A new member joins the SOLVOX® family

Highly versatile and efficient, SOLVOX® mobile gives operators of small and medium sized wastewater treatment plants a real break this summer.

SOLVOX® mobile takes the heat out of summer’s peak demand.

For many, summer spells pleasant temperatures, light clothing and easy living. Yet for those of us working to keep rivers and lakes clean of the inevitable waste products generated in highly industrialized societies, summer often brings extra work. 

Rising temperatures play into the hands of many unwanted pollutants in wastewater through a twofold process: Warmer temperatures reduce the solubility of oxygen in water while leading to a higher demand for the gas due to increased biological activity. If the dissolved oxygen level drops below a certain value, many bacteria essential to the biological wastewater treatment process will decrease in numbers. Eventually, this can lead to severe process upsets and even complete failure, causing plant operators to miss their statutory targets if the aquatic environment is polluted from a non-compliant discharge.

“Linde now offers SOLVOX mobile, a smaller, more flexible new member to the well-established SOLVOX® family”, says Darren Gurney, a senior expert on water treatment in Linde’s Process and Business Development team. “Wastewater is hugely variable, due to seasonal changes in demand and climate, but also due to manufacturers changing product formulation or introducing new product ranges. SOLVOX® mobile  helps water treatment plants address these variations in oxygen demand by extending their capacity in times of high demand.” 

Filling a gap

From a chemical perspective, the decreasing solubility of oxygen from air can be readily addressed by increasing the amount of dissolved oxygen in the treatment plant’s water. Yet the challenge lies with adjusting a plant’s existing static infrastructure to meet peak demand. “Most industries that have wastewater treatment facilities in place are designed to handle a certain pollution load”, says Gurney. “We can’t simply turn up the volume.” As oxygen dissolution becomes more difficult in the summertime, treatment plants need to increase their oxygen transfer into the process. 

Lightens the load: SOLVOX® mobile is a flexible plug-and-play solution.
With compact dimensions, SOLVOX® mobile can be added to tanks of almost all shapes and sizes.

The industrial gases market currently shows a gap, particularly at the smaller end of water treatment systems. “Larger units are often disproportionally expensive. Our customers were looking for something smaller and more flexible”, Gurney says. SOLVOX® mobile now serves to extend capacity, but is also readily available as a backup. “Think of it as an insurance policy. When existing aeration equipment underperforms during periods of higher temperature, the system needs a boost in additional capacity.” By dissolving pure oxygen in the water, plant operators can add as much oxygen as they choose. “From 20% to 100% – this just means inserting more SOLVOX mobile units into the wastewater treatment tanks, all without major modifications to the existing infrastructure.”

Weighing just over 100 kilograms and measuring 1.4 metres in height, SOLVOX® mobile is a relatively small plug-and-play solution, which can be inserted into water treatment tanks of all shapes and sizes to add capacity during peak season. Operators can now easily adapt capacity to demand at a reasonable cost.

Small and independent  

SOLVOX® mobile also features a degree of automation that is new to the SOLVOX® family and that can be activated if requested. “The unit monitors the oxygen level in the water and is able to adjust its output in a range between 10 to 25 kilograms of oxygen per hour.” On the control system, some additional work was conducted by Gurney and his colleagues. “To automate SOLVOX, we had to ensure that the unit had more monitoring and diagnostics features, for example, alerting operators to potential blockages.” 

After 24 months of development, Gurney is noticeably proud of the new product. SOLVOX® mobile is a robust unit that is efficient (1.2-3.5 kilograms of oxygen / kilowatt hour) and small enough to be placed where it is most needed, making further additions to the range possible. “If you want to get ready for summer, we have both the gas and a highly versatile device that provide plant operators with vastly more flexibility.” 

It seems the new member joined the family just in time to give clients a real break this summer.