Nanobubble Generator Reduces Surfactants at California Recovery Facility

A case study form the Goleta Sanitation District Water Resource Recovery Facility shows how an NBG 6 nanobubble generator from Molaear removed 40% of total quaternary ammonia compounds, 54% of total nonionic surfactants and 51% of total anionic surfactants from raw influent

Nanobubble Generator Reduces Surfactants at California Recovery Facility

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Problem: The 9.5 mgd Goleta Sanitation District Water Resource Recovery Facility near Santa Barbara, California, faced high surfactant concentrations due to low-flow drought conditions and pandemic-level surfactant use. The surfactants made biological treatment inefficient and expensive, risking permit violations. The district faced millions of dollars in upgrades to address the problem conventionally.

Solution: The facility piloted the NBG 6 nanobubble generator from Molaear after learning about its successful surfactant removal at a nearby facility. Nanobubbles produce hydroxyl radicals that partially oxidize the surfactants and FOG in wastewater and reduce upsets in the biological process. The NBG 6 was installed between the headworks and primary clarifier to treat degritted and screened wastewater. 

Result: In a three-month pilot the technology removed 40% of total quaternary ammonia compounds, 54% of total nonionic surfactants, and 51% of total anionic surfactants from raw influent. Aeration power draw was reduced by 43% and chemical costs and odor fell while TSS removal at the primary clarifier increased by 10%. The disinfection process saw chlorine demand fall 43%, and the facility was able to discontinue its bioaugmentation program. The nanobubble system reduced operation and maintenance costs by $87,000 per year and produced better-quality effluent. 424-558-3567; www.moleaer.com



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