Odour mapping technology developed for wastewater market

New water treatment technology that can map out odours from sewage works or predict failure in a wastewater treatment plant could soon be on the market after a half-million pound hurdle has been overcome.

Cranfield University has received over £500k investment from a variety of sources to develop the technology at their School of Water Sciences (SWS), a department dedicated to bringing ideas from research outputs in the water and wastewater sectors to market.

There are six technologies in all which will share the funding package and receive further development, including:

  • an odour modelling software package which can predict odours from sewage works and help produce more accurate odour contour maps similar to weather charts;
  • a nitrification toxicity monitor which can provide warning of a failure at wastewater plants several hours before failure actually occurs, allowing for immediate remedial action. This is especially useful in industrial effluents such as landfill leachate where high levels of ammonia can be found rendering failure of the plant more serious;
  • an advanced water and wastewater treatment chemical additive with higher efficiency, lower operating costs and better operational performance than conventional additives;
  • a membrane chemical reactor which combines UV light and titanium dioxide to remove pollutants from effluents;
  • an odour extraction membrane reactor to remove odour causing molecules form air; and finally;
  • a nitrification-denitrification reactor to remove nitrogen from wastewater avoiding the need for chemical additives.

    Mark White, Invention and Innovation Director of the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA) who donated £150,000, said he was delighted to be part of the team backing the technology: “These ideas address current industry issues and illustrate the kind of innovation and creativity that NESTA is here to help commercialise in the UK.”

    The technologies will be taken to market over the next 4 to 18 months.

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