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NIIST Transfers Know-how for Treatment of Organic Waste Water

In Environment, News
February 28, 2024

CSIR-National Institute for Interdisciplinary Science and Technology (CSIR-NIIST) has made a breakthrough by developing and patenting a sustainable technology for treatment and disposal of organic waste water discharged by hotels, restaurants, catering units and similar businesses, which is a big problem in cities, especially in locations without proper sewerage network.

As a sustainable solution, the on-site waste water technology, named NOWA, developed by CSIR-NIIST, has the advantage of recovering valuable resources like reuse quality water, bio-energy and organic manure and soil conditioner from the waste-water.

The technology (WO 2022/130402 A1) was developed by a team of scientists led by Dr. Krishnakumar B, Senior Principal Scientist in the Environmental Technology Division of NIIST, Thiruvananthapuram.

Unlike the common waste-water treatment technologies such as the Moving Bed Biofilm Reactor (MBBR), Sequence Bioreactor (SBR) and Electrocoagulation, this technology has many added advantages such as less space requirement, less operational cost and capacity to treat high strength waste-water without problems from frequent sludge disposal.

This technology is a combined anaerobic-aerobic bioprocess with sludge handling and disinfection modules attached. Nearly 70-80% of the inlet organic contaminant is recovered as biogas in the anaerobic process unit. The residual organics and nutrients are removed in the subsequent aerobic process unit. A 10 KLD waste-water treating NOWA unit will occupy less than 18sq meters.

This comes as boon for small and medium scale businesses as even small restaurants now spend up to Rs 50,000 per month for disposing waste-water.

This technology has been approved by the Kerala State Suchitwa Mission, and four companies have already licensed it non-exclusively and field units are working at different industrial sites.

CSIR-NIIST recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Kochi-based Two-degree Climate Control Pvt Ltd for commercial transfer of the technology making this the fifth technology transfer for NOWA.

CSIR-NIIST Director Dr. C. Anandharamakrishnan said NIIST is looking forward for more start-ups and private companies to partner with NIIST in their highly diverse and interdisciplinary research activities, so that the outcome of R&D activities at NIIST can be translated to the field to address real problems of the society.

A constituent laboratory of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), NIIST Trivandrum is a leading institution engaged in conducting advanced research and development programmes in areas relating to effective utilization of resources of the region, which are of fundamental importance to the country.

CSIR NIIST is also a leader in R&D programmes in agro-processing and technology, chemical sciences and technology, materials science and technology, micro processing and technology, environmental technology. The institute has established state-of-the-art facilities for conducting advanced research.