Headworks BIO has been awarded a contract to design an Integrated Fixed Film Activated Sludge (IFAS) system for installation at the oldest and most prominent institute of higher education in Saudi Arabia, King Saud University (KSU) in Riyadh. Construction has already begun and start-up is expected during the fall of this year.
The IFAS variation of the Moving Bed Biofilm Reactor (MBBR) process gets its name from the integration of biofilm carrier technology within a conventional activated sludge process. Headworks BIO claims that the hybrid process enables activated sludge systems to achieve dramatic gains in volumetric productivity without increasing mixed liquor suspended solids (MLSS) levels.
“We had to consider many factors when selecting a technology that would be suitable for our specific application,” explained Dr Ahmed Khalaf Abdel-Lah, Vice President of KSU. “One of the key challenges was to address the seasonal variation in occupancy levels on campus during the summer holidays that causes low flow or no flow for extended periods of time. This is when traditional technologies fail. The self-regulating nature of the IFAS process was very appealing to us.”
The University also required an extremely compact plant so that its presence on campus would have minimal visual impact. The four treatment reactors will have a total footprint of 144 m2, a remarkable achievement for a plant with such high treatment capacity. Construction has already begun and start-up is expected during the fall of this year.
“The demand for clean water in the Middle East is overwhelming,” said Gerald Seidl, Senior Vice President of Headworks BIO Inc. “IFAS technology is reliable, easy to operate, and has been employed extensively across North America. We are thrilled that after years of analytical studies, regular client visits, and leveraging the biological process knowledge of our Middle East office we are experiencing great success in this territory.”
Headworks BIO has partnered with the well established Saudi contractor, Wetico, to construct the new sewage treatment plant on campus that will treat approximately 10,000 m3/day. The IFAS system will achieve BOD reduction, nitrification, and denitrification – producing effluent suitable for reuse and irrigation applications.
Along with the process design, Headworks BIO will supply the core components of the IFAS system, including: media, aeration grids, and media retention screens. Headworks BIO will employ their proprietary media, ActiveCell515, offering 485 m2/m3 of protected surface area.
Founded in 1957 by King Saud bin Abdul Aziz, KSU was the first University in the Kingdom not dedicated to religious subjects. Today, the student body consists of about 37,874 students of both genders studying courses in natural sciences, humanities, and professional studies – for which the university charges no tuition