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Advanced Bioprocess Development (ABD) has developed a process for converting toxic ammonia in wastewaters to non-toxic nitrate.

In 2003, ABD announced a nitrification process that uses bioparticles (biofilm on glassy coke particles) to oxidise ammonia, as well as remove dissolved organic matter and suspended solids from wastewater.

Two subsequent inventions – a simple biofilm control device and a moving bed distributor – allow the process to be applied to many biological processes.

‘In our process, dissolved organic matter and suspended solids are removed by microorganisms and are thus destroyed biologically,’ said Dr Mike Dempsey, research microbiologist and ABD managing director.

‘Our technology, which has a much higher concentration of active biomass than present systems, can treat up to 10 times more wastewater than a plant of the same volume using current technology,’ he added.

The current nitrification process is not only useful for municipal wastewater treatment, but also treatment of other wastewaters that contain toxic ammonia; for example from aquaculture and industry.

ABD is a spin-out of Manchester Metropolitan University.

Manchester Metropolitan University

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