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Halophyte Zeolite Wetlands (HZW)

Treatment and reuse of agro-industrial wastewaters for irrigation activities in drought prone regions

Developed by MIGAL - Galilee Research Institute

This technology generates new water resources for irrigation from the treatment of agro-industrial wastewaters through the usage of a holistic nature-sourced technology which combines a nanocomposite clarification-sedimentation system for the TSS removal, aerated bio-reactors for the COD and nutrient removal, and halophyte-zeolite wetlands for the sodium removal.

TRL6. Prototype system verified
Technology demonstrated in relevant environment. Representative model or prototype system, which is well beyond that of TRL 5, is tested in a relevant environment. Represents a major step up in a technology’s demonstrated readiness. Examples include testing a prototype in a high-fidelity laboratory environment or in a simulated operational environment. The pre-treatment modules (nanocomposite, and aerated bioreactors) already work and have been demonstrated under operational conditions in a winery industry (TRL 7). The HZW module for SAR reduction has been positively tested under in a simulated operational environment. High rates of effectiveness have been achieved using the Zeolite-Sesuvium combination (reduction of Na+ from 90-520 in dairy inflows, to 30-120 in treated outflows).

See more information about this level and the TRL and SRL levels.

The main components of the system have been tested separately, and an initial integration exercise has been conducted.

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Collaborators

How does it work?

HZW is a green module integrated by natural ion-exchange resins (zeolites) and halophytes in an artificial wetland which is able to reduce the Sodium Adsorption Ratio (SAR) using exchange reactions and plant up take. HZW is part of a 3-stage modular system for the treatment of dairy farm wasterwaters which consists of a (patented) clay-polymer nanocomposite system for reducing TSS, a set of aerated cells for COD and nutrient removal (by up to 95%), and the HZW for the sodium removal.

Limitations/conditions under which this innovation does not work or is less effective

The break-even point and profitability of the nano-composites and aerated bacteriological cells have been achieved with full scale deployment of a commercial system at a winery. The technology is used also in produce packaging for removing colloids from wash water. This is still in active R&D as well with continued innovation in increasing the effectiveness of the components, hence profitability is expected more easily in the future. The phosphorous recycling and sodium removal have been validated in field tests but have not achieved break even since they were not employed as part of a commercial system. The system is currently designed to treat up to 20 m3/day. Once it reaches TRL 9 it should be able to treat up to 80 m3/day.

Added value
Highly robust to fluctuations in water quality; Applicable to various agroindustrial wastewater; proven implementation in dairy farm and winery; Use of natural and safe materials rated for use in drinking water; Flexible implementation options (modularity) to match the required water quality; Generation of value-added by-products; Supported by numerous scientific publications and field experience.

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