Patent Issued for Membrane System To Treat Leachate And Methods Of Treating Leachate (USPTO 10,300,436)

Chemicals & Chemistry Business Daily |

2019 JUN 12 (NewsRx) -- By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Chemicals & Chemistry Business Daily -- Alachua County Public Works (Gainesville, Florida, United States) has been issued patent number 10,300,436, according to news reporting originating out of Alexandria, Virginia, by NewsRx editors.

The patent’s inventors are Townsend, Timothy (Gainesville, FL); Bishop, Ronald (High Springs, FL); Wood, David (Gainesville, FL); Lloyd, James (Gainesville, FL).

This patent was filed on and was published online on .

From the background information supplied by the inventors, news correspondents obtained the following quote: “Researchers estimate that between 900 million to 9 billion gallons of landfill leachate are produced annually in the United States, with an estimated 250 million gallons annually being managed in Florida. This volume of wastewater raises environmental and economic concerns, and represents an opportunity to reclaim both water and nutrients from a wastewater stream that is currently being ‘thrown away.’

“Leachate is water is partly inherent in solid waste and partly the result of rainfall that falls on the wastes after placement in a landfill, which subsequently becomes contaminated with a variety of chemicals contained in the solid waste. Landfill leachate is characterized by heavy metals, high chemical oxygen demand (COD) and biological oxygen demand (BOD) compounds, total organic carbon (TOC), volatile organic carbons (VOC), ammonia-nitrogen, suspended solids and can contain other compounds that resist biological decomposition. Chemical constituents of leachate can be toxic or carcinogenic, and certain compounds can emit objectionable odors. Landfill leachate can also transport viruses and bacteria harmful to human health.

“Leachate management methodologies became necessary in the 1980’s when the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and state regulatory agencies began adopting the ‘dry tomb’ approach to landfill construction which requires new landfill cells to have bottom and top liners, as part of leachate management systems. Soon after implementing these regulations researchers began to investigate the effects of adding water or recirculating leachate to the lined cells. This research confirmed that recirculation of leachate accelerates gas production and the degradation of organic waste. This so called ‘wet cell’ research led to the development of ‘bioreactor landfills’ in which significant quantities of leachate are recirculated while organic waste is being degraded. Once biological activity in the cells ceases, however, bioreactor landfill operators need methods to dewater the cells and dispose of or treat the leachate.

“Leachate is managed in a variety of ways including trucking or piping leachate to a wastewater treatment plant (WWTP), deep well injection with minimal treatment, evaporation, biological uptake of constituents in engineered wetlands, and various chemical treatment processes. Some facilities use more than one method. All methods of processing leachate use energy and can have negative environmental impacts. Few WWTPs are designed to treat leachate, which disrupts biological treatment in all but the smallest amounts.

“An on-site treatment method that minimizes energy consumption and adverse impacts such as odors, captures the inherent macro and micro nutrients in the leachate, segregates heavy metals and VOCs, dewaters the cell, and provides reuse of the decontaminated water is therefore desirable.

“Thus there is a need to address and/or overcome these deficiencies.”

Supplementing the background information on this patent, NewsRx reporters also obtained the inventors’ summary information for this patent: “In accordance with the purpose(s) of the present disclosure, as embodied and broadly described herein, embodiments of the present disclosure, in one aspect, relate to a systems for removing contaminants from a leachate, methods of removing contaminants from a leachate, and the like.

“In an embodiment, a membrane system, among others, includes: a first stage including one or more membranes selected from the group consisting of: a reverse osmosis membrane and a nanofiltration membrane, wherein a leachate is introduced to the first stage to separate the leachate into a first stage concentrate and a first stage permeate; and a second stage including one or more membranes selected from the group consisting of: a reverse osmosis membrane and a nanofiltration membrane, wherein the first stage and the second stage are in fluidic communication, wherein the first stage permeate is introduced to the second stage to separate the first stage permeate into a second stage concentrate and a second stage permeate. In an embodiment, the first stage and the second stage is adapted to reject about 95% or more of contaminates in the leachate.

