The knowledge connection for business

Client: Colloide Engineering Systems Ltd
Knowledge Provider: Queen's University
Sector: Renewables

Colloide Engineering Systems Ltd

Colloide Engineering Systems Ltd. is a privately owned water and wastewater treatment company focused on the design, development and construction of water treatment works and pumping stations. The company is based in Cookstown, Co. Tyrone, and is active all over the UK and Ireland.


About the Case

The Moving Bed Bioreactor (MBBR) technology is an upgraded form of biological wastewater treatment. MBBR technology is applicable both in municipal treatment works and for treating industrial wastewater - for example from food processing or pharmaceutical industries.
In conventional biological wastewater treatment, the water passes through tanks containing bacteria that break down pollutants into less harmful substances.

In an MBBR, the amount of bacteria that treat the water is increased by allowing the bacteria to grow on small pieces of plastic, so called MBBR carriers, which are contained within the treatment tanks. With a higher concentration of bacteria in the treatment tanks, the treatment will be more efficient, and the tanks needed for the treatment will be smaller. The size of tank needed can often be halved, which is often economically advantageous due to high land prices.

Colloide Engineering Systems had a desire to act the MBBR technology to their product offerings, but lacked the necessary process knowledge needed to develop the project.

About the Knowledge Provider

The QUESTOR Centre is a global environmental research network with member companies and organisations in Europe, the US and China. It was founded in 1989 by Queen’s University Belfast and is dedicated to the transfer of technology and knowledge to its member companies and organisations. The QUESTOR Centre’s current research projects are managed within four main areas of research: Water & Wastewater, Waste & Remediation, Environmental Monitoring and Energy from Biomass.

The Results

Colloide Engineering Systems and the QUESTOR Centre are now engaged in a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) to develop and optimise a MBBR product. The project involves a review of competitors’ MBBR products, lab scale studies to develop a practical understanding of the process and the development and operation of a pilot plant to be demonstrated at an NI Water site.

Contact Details of Knowledge Provider:
Knowledge Provider Name: QUESTOR Centre, School of Chemistry & Chemical Engineering, Queen’s University Belfast
Contact Name: Dr Julie-Anne Hanna
Telephone number: 028 9097 4675

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