Microvi MNE Treats Ethanol Plant Wastewater Maximizing Water Reuse

Microvi announced today the successful development of Microvi’s MicroNiche Engineering™ (MNE™) platform technology for the treatment of process wastewater from ethanol plants. Microvi MNE, a biological wastewater treatment solution, demands less energy, reduces costs, and can increase the potential for water reuse.  

The ethanol production process can be costly and water intensive. While many companies have made improvements in implementing more efficient water use technologies in the production process, there have been limited advancements in treating process wastewater. There are more than 200 ethanol plants in the U.S. alone, with hundreds around the globe facing similar challenges in process water treatment.

High levels of organic matter are generated through ethanol production and distillation facilities. Such high concentrations of organic discharge can negatively impact receiving waters and unless treated properly, the water cannot be reused. These high concentrations of COD, a measure of the amount of chemical organic matter, can be difficult to treat leading to ineffective and costly treatment processes. 

Processes currently used to treat wastewater, including reverse osmosis, have significantly high energy demand and costs. Conventional biological treatment systems suffer from low biological activity as well as the generation of significant post treatment requirements and sludge handling. 

As shown through trials conducted by Microvi, up to 96% removal of chemical oxygen demand (COD) was achieved. The Microvi MNE technology uses novel biocatalytic composites (biocatalysts) that intensify biological processes.  Microvi’s biocatalysts contain only the targeted microorganism for the desired bioconversion and thus provide a readily controllable, high-activity treatment process. The biocatalysts maintain the microbial population with no loss of activity over time. This attribute renders MNE unique as there is no organism loss or sludge creation, often associated with conventional biological treatment. It also requires significantly less energy compared to treatment methods used today such as reverse osmosis.

With consistent treatment, process water can be reused as process water for the plant or used to support agricultural operations. Given the similarity of treatment needs for ethanol producers, the Microvi MNE system can be easily replicated for virtually any ethanol plant worldwide including US and Brazilian producers with the same results.  

Microvi’s core technology has also been applied successfully for the enhanced production of ethanol and was validated by the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab.  Installations and demonstrations using a variety of Microvi technologies are operating in the U.S., Australia and the U.K. for drinking water, municipal wastewater, and industrial applications. 

About Microvi

Microvi is a green technology company based in the San Francisco Bay Area that delivers next-generation biotechnologies for the water, wastewater and renewable chemical industries. Microvi offers commercial technologies around the world to reduce waste, increase productivity and provide disruptive economics across the value chain. Learn more at www.microvi.com.

Contact:
Karin Kidder
VP of Marketing, Microvi
1 (510) 344-0668
kkidder@microvi.com