Environmental Operating Solutions, Inc. (EOSi) creates agriculturally-derived products to remove the pollutant nitrogen from wastewater. Our proprietary MicroC™ Premium Carbon Sources were designed to safely and cost effectively reduce nitrogen by converting it to water and harmless gases.
In the past, nitrogen has been removed from wastewater through a treatment process that included the liquid methanol. Increasingly, however, methanol has proven less than ideal: it’s toxic, flammable and derived from nonrenewable natural gas. Additionally, methanol prices have increased dramatically since 2002.
MicroC™ Premium Carbon Sources provided a viable alternative to methanol. It provides the necessary carbon source for denitrification without the safety hazards.
Since 2003, wastewater treatment facilities throughout the United States have been using MicroC™ products in a broad range of applications, from municipal and industrial wastewater treatment plants to shopping plazas, golf courses, sports venues and schools.
Nutrients, primarily nitrogen and phosphorus, are essential for the growth of all living organisms. However, excessive accumulation of nitrogen in surface and ground waters can lead to adverse ecological and human health effects.
On Cape Cod, where EOSi is based, our employees appreciate this area of southeastern Massachusetts for its fisheries and natural beauty. We also see that water bodies in and around the Cape have been and continue to be damaged by nitrogen pollution. We are motivated to develop and market innovative products that protect our communities and natural resources by reducing nitrogen loads.
In surface waters, nitrogen may cause algae blooms that consume oxygen, produce noxious odors and lower dissolved oxygen levels so severely that fish and shellfish die. Algae blooms can block sunlight to underwater grasses and prevent their growth, altering habitat for animals and fish. Elevated nitrogen levels in surface and ground waters are also a public health concern that has been linked to methemoglobinemia, or blue baby syndrome.
Farming practices, storm water runoff, and airborne deposits all contribute to nitrogen loads. But the nitrogen contributors that are generally the easiest to monitor and control come from wastewater treatment plants. In some areas of Cape Cod, estimates show that greater than 70 percent of the nitrogen load entering water bodies funnels from wastewater sources.
Current technology upgrades enable wastewater treatment facilities to reduce the amount of nitrogen released into the environment. The process, known as denitrification, converts nitrogen contained within wastewater into harmless components: water, nitrogen gas and carbon dioxide gas. The denitrification process requires several conditions, including the presence of an electron donor/carbon source. Federal and state environmental regulators increasingly require that wastewater treatment facilities upgrade for denitrification. However, these upgrades are expensive, resulting in millions of dollars of capital and operational expenditures.
In 2001, a wastewater engineer, a biologist and a chemist formed EOSi to provide safe, economical and environmentally-sustainable denitrification solutions. At the time, the wastewater engineer was designing a small wastewater treatment plant capable of meeting strict nitrogen discharge limits. Traditionally, a liquid chemical called methanol was used as the electron donor/carbon source to reduce nitrogen. Methanol, however, is toxic, flammable, and derived from non-renewable natural gas. Additionally, the safety precautions associated with using methanol would have added thousands of dollars to the construction cost for the project.
The wastewater engineer approached his biologist and chemist colleagues to evaluate alternatives to methanol. After researching commercially available solutions —some costly, others inadequate for safety or other reasons—the group spent several years developing their own solution through lab and field tests. In 2003, MicroC™ Premium Carbon Sources were made commercially available as an electron donor/carbon source for wastewater denitrification.
EOSi originated by developing practical solutions to real problems faced by wastewater treatment plant operators and engineers. EOSi continues this problem-solving approach today though extensive laboratory and field testing. In addition to our staff of scientists, several EOSi employees are licensed professional engineers or wastewater treatment plant operators.