Siemens working on MBR system and low-energy desalination

Siemens may launch a new membrane bioreactor (MBR) based wastewater treatment and reuse system in 2011. It will also be delivering a demonstration low-energy desalination unit to Singapore’s Environment & Water Industry Development Council (EWI) by the end of the year.

Both announcements were made by the company prior to Singapore International Water Week (28 June – 2 July 2010).

A licensing agreement has been signed with Aramco Overseas Company BV, a subsidiary of Saudi Aramco, to commercialize the EcoRight MBR, which integrates MBR technology with additional purification processes to treat highly organic wastewaters, ensuring the cost-effective reuse of difficult-to-treat wastewater.

Extensive pilot testing will begin in the next few months. When commercially available, possibly in early 2011, the system could significantly reduce capital and operating costs compared with existing biological treatment technology.

Singapore’s EWI awarded Siemens its first-ever Innovative Technology Challenge to develop advanced desalination technology. The company then began working on technology that would cut energy consumption by at least 50%, compared with existing desalination processes. Tim LeTourneau of Siemens Water Technologies (R&D) will present a technical paper at SIWW titled The Quest for Low-Energy Desalination: Prototype Results.