What is bioaugmentation?

Bioaugmentation is an innovative technology for increasing the overall performance of a biological wastewater treatment process using selected bacterial cultures in specially formulated products. The method aims at the enhancement of the existing microbial flora of a particular wastewater treatment plant in order to increase removal efficiency, improve biomass characteristics and further boost treatment process so that it can effectively respond to influent fluctuations and strong overloads, as well as to remove hardly biodegradable pollutants and reduce the treatment byproducts (e.g., sewage sludge).

In which type of treatment plants, it can be applied?

The bioaugmentation technology can be applied to various types of wastewater treatment plants, such as conventional activated sludge, carrousel type, Sequencing Batch Reactors (SBRs), Membrane Bioreactors (MBRs), Moving Bed Biological Reactors (MBBRs), anaerobic digesters etc.

In which type of wastewater, it can be applied?

The bioaugmentation technology can be applied to different types of wastewater such as domestic sewage, mixed industrial wastewater (industrial processing plants), industrial waste from brewing, winemaking, dairy industry, dough industry, juice, ginning, anaerobic digestate, table olives production, oily sludges, landfill leachate etc.

Which are the ingredients of the bioaugmentation product;

It consists of a mixed bacterial culture fixed on a nutrient medium, activated when added into water environment.

Does the product require special handling?

The product does not require any special protection. It is completely safe for humans and is accompanied by a Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) issued and signed by the producer. The microorganisms used, are not of animal origin, are not pathogenic and are not genetically modified

How is the technology applied in practice?

Bioaugmentation technology is based on the continuous addition of the bacteria product, while simultaneously modifying basic operational parameters of the treatment system when necessary (e.g. sludge age, biomass concentration, dissolved oxygen level, formation of alternating anaerobic/anoxic/aerobic zones etc.). Special equipment and/or new infrastructure is not necessary.

What are the benefits of applying the bioaugmantation technology?

The potential benefits of implementing the technology are the enhancement of the degradation rate of the incoming organic substrate, the increase of the plant capacity, the degradation and elimination of fats-oils-grease, the effluent quality improvement, the improved characteristics of activated sludge (e.g. settling, dewatering), the elimination of odors, the reduction of energy consumption and the reduction of surplus sludge.

How do the bacteria act in an existing treatment plant?

The special strains used are suitably selected to convert most of the organic substrate into CO2 and water, while a smaller fraction is incorporated into new biomass, compared to ordinary heterotrophic bacteria that dominate conventional activated sludge systems. Product micronutrients stimulate biological activity inside the activated sludge flocs where oxygen penetration is limited, so as anoxic/anaerobic conditions locally prevail, resulting in degradation of organic constituents with reduced biomass yield production, if compared to purely aerobic conditions. Also, due to the rich hydrolytic potential of the special strains used, a greater part of the hardly biodegradable solids contained in the influent – which would have been removed without being converted with the primary or secondary surplus sludge stream – by applying the bioaugmentation technology can be partially or totally hydrolyzed, making it accessible to biological degradation so as only a part is eventually converted to biosolids, while the most of it is biologically degraded. Finally, because of the metabolism of the added strains (facultative anaerobic), they are capable to grow under oxygen limitation conditions (anaerobic and anoxic), so as the prolongation of the non-aerated zones in the main biological reactor is feasible, resulting in significant energy savings.