Nature's way, Our way

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is the RBC-PMT producing only about 10% of the volume of sludge that a Sequencing Batch Reactor (SBR) with the same process capacity produces?

The SBR is not actually digesting, it is just converting the organic materials in wastewater into microbial cells. Once the cell is dead, what remains of it is sludge which grows in proportion during treatment. In this system the decomposition of organic material in the wastewater is just a small portion of the whole process. Decomposition happens due to the process called decay which occurs upon contact between oxygen and the organic material in the wastewater. Overall, most of the organic materials is converted to sludge with only a small percentage of digestion taking place. This is the reason why all SBR’s generally employ a sludge treatment process as part of their system.

With the RBC-PMT, digestion takes place naturally during operation. We have to understand that organic materials in the wastes either constitute fats, protein or carbohydrates. These materials are too big for the bacteria to directly digest. Digestion happens in two steps: first the material has to be broken down. The long hydrocarbons have to be broken down into simple organic compounds such as simple sugar from carbohydrate, amino acid from protein and gycerol and carboxylic acids for fats. The breaking of these organic materials happens at the septic tank or anaerobic digester. That is why we have the septic tank as an integral part of our system. The simple organic material gets into the RBC and digested. It is in the RBC where the bacteria present in the biomass will digest the simple organic material into CO2 and small sludge forming the biomass. This explains the minimal sludge generation or at times, zero-sludge generation in the RBC system.

Why would a fixed film media be more efficient in digesting sludge versus a digester with no media?

Comparing these two ways warrants this explanation: Given the same amount of sludge without media and the biomass present in a biolfim, there are more active bacteria in the biomass than in the sludge suspended in a water column. It is a numbers game.

Some negative comments we have heard about the RBC are expressed in the following: (a) it is very hard to maintain, (b) the rotating media will have to be replaced or removed to be thoroughly cleaned once every two years, (c) the RBC is power intensive (the drive motors should have a large capacity in terms of horsepower). Finally, what is the significant difference between our RBC-PMT system vs. the RBC equipment from the USA, Canada or Germany?

First of all, the negative comments above are apparently made by someone who is not familiar with our RBC-PMT system. RBCs from these countries use media with very small holes and therefore easily clogged up. Clogged up biomass is very heavy and therefore require heavy structures and high power consumption (bigger motor output). They do that because they have lower ambient temperatures (spring, fall and winter) and biomass do not grow as fast as our bacteria in a tropical temperature. So we can afford to have larger holed media and be spared of carrying a lot of unnecessary weight. We just grow the necessary amounts. Extra amounts of biomass can be easily sprayed with high pressure water occasionally to slough it out. We don’t even need to clean it yearly.

Are all our treatment plant systems now going to incorporate the cyclonic grease stripping column, instead of the overhead distribution tank?

Yes all plants will now include the cyclonic grease stripping column. This addresses the fact that all domestic and commercial wastewater contains fats, oil & grease (FOG) in varying degrees. It is always better to anticipate and remove as much FOG to lessen the treatment load in the RBC-PMT, hence effectively reduce unwanted odor.

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