Mapal Energy, an Israeli start-up which develops and supplies advanced diffusers for wastewater purification plants, has completed a project in Brazil for the supply and installation of floating fine-bubble aeration units in the FLORES WWTP, state of São Paulo. Mapal’s units replaced the existing mechanical aerators, and provide 50% in energy savings while maintaining the quality of the effluent. This is part of a project in collaboration with FOZ DO BRAZIL, one of the largest infrastructure contractors in Brazil and GE’s water division.
The WWTP, upgraded by Mapal is used for pre-treatment of an MBR (membrane bioreactor) plant for the automotive industry in Brazil.
For Mapal this is another foothold in the South American market, which follows previous installations in Peru as well as the U.K., and the company is also active in Angola, South Africa (where it is working on three projects) and of course Israel.
The company has been active since 2008. We interviewed Sarit Tordjeman, International Sales & Marketing Manager, who told us that since 2012 the company is looking internationally and is in constant growth. “2013 is going to be a very strong year for Mapal due to the projects coming in,” she says. “Four projects are already in the final closing stage.”
What exactly does Mapal do? Wastewater in the world is treated in wastewater treatment facilities which can be divided into two main types: open basins, large and shallow, situated in cheaper land outside residential areas, and the smaller, deep concrete pools, located in urban areas, on more expensive, more crowded land.
The purification of the contaminants that are dissolved in the water is done through bacteria which gobble them up (“biological purification”) and just as in fish tanks there need to be water bubbles so that the fish get oxygen, it’s also necessary to supply the bacteria with oxygen so that they can go on doing their job. Therefore, wastewater treatment facilities include aeration systems, which function is to bring oxygen into the pool. Today, the fine bubble diffusers systems, which use advanced systems to insert small oxygen bubbles, are becoming more and more popular.
The diffusers are pipe systems which bring bubbles from the bottom of the facility pool. Up until today, it was possible to install such systems only in facilities with a concrete floor and not in open air pools, which usually have a mechanical top layer device installed, and this system uses up a lot more energy, because it necessitates ongoing, costly maintenance.
Mapal enables use of diffusers in open air basins, using a patented covering of the basin. Its solution makes it unnecessary to build pools with a concrete floor in order to use the gentle bubbles system, thus enabling dramatic cost-savings.
According to Turgeman, Mapal’s systems can save 70% on energy costs and an additional 80% on operational costs, and the system targets industrial wastewater purification systems as well. “The market potential of this market is in the hundreds of millions of dollars per year, and we now have more than 25 installations in Israel and the world, and are experiencing a positive momentum of growth,” concludes Turgeman.
For our previous post on Mapal’s technology click here.
For the Mapal company profile in the Israel NewTech site click here.