From Planes to WWTPs Wastewater technology finds inspiration in surprising places

O ften, a technology’s initial application is only the begin- ning of its usefulness. After a technology is proven in one industry, another may adapt it to suit its needs. As wastewater treatment profession- als look to improve efficiencies, some are turning to technologies that origi- nated far afield from wastewater treat-

ment — in aerospace, for instance. Airplanes and the activated sludge process might not seem to have much in common. But turbo blowers adapt- ed from the aerospace and defense industries can help reduce the costs of supplying oxygen to biological re- actors, which can use 50% to 90% of the energy consumed in an activated

sludge treatment system.
“If you look at the layout of our

blower, it has the same layout as a turbofan jet engine,” said Omar Hammoud, president of APG–Neuros (Montreal), a turbo blower manufac- turer. The turbo blower lubricates impeller rotation with air instead of oil, according to Hammoud.

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