Water plays a crucial role in supporting communities. Without water, there would be no business or industry. Clean drinking water and effective wastewater treatment are vital services needed by all communities. These safeguards protect public health, strengthen the community infrastructure, and provide a foundation for economic growth. Yet, increasing concerns about the adequacy of existing services pose serious challenges to local communities. These concerns exist not only in the U.S. but also internationally.
Presently, the growing global demand for clean water, increasing stringency of regulatory issues, and rising environmental concerns make advanced treatment technologies for water and wastewater treatment more relevant than ever. The use of advanced treatments to reduce pathogens and retain nutrients in the wastewater depends on the design and configuration of the systems. Salinity intrusion in groundwater supplies, nutrient eutrophication, endocrine disruptors, and heavy metals are also a few sources of contamination encountered in water supplies. One of the possible solutions to these problems is the application of membrane bioreactors (MBR) for wastewater treatment reuse. Membrane bioreactors provide the benefits of biological treatment with a physical barrier separation.
Compared to conventional treatment processes, membranes can provide better effluence with a smaller, simplified treatment process. Membrane Bioreactor (MBR) technology has emerged as the wastewater treatment technology of choice over the Activated Sludge Process (ASP). MBR is one of the most important innovations in wastewater treatment, as it overcomes the drawbacks of conventional ASPs, including large space requirements for secondary clarifiers, liquid-solid separation issues, production of excess sludge, and limitations in the removal of recalcitrants. MBR has been used for both municipal and industrial wastewater treatment and reclamation. It is a hybrid of the conventional biological treatment system and physical liquid-solid separation achieved in one system using membrane filtration. MBR technology provides advantages such as high effluence, higher volumetric loading rates, shorter Hydraulic Retention Times (HRT), longer Solid Retention Times (SRT), less sludge production, and potential for simultaneous nitrification/denitrification in long SRTs over ASPs. The inclusion of membranes in the system eliminates the need for secondary clarifiers. The elimination of secondary clarifiers and operation of MBR at a shorter HRT results in significantly reduced plant-area requirements.
According to the latest publication by Meticulous Research®, the unique properties and increasing adoption of advanced treatment technologies are expected to drive the market for water and wastewater treatment, which is expected to grow at a CAGR of 6.7% over the next seven years to be valued at $242.6 billion by 2027.
Zero Liquid Discharge Technology Witnesses Significant Growth in the Water and Wastewater Treatment Market
Freshwater scarcity is one of the most critical global challenges that pose a major threat to economic growth, water security, and ecosystem health. The challenge of providing adequate and safe drinking water is further complicated by climate change and the pressures of economic development and industrialization. The public and industrial sectors consume substantial amounts of fresh water while producing vast quantities of wastewater. If inadequately treated, wastewater discharge into the aquatic environment causes severe pollution that adversely impacts aquatic ecosystems and public health. The recovery and recycling of wastewater have gained importance in the past decade due to the rising demand for water. Wastewater reuse not only minimizes the volume and environmental risk of discharged wastewater but also alleviates the pressure on ecosystems resulting from freshwater withdrawal.
Zero Liquid Discharge (ZLD) is an ambitious wastewater management strategy that eliminates any liquid waste leaving the plant or facility boundary, with most of the water being recovered for reuse. ZLD obviates the risk of pollution associated with wastewater discharge and maximizes water usage efficiency, thereby striking a balance between the exploitation of freshwater resources and the preservation of aquatic environments. In recent years, greater recognition of the dual challenges of water scarcity and pollution of aquatic environments has revived global interest in ZLD. More stringent regulations, rising expenditures for wastewater disposal, and increasing value of freshwater have driven ZLD to become a beneficial or even a necessary option for wastewater management. The major benefits of zero liquid discharge technology are compliance with environmental regulations, zero cost on wastewater disposal, augmented water supply, and environment protection.
The use of ZLD technology depends on its application and geographical location. For example, the U.S., China, and India are highlighted, as they represent the major ZLD markets with the largest served populations and economic power. Therefore, the applications of ZLD technology have witnessed rapid growth in the water and wastewater treatment market, which is expected to grow at a CAGR of 6.7% over the next seven years to be valued at $242.6 billion by 2027, according to the latest publication by Meticulous Research®.
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