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Searen Vacuum AirLift: The New Generation of Wastewater Treatment

Cincinnati, Ohio-based Searen is revolutionizing the performance and efficiency of wastewater treatment with the Vacuum AirLift system (VAL). A new and patented approach to wastewater treatment, VAL is the sole technology that improves and simplifies impurity removal through water circulation, fine particulate extraction, and gas exchange—all in one reliable, energy-efficient device.

Searen’s technology has an ideal application in aquaculture, which is a sustainable approach to food production with significantly lower environmental impact than other farmed livestock. Fish in grow tanks rapidly deplete the oxygen supply and produce carbon dioxide and solid waste. Together, these actions create an adverse aquatic environment that must be properly addressed to prevent poor flavor, poor health and even death of livestock. Effective wastewater management is essential, and VAL is both simple and effective.

Here’s how the patented technology works. A vacuum pump pulls untreated water from a grow tank up through a vertical airlift. As the water travels upward through the inner cylinder of the airlift, atmospheric pressure pushes oxygen into the water. This oxygen bonds with undesirable gases such as CO2, N2 and H2S, and with particles in the water, forming a dense foam at the top of the tube. The foam is vacuum extracted and captured for appropriate use or disposal. Purified and oxygenated water then cascades down the outer tube via gravity and returns to the grow tank.

Emmanuel Briquet, an internationally recognized expert in sustainable aquaculture and co-founder/CEO of Searen, explained that the simplicity of VAL provides benefits at every level. “Since VAL is itself a pump, the external pumps and auxiliary subsystems of a conventional recirculating aquaculture system are eliminated. This reduces capital expenditure, energy consumption, system complexity, physical footprint and operating cost. And because VAL is a physical process, not chemical, it requires no flocculent. That means no costly consumables.”

VAL systems feature Atlas Copco’s DZS065V and DZS150V Claw Vacuum Pumps. “Atlas Copco has a good reputation for industrial equipment that is well engineered and reliable,” said Briquet. “In marine environments, the stainless-steel claws and corrosion resistant coatings in these Atlas Copco pumps are a plus. We want the best equipment with the greatest potential to help us be successful, and Atlas Copco is here for us. Searen is breaking new ground with VAL and if there is a problem, we find the solution together. Having the data right and communicating openly are both critical. We have found Atlas Copco’s Steve Nash and Joe Ritter to be especially helpful.”

While aquaculture is currently Searen’s major market focus, Briquet is actively developing additional North American markets for VAL. “In groundwater remediation, municipal wastewater and industrial wastewater, we’re either in early market, doing pilots or conducting R&D,” he said. “Oil & gas is in our future as well. These markets all involve different visions, approaches and applications, but the underlying VAL technology is the same. We will stay focused on what we do well and collaborate with Atlas Copco to increase our opportunities. Every place where VAL can be used is a market where Atlas Copco is already present. VAL is going to enter these markets, and we think collaboration can make it happen sooner. That will benefit Searen, Atlas Copco and any organization that needs to treat wastewater.”

Searen Vacuum AirLift System Advantages:

  • Superior water quality
  • Less equipment and space
  • Design simplicity for reduced failures and increased uptime
  • Far lower capital expenditures and operating costs

To learn more about the Searen Vacuum AirLift system, visit www.searen.com.    

DZS Dry Claw Vacuum Pump Advantages:

  • Simple, robust and compact
  • Energy efficient and VSD compatible
  • Corrosion resistant
  • Oil-free pump chamber
  • Turnkey controls and VSD Options

To learn more about the DZS Dry Claw Vacuum Pump, visit https://www.atlascopco.com/en-us/vacuum-solutions/products/dry-vacuum-pumps/single-stage-dry-claw-vacuum-and-overpressure-pump/dzs-dry-claw-vacuum-pump.