NIIST transfers know-how for treatment of organic wastewater

The newly developed on-site wastewater technology, dubbed NOWA, by CSIR-NIIST, offers a sustainable solution, allowing for the recovery of valuable resources like reuse-quality water, bio-energy, and organic manure and soil conditioner from the wastewater.

| Updated: 27 February, 2024 9:31 pm IST
NIIST transfers know-how for treatment of organic waste water

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: CSIR-National Institute for Interdisciplinary Science and Technology (CSIR-NIIST) has achieved a significant breakthrough with the development and patenting of a sustainable technology for treating and disposing of organic wastewater generated by hotels, restaurants, catering units, and similar establishments—a prevalent issue in urban areas, particularly in locales lacking adequate sewage networks.

The newly developed on-site wastewater technology, dubbed NOWA, by CSIR-NIIST, offers a sustainable solution, allowing for the recovery of valuable resources like reuse-quality water, bio-energy, and organic manure and soil conditioner from the wastewater. The technology (WO 2022/130402 A1) was spearheaded by a team of scientists led by Dr. Krishnakumar B, Senior Principal Scientist in the Environmental Technology Division of NIIST, Thiruvananthapuram.

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In contrast to conventional wastewater treatment methods such as Moving Bed Biofilm Reactor (MBBR), Sequence Bioreactor (SBR), and Electrocoagulation, NOWA boasts several advantages, including reduced space requirements, lower operational costs, and the ability to handle high-strength wastewater without frequent sludge disposal issues. This innovative technology employs a combined anaerobic-aerobic bioprocess with sludge handling and disinfection modules integrated.

The anaerobic process unit recovers approximately 70-80% of the inlet organic contaminants as biogas, while the subsequent aerobic process unit eliminates residual organics and nutrients. Notably, a NOWA unit treating 10 KLD (kilo-litres per day) wastewater occupies less than 18 square meters.

This development is particularly beneficial for small and medium-scale businesses, as even small restaurants can spend up to Rs 50,000 per month on wastewater disposal. The NOWA technology has received approval from the Kerala State Suchitwa Mission, and four companies have already acquired non-exclusive licenses for its implementation, with field units operational at various industrial sites.

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CSIR-NIIST recently formalized a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Kochi-based Two-degree Climate Control Pvt Ltd for the commercial transfer of the technology, marking the fifth technology transfer for NOWA. Dr. C. Anandharamakrishnan, Director of CSIR-NIIST, emphasized the institute’s commitment to fostering partnerships with startups and private companies to leverage their diverse and interdisciplinary research activities for addressing societal challenges effectively.

As a constituent laboratory of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), NIIST Trivandrum is at the forefront of conducting advanced research and development programs focusing on the optimal utilization of regional resources, which are pivotal for the nation’s development.

Renowned for its leadership in research and development in various fields such as agro-processing and technology, chemical sciences and technology, materials science and technology, and environmental technology, CSIR NIIST has established state-of-the-art facilities for conducting cutting-edge research.

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