Today, wastewater is created in vast quantities by urban and rural homes, manufacturing businesses, agricultural activities, and other sources. The effective treatment of sewage has become a major worldwide concern.To handle all types of solid waste, chemicals,toxinsand other dangerous compounds included in sewage, sewage treatment plants have used physical, biological, and chemical treatment methods.
As a result, the primary goal of a sewage treatment plant is to clean wastewater before releasing it into the environment to safeguard human health and the environment. Biotechnology is a recent technical advancement that employs live organisms to increase the efficiency of current biological processes and successfully clean sewage.
Biotechnology: An Overview
Since the 1970s, biotechnology has attracted attention and demonstrated its ability to solve problems in a variety of fields, including food production, agriculture, and environmental protection. Biotechnology is defined in a variety of ways since it encompasses a variety of fields such as biochemistry, microbiology, genetics, and others.
Biotechnology for waste treatment is defined as "fermentation employing bioreactors, bio-processing, bio-bleaching, bio-pulping, bioleaching, bioremediation, bio-filtration, and phytoremediation," according to an OECD report.
Microbiological techniques breakdown garbage and turn it into useable forms by utilising live creatures such as bacteria.
How is biotechnology uses in sewage treatment?
There are various biotechnology-based wastewater treatment systems in use across the world. Activated sludge, Oxidation Ponds, Tricking Filters, Bio-filters, and Anaerobic Treatment are all part of the process. All of the approaches are used to treat organic waste in sewage and are part of biological wastewater treatment.
1: Activated Sludge - A biological floc of bacteria and protozoa is utilised to digest wastewater biologically in the activated sludge process. Aerated tanks are used in the process to maintain the oxygen flow steady. The solid wastes settle in the bottom of a clarifier tank with the flow of liquid waste known as activated sludge, which is one of the aspects of this process. The activated sludge is then returned to the aeration tank, where the aeration process is repeated with the next batch of sewage.
2: Trickling Filters - Trickling filters are formed of stones or plastic media that is fitted. The bed is coated with slime and bacteria. When bacteria operate and breakdown sewage, adequate air is passed through the bed pores, and water is dripped through the bed pores. The Biological Oxygen Demand and suspended solids are both reduced by this method.
3: Membrane Bioreactors (MBR) - Membrane Bioreactors aid to separate suspended materials by acting as a micro-filtration device. High-quality effluents may be separated using a cutting-edge filtration technology. It also has the ability to separate nutrients.
4: Anaerobic Treatment - Anaerobic treatment is the process of microorganisms performing their functions in the absence of oxygen. It's a complicated procedure that also aids in the digestion of nutritional waste. Carbon dioxide and methane are also by-products of the process, which aid in the formation of biogas.
The newest biotechnology breakthroughs allow for the generation of electric current from sewage. Microbes produce electrons when they decompose organic waste through the oxidation process. It is used to generate electricity.
When compared to traditional sewage treatment procedures, biotechnology is more cost-effective, and the effluent quality is improved. It safeguards the population and the ecosystem from the negative consequences of discharging untreated sewage. It also permits the utilisation of trash as a source of energy.
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