AEP is installing GE’s wastewater bioreactor system at the power plant in New Haven, that uses a special molasses-based product as a nutrient for microbes that reduce selenium, a constituent found in many coal-fired power plant water emissions.

GE’s technology utilizes special strains of common, non-pathogenic microbes that facilitate the conversion of soluble selenium into elemental selenium, which is removed from the system during periodic backwashing.

The microbes, which are fed the molasses-based nutrient, are seeded in a bed of activated carbon that acts as a growth medium for the microbes to create a biofilm.

Selenium-laden wastewater passes through this bioreactor and a reduction reaction occurs.

Construction of the treatment facility began in July 2010, and the biological treatment system is scheduled to become operational by the end of this year.