000032: Purification of Drinking Water Using Ozonation in a Fluidized Bed Bioreactor

The conventional approach to including ozonation in water treatment is to combine it with biological treatment (biotreatment). One problem of conventional ozonation/biodegration processes is that the biodegradable organic carbon (BDOC) in the organic materials formed by the initial ozonation is difficult to quickly remove during the subsequent biotreatment. This "slow" BDOC, if not removed will contribute to the formation of disinfection by-products after chlorination, and may also result in biological regrowth in the distribution system.


The invention relates to a process for treating organic matter in contaminated drinking water. The initial ozonation of the contaminated water converts nonbiodegradable organic matter to BDOC. Biological treatment in a fluidized bed bioreactor using supporting microorganisms is then used to remove the BDOC. After the initial ozonation of the contaminated water, an added biodegradable carbon source in the bioreactor is used to promote efficient biodegradation ("biostimulation") of the combined ozonated organic matter and carbon source and thus purify the water, thereby efficiently removing the "slow" BDOC.


  • Cost savings: Greater efficiency in removal of organic matter from contaminated drinking water leads to reduced disinfection byproduct precursors and increased biological stability of treated water, thereby lowering costs of pre-distribution treatment (e.g., chlorination) of water.
  • Scalability: The prototyped system can be readily scaled to production volumes.


Could be used in commercial water treatment systems, particularly municipal water treatment.

IP Protection Status

US 6,365,048 B1 (issued 04/02/02)
Patent Information:

For Information, Contact:

Bradley Shaw
Technology Manager
Michigan State University - Test