KBI has proven technology that uses the wastes and co-products coming off the production of biodiesel and has created a proprietary product for use of treating nitrates in sewage treatment plants.
Nitrogen pollution is an environmental problem worldwide. It is estimated that more than 10,000 water bodies in the U.S. are currently impaired by nitrogen or phosphorous pollution, with 49 states citing nutrients or excessive algal growth impairments. Nutrient pollution has been identified as the principal cause of water quality problems in the Chesapeake Bay, Long Island Sound, and North Carolina estuaries, as well as the continuing expansion of the Gulf of Mexico’s “dead Zone”—a roughly 8.000-square-mile region that has very low oxygen concentrations and cannot support aquatic life due to nutrient pollution.
Pollutant nitrogen is typically found at high levels in wastewater and is removed using a biological process know as de-nitrification, which converts the nitrogen into harmless components (water, nitrogen gas, and carbon dioxide gas). An essential step in de-nitrification is the introduction of an electron donor/carbon source for the de-nitrifying bacteria. Methanol, a flammable and toxic liquid derived from non-renewable natural gas, is the legacy carbon source used in wastewater de-nitrification. There is growing dissatisfaction in the wastewater treatment industry with the safety profile, performance limitations, and price volatility of methanol. In addition, increasingly stringent federal and state regulatory mandates are requiring wastewater treatment facilities to limit the amount of nitrogen released into receiving waters. Resulting in costly technology upgrades and increased operational expenditures for the wastewater treatment plants.
Unicarb is a proprietary product developed by KBI specifically for use as an electron donor/carbon source in wastewater de-nitrification and is composed entirely form renewable resources. UniCarb was engineered to overcome the key limitations of methanol and other carbon sources, including:
- Improved Safety- UniCarb is nonflammable and nontoxic
- Environmental Sustainability- UniCarb is developed from abundant and renewable agricultural raw materials
- Price Stability and Cost Effectiveness- UniCarb offers a low-cost means of reducing nitrogen load and the potential to circumvent or scale back costly nitrogen removal upgrades to comply with increasingly stringent regulatory requirements
- Improved Performance- UniCarb enables faster de-nitrification startup and recovery periods, and improved performance in colder temperatures
- UniCarb products are currently in commercial use at a large number of wastewater treatment facilities in the U.S.