AQUANTIS Wastewater Treatment

Innovative Wastewater Solutions

Aquantis is part of Veolia Water Technologies in Germany and focuses on using key technologies for industrial and municipal wastewater treatment. Within the Veolia group, Aquantis is a global Membrane Business Centre.

The AQUANTIS team of Veolia Water Technologies is operating worldwide. Depending on the region and the individual application, projects are handled directly, or the AQUANTIS team will support local Veolia Water Technologies offices during engineering, building and start up of large scale membrane plants.

We specialize in solutions for complex wastewater treatment applications by means of problem analysis, pilot trials and execution of full-scale systems. The core of this technology is based on the interaction of biological wastewater treatment and modern membrane filtration, e. g. as a replacement of conventional secondary clarifiers, as Tertiary Treatment, or in hybrid systems for side streams.

Depending on the individual project definition, immersed hollow fibre, tubular or flat-sheet membranes are selected from a choice of qualified manufacturers.

Membrane Filtration

Reverse Osmosis (RO) system for wastewater treatment by Veolia Aquantis

Membrane Filtration is a physical separation process filtering certain substances from a given media. In water and wastewater treatment, porous membranes are most commonly used; whereas more dense membranes are needed for specific requirements.

The actual physical separation is achieved by a differential pressure between the front and back of the membrane. Depending on the application, the trans-membrane pressure is < 0.1 bar up to > 50 bar and more in exceptional cases.

Porous membranes are mainly used for Ultrafiltration (UF) and Microfiltration (MF)processes. The main function of these processes is to separate micro-organisms and particles from the media, with the pore size of the membrane defining the size of the rejected particles. Best energy efficiency is achieved when using vacuum-driven processes requiring trans-membrane pressures < 0.5 bar.

With Reverse Osmosis (RO) using dense membranes, the particle separation is achieved by differing solubility and diffusion rates of water (solvent) and solutes in water.

Nanofiltration (NF), formerly called "leaky RO", achieves separation through a combination of charge rejection, solubility-diffusion and sieving through micropores (< 2mm).

RO, the most selective membrane, can reject monovalent ions (e.g. NA+ , CL-), whereas NF rejects bivalent ions (e.g. Ca++) and small molecules (e.g. pesticides, endotoxines).

Tertiary Treatment

Tertiary treatment of wastewater by Veolia Aquantis

The term Tertiary Treatment - by now well established in wastewater treatment - describes the further treatment of the secondary effluent of a conventional treatment plant by means of membrane filtration e.g. for disinfection purposes.

The process offers the following advantages:

  • Without expensive modifications, the wastewater of an existing plant is disinfected and virtually free from germs. Therefore a discharge into bathing water areas, or use for irrigation in agriculture is possible.
  • substantially improved effluent quality is achieved. As particulate biomass flocks are rejected and an effluent virtually free from solids is achieved, a major reduction of the parameters COD, N, and P is effected.
  • Extremely low P-values can be achieved with post-COD precipitation (between secondary clarification and TT).
  • Due to the existing conventional mixed liquor separation a subsequent membrane filtration faces a considerably lower concentration of solids, therefore more cost-efficient membranes with a higher packing density can be used. 
  • If necessary, it is easily possible to filter just a partial flow
  • The effluent is also suitable for re-use, i.e. as washing water or for cooling tower applications. A further treatment of the MBR filtrate by reverse osmosis or activated carbon is increasingly cost-efficient for industrial applications. As the influent is free from solids, better reliability, increased recovery rates and substantially longer service life are achieved.

Hybrid Systems

Hybrid System for wastewater treatment by Veolia Aquantis

If the wastewater stream of a wastewater treatment plant is treated both conventionally and with a membrane filtration, the combination is called a Hybrid System

The system can consist of either two parallel systems with individual biological treatment steps, or of a common aeration step with split biomass separation, which is effected by conventional treatment and membrane filtration.

Hybrid Systems are particularly suited for upgrades or capacity increases of existing conventional plants. The only investment necessary (compared to a completely new plant) are the costs for treatment of the additional hydraulic or organic load.

Further advantages are the low footprint requirements and the production of high-quality process water for many re-use applications.

Key Markets

Industrial wastewater is often characterized by highly varying flows and concentrations resulting in complex requirements for the wastewater treatment plant which often cannot be met by conventional technologies. AQUANTIS wastewater treatment solutions have been successfully implemented in the following industries:

  • Biofuels
  • Chemical Industry
  • Food and Beverage
  • Pharmaceutical and Cosmetics
  • Pulp and Paper

AQUANTIS service

Pilot plant for AQUANTIS wastewater treatment by Veolia

Pilot plant inside

  • Application and process related design and engineering
  • Process solutions for special and complex cases by preliminary tests and pilot studies
  • Advice on application technology
  • Lilfe cycle cost analysis
  • Programming for enhanced plant automation
  • Customer and operator training
  • Plant optimisation

Pilot plants

With our range of pilot plants, we can develop solutions for your varying wastewater treatment conditions directly on site. Piloting will help solve complex issues in wastewater treatment:

  • Verification of biological and hydraulic design parameters
  • Demonstration of the effluent quality
  • Estimate of the operating costs
  • Optimisation of the biology