Project for bioelectrochemical sewage treatment in the Arctic

 
A BEAST demonstration plant in Bezanson, Alberta.

BEAST demonstration plant in Bezanson, Alberta.

The BEAST technology uses a bioelectrochemical process to treat wastewater and produce energy-rich biogas.

The BEAST technology uses a bioelectrochemical process to treat wastewater and produce energy-rich biogas.

Status: Active

The NRC is developing a new technology: BioElectrochemical Anaerobic Sewage Treatment (BEAST), which can biodegrade organic waste through a simple, low-energy bioelectrochemical process. (patent pending)

Objectives

  • Develop improved techniques for sewage treatment operations in challenging Arctic and northern conditions

Deliverables

  • A sewage treatment system that:
    • biodegrades organic waste through a simple, low-energy process, harnessing electroactive bacteria to consume organic wastes and produce biogas or heat
    • includes a tank equipped with electrically conductive porous electrodes, to which low voltage (1.4V) is applied and wastewater flows through the electrodes by gravity
    • is completely scalable and can be applied to a single home or to an entire community

Activities

  • Pilot testing the BEAST system in a variety of conditions and geographic locations, including:
    • Montreal, QC
    • Grande Prairie, AB
    • Cambridge Bay, NU
    • Alaska
    • Greenland
  • Building a 24 cubic metre system in Grande Prairie, AB as a first phase in a larger (75 cubic metre) community sewage treatment plant
  • Testing the BEAST technology’s potential in such applications as:
    • heavy metals removal from ground and tailing pond waters
    • treatment of oil sands process-affected water (OSPW)
    • greywater
    • hydroponic water

Collaborators

Results

  • Testing achieved high waste removal rates in temperatures as low as 5 degrees Celsius and hydraulic retention time that varied between 1.5 and 4 days, depending on the concentration of the raw sewage

Project team

Boris Tartakovsky

Boris Tartakovsky (SRO-EME)

Boris is the project manager and the scientific lead. He focuses on the design and operation of the bioelectrochemical reactor.

Yehuda Kleiner

Yehuda Kleiner (PRO Construction)

Yehuda serves as a technical advisor and provides quality control and quality assurance as well as engineering knowhow.

 

Michelle Manuel (TO EME)

Michelle is responsible for carrying out laboratory experiments and analytical assays.

 

Contact us

Anne Barker
Arctic Program Leader

1200 Montreal Road, M-32
Ottawa, ON K1A 0R6

Telephone: 613-990-2511
Email: anne.barker@nrc-cnrc.gc.ca