“In an embodiment, a method of treating leachate, among others, includes: introducing a leachate to a first membrane system to separate the leachate into a first stage concentrate and a first stage permeate, and introducing the first stage permeate to a second membrane system to separate the first stage permeate into a second stage concentrate and a second stage permeate. In an embodiment, the second stage permeate has about 95% less contaminates than the leachate.

“In an embodiment, a recursive concentrate reduction membrane system, among others, includes: a first stage including one or more membranes selected from the group consisting of: a reverse osmosis membrane and a nanofiltration membrane, wherein a leachate is introduced to the first stage to separate the leachate into a concentrate and a permeate. In an embodiment, the first stage and the second stage is adapted to reject about 95% or more of contaminates in the leachate.

“In an embodiment, a method of treating leachate, among others, includes: introducing a leachate to a membrane system to separate the leachate into a concentrate and a permeate, wherein the permeate has about 5% or less of contaminates of the leachate.

“In an embodiment, a method of treating leachate, among others, includes: introducing a leachate to a membrane system to separate the leachate into a concentrate and a permeate, wherein the concentrate and permeate are mixed or used separately to produce a fertilizer for terrestrial or aquatic substrates. In an embodiment the leachate is treated using various applied pressures which produce a target water quality of concentrate and permeate that is mixed or used separately to produce a fertilizer, fertilizer-equivalent, or partial-fertilizer for terrestrial and aquatic substrates.

“Other structures, compositions, methods, features, and advantages will be, or become, apparent to one with skill in the art upon examination of the following drawings and detailed description. It is intended that all such additional structures, systems, methods, features, and advantages be included within this description, be within the scope of the present disclosure, and be protected by the accompanying claims.”

The claims supplied by the inventors are:

“We claim at least the following:

“1. A recursive concentrate reduction membrane system, comprising: a first stage including two or more reverse osmosis membranes in fluidic communication and connected in series, wherein the system is configured to introduce a leachate to the first stage, wherein the first stage is configured to separate the leachate into a first stage concentrate and a first stage permeate; a second stage including two or more reverse osmosis membranes in fluidic communication and connected in series, wherein the first stage and the second stage are in fluidic communication, wherein the system is configured to introduce the first stage permeate to the second stage, wherein the second stage is configured to separate the first stage permeate into a second stage concentrate and a second stage permeate, wherein the second stage is configured to operate at about 300 psi or less pressurized; a filter in the first stage to prefilter the leachate prior to introduction to the first stage reverse osmosis membranes; a filter in the second stage to prefilter the first stage permeate prior to introduction of the first stage permeate to the second stage reverse osmosis membranes; and a collection tank, wherein the collection tank is configured to store leachate from the leachate source and the second stage, wherein the system is configured so that the liquid inflow is adjusted to maintain a dilution factor within a tank stock that optimizes system performance.

“2. The membrane system of claim 1, wherein the system is configured so that first stage permeate is the only permeate outflow from the system.

“3. The membrane system of claim 1, wherein the system is configured so that the second stage concentrate is introduced to a third stage, wherein the third stage is configured to separate the second stage concentrate into a third stage concentrate and third stage permeate.

“4. The membrane system of claim 3, wherein the system is configured to introduce the blended streams of the second and third stage permeate to the leachate while the third stage concentrate is disposed of or recirculated.

“5. The membrane system of claim 1, further comprising: a pressure exchanger in that the pressure energy is transferred from a high pressure concentrate stream from the first stage to a low pressure concentrate stream of the second stage.

“6. The membrane system of claim 1, wherein the filter in the first stage is a one-micron filter.

“7. The membrane system of claim 1, wherein the filter in the second stage is a one-micron filter.”

For the URL and additional information on this patent, see: Townsend, Timothy; Bishop, Ronald; Wood, David; Lloyd, James. Membrane System To Treat Leachate And Methods Of Treating Leachate. U.S. Patent Number 10,300,436, filed , and published online on . Patent URL: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=10,300,436.PN.&OS=PN/10,300,436RS=PN/10,300,436

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