Pilot Plant

Pilot plant studies are often vital for managing project risks.  They can be critical when designing new industrial wastewater treatment plants or evaluating process upgrade alternatives.  They are also useful for troubleshooting problems in existing wastewater treatment plants, as operating parameters can be more easily manipulated on a reduced scale.

Wastewater Futures has highly qualified staff with established research backgrounds, with hands-on process operational experience.  We draw upon these skills to design, build, operate and optimise wastewater treatment pilot plants. 

Pilot Projects have included:
  • Unconventional oil wastewater technology evaluation: Following laboratory evaluation and concept process design, we designed, constructed and operated a pilot plant for the treatment of sour water from an oil shale process plant.  The treatment process comprised an innovative combination of chemical and physical primary treatment, advanced aerobic biological treatment and membrane tertiary treatment.
  • Landfill leachate: A 6000 L sequencing batch reactor was designed and operated to treat a high strength landfill leachate.  The pilot plant was successfully operated for high rate nitrification, which offered benefits of reduced reactor size for the full-scale application.  A full-scale plant was designed and constructed based on these results. 
  • Membrane pilot test rigs:  We have our own membrane pilot plants (UF and RO) which are often used to assess the suitability of commercial membrane modules for treating specific waters.  Examples include mineral process wastewater, mine water, oil shale wastewater, coal seam gas water.
  • Municipal wastewater sludge settling: Designing and operating seven 60 L sequencing batch reactors fed with municipal wastewater to optimise BNR sludge settleability.  This project was undertaken onsite in Canberra.
  • Mineral processing wastewater technology evaluation: A pilot plant was established based on information obtained in a prior laboratory study for the treatment of a unique mineral processing wastewater.  The pilot plant verified the use of an aerobic MBBR process to nitrify and denitrify, and improve sludge maintenance in a series of reactors.