western Australia to develop a nutrient and irrigation management plan (NIMP) for its treated effluent disposal from its new craft brewery. EEI applied its nutrient management model, which is based on the risk approach to estimate the irrigation area required. The project was completed in mid 2016.
Stormwater management plan for Roebuck Live Export Depot (Broome) Western Australia
Environmental Engineers International was commissioned by the Indigenous Land Corporation (ILC) of Commonwealth of Australia to develop a stormwater management plan and design an evaporation pond for the Roebuck Live Export Depot in Broome, Western Australia. EEI applied a risk based approach for the management of the contaminated stormwater runoff from the cattle yard. This approach considered a number of parameters such as the soil, hydrogeology, meteorological factors as well as the pollutant levels in the stormwater generated at the site. The solution that EEI recommended has enabled the client to reduce the capital and operating costs significantly.
The project was completed in early 2016.
Fugitive greenhouse gas emissions from wastewater treatment
Fugitive greenhouse gas emissions from wastewater treatment: Understanding emission generation processes and development of appropriate sampling methods Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions resultant from wastewater treatment operations represent an area of great uncertainty in which the total global effects are currently unknown. This is the result of many countries having no regulatory requirements or managing protocols in place, and as such there is a general lack of credible data and understanding of fugitive emissions from various treatment processes. Methane (CH4), and Nitrous Oxide (N2O) have been identified as the most significant GHGs released from wastewater treatment plants due to their significant global warming potential. The purpose of this study is to provide a comprehensive overview of key emission generation processes and develop standardised sampling methods which can be implemented to establish comprehensive inventories of emissions and process data.This study involved a critical review of literature, field data collection and laboratory investigations. The study found that there existed a gap of available data of N2O and CH4 emissions during various unit process of wastewater treatment and approved methods used obsolete assumptions. Through the development of accurate inventories, future efforts can be expended in the development of models to validate methodologies against expected emissions.
This project was carried out in collaboration with UWA.
Development of an organic coagulant for water & wastewater treatment applications
This is an ongoing R&D project that EEI has embarked on. The initialresearch was carried out in collaboration with Integrated Rural Technology Centre (IRTC) in Kerala India. Following the promising results of the initial research, EEI has undertaken a collaborative research with University of Western Australia (UWA), Water Corporation of WA and Department of Agriculture of WA. This research also supported two B.Eng honours projects at the School of Environmental Systems Engineering at UWA. In the first phase, the organic product was tested for sludge thickening applications. The current phase involves application of this organic product for drinking water treatment. The research results are very promising. Although it is in the early stages, there is a great potential to replace alum with this product and can provide a better environmental solution for water treatment in both urban and rural situations.
Produced Water Management from Unconventional Gas Projects
Alternative Uses, Treatment and Disposal of Wastewater from Potential Development of Western Australia's Unconventional Gas Resources.
This is a collaborative research project with University of Western Australia.
Interest in unconventional gas is experiencing rapid growth on a global scale. The emergence of such an industry in WA brings a host of new environmental and economic challenges, such as the management of industrial waste streams, specifically produced water. This study investigates the various options for alternative uses, treatment and disposal of produced waters from potential development of Western Australia's prospective unconventional gas (UCG) resources. Treatment options are analysed in consideration of produced water quality and quantity, for a range of end-use criteria, within the context of relevant regulations and guidelines. Influential factors are considered in a spatial analysis in conjunction with an extensive literature review. Existing land and water use is also considered in assessing the regional viability for alternative use, treatment and disposal options, as well as the potential for synergistic opportunities with local industries. The analysis constructs an outlook for WA and it is established that growth in WA's UCG industry is likely to reveal unique opportunities in the future.
Relationship between wastewater sludge quality and energy production potential
A joint research and development project with University of Western Australia
Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) plays an irreplaceable role in the overall wellbeing and development of societies. Wastewater treatment is an ongoing process that requires high-energy consumption, and this demand contributes negatively to climate change. Nonetheless, there are options available for energy production and recovery in WWTPs during its treatment process, which can also reduce the negative environmental impacts. This study aims to investigate the potential of energy production and recovery at one WWTP, and the reduction of environmental impacts achieved.
The study site is a WWTP situated at Subiaco of Western Australia, operated by Water Corporation. The research evaluated sludge samples from the Subiaco WWTP at the UWA SESE laboratory for the characteristics of the sludge. Laboratory batch scale anaerobic digestion studies were also carried out to evaluate the efficiency of the system. The results of this study were then compared with data from the neighbouring WWTPs that use anaerobic treatment for sludge stabilisation. Further analyses were carried out to determine the economical values of the generated energy potential and the reduced environmental impacts.
The experimental results showed that sludge samples from the Subiaco WWTP had a biogas production capacity of 0.015 m3/L sludge or 0.6 m3/VS, with a potential energy production of 40.4 megawatt-hour (MWh) per day. The biogas conversion to electricity used a combined heat and power (CHP) unit with an assumed efficiency factor of 70 %, and results indicated that Subiaco WWTP has the potential to recover 78 % of its overall energy consumption through anaerobic treatment, with a generated value of A$1,012,291 per year. The payback period of purchasing a CHP unit using this generated value alone in the Best Case scenario is between 2.2 to 9.6 years, and 4.2 to 12.5 years in the Worst Case scenario. The amount of avoided carbon dioxide (CO2) emission from the substitution of treatment system is 7,475 metric tons annually. This study had successfully demonstrated the sustainability and economical advantage of an anaerobic treatment process, and concluded that energy production and recovery is a feasible option for Subiaco WWTP.
South32 Worsley Alumina - Desktop study
Environmental Engineers International successfully completed a specialist project awarded by South32 to complete a desktop concept study on "A sustainable treatment solution for Worsley Alumina process waste stream". EEI's report has presented an innovative solution that can be implemented for the Worsley Alumina plant.
South32 - Worsley Alumina Study
Environmental Engineers International successfully completed a specialist project awarded by South 32. EEI was required to complete a desktop study on sustainable treatment solutions for Worsley Alumina's process waste stream. EEI's report was able to present an innovative solution that can be implemented for the Worsley Alumina plant.
EEI Wins 2018 Research Innovation Award
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.
- EEI Wins 2018 Research Innovation Award
- Applications for Engineering Internship Program 2018/19 Now Open
- EEI CEO to Present EEI Anammox Process Seminar for Engineers Australia
- EEI Opens Office in India
- CEO to Macao as distinguished speaker 2014 MIECF
- EEI signs MOU with CRC CARE
- EEI wins 2016 AWA award
- EEI CEO selected as Most Innovative Engineer
- EEI wins multiple 2017 AWA WA awards