Intellectual Property

BioSettler wastewater treatment

BioSettler wastewater treatment

Scientists at the QUESTOR Centre, Queen's University of Belfast have developed a product enabling improved wastewater treatment. The BioSettlerâ„¢ enhances the final settlement process in wastewater treatment plants allowing additional treatment to occur, aiding compliance with discharge consents to surface waters.



Settlers (also called clarifiers or settlement basins) are an integral part of almost all biological treatment plants and function to remove suspended solids by sedimentation. The BioSettler™ allows for an improved form of final settlement for wastewater that will allow additional aerobic treatment to occur during the period of settlement or clarification.


Cross-section of the BioSettler™ prototype


  • Utilises the retention time of final stage settlement allowing aerobic treatment to take place within same settlement environment.
  • Aerobic biological treatment is preferably facilitated by bubble-free aeration supporting a large biomass density for effective wastewater treatment.
  • Settlement is improved, BOD is reduced and nitrification/de-nitrification can be achieved in a smaller sized tank.
  • Capital, space and civil costs are greatly reduced when compared to existing solutions to the problem – both new and retrofits.
  • Low energy requirements compared to membrane bioreactors.


  • Large-scale municipal or industrial wastewater treatment plants.
  • Small-scale sewerage treatment tanks.
  • Can be adapted to existing plant refits or upgrades to improve settlement efficiency.

Patent Status

An initial UK patent application (No. 0724813.1) has been filed with a priority date of 20/12/2007, followed by PCT application WO2009/081118.


Project part financed by the European Regional Development Fund under the European Sustainable Competitiveness Programme for Northern Ireland.


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qub-innovation-fund The Queen's University Belfast Innovation Fund (QUBIF) is a £1 million venture capital fund, set-up to invest in post Proof of Concept, pre-commercialisation spin-out companies. Funding rounds will be typically in the range of £50k to £200k and investments must be strongly related to the QUB research base.

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