The consortium has already tested INCOVER technologies individually at lab scale. The innovation of INCOVER project comes from the combination of all INCOVER technologies, for a bio-production and resource recovery-based wastewater treatment. The description of each technology is as follows:
The hybrid tubular horizontal photobioreactors (for simplicity, PBRs) system was developed as a combination of an open raceway pond and a closed tubular PBR. Considering the advantages of both designs: the closed part will provide a better pH follow up, better protection against culture contamination, better mixing, less evaporative loss and higher biomass productions; the open part will aid mainly to dissipate excessive dissolved oxygen in the liquor concentration. The whole designed is covered by a patent. Initial tests have demonstrated a productivity of > 20 gr/m2d of algal biomass during spring-summer season.
PHA production will be made through a two stage anaerobic-photosynthetic HRAP (High Rate Algae Pond) system. In the first stage, a mixture of municipal wastewater and agricultural wastes like molasses will be anaerobically pretreated in a 20 m3 anaerobic UASB reactor. The effluent from the anaerobic stage will be sent to two 32 m2 HRAPs. Biomass separation will be done by two clarifiers, including biomass recycle to the system. PHA-containing biomass will be digested, and through a series of mild treatments using environmentally friendly solutions, the PHA will be extracted and purified to different purity grades.