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Sommaire du brevet 2461668 

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Disponibilité de l'Abrégé et des Revendications

L'apparition de différences dans le texte et l'image des Revendications et de l'Abrégé dépend du moment auquel le document est publié. Les textes des Revendications et de l'Abrégé sont affichés :

  • lorsque la demande peut être examinée par le public;
  • lorsque le brevet est émis (délivrance).
(12) Brevet: (11) CA 2461668
(54) Titre français: ENSEMBLE DE TRAITEMENT BIOLOGIQUE DES EAUX COMPRENANT UN DISPOSITIF DE CULTURE DE BACTERIES ET PROCEDE ASSOCIE A CELUI-CI
(54) Titre anglais: BIOLOGICAL WATER TREATMENT ASSEMBLY INCLUDING A BACTERIA GROWTH DEVICE AND METHOD ASSOCIATED THERETO
Statut: Périmé
Données bibliographiques
(51) Classification internationale des brevets (CIB):
  • C12M 1/00 (2006.01)
  • C02F 3/10 (2006.01)
  • C02F 3/12 (2006.01)
  • C02F 3/28 (2006.01)
  • C02F 3/30 (2006.01)
  • C02F 3/34 (2006.01)
(72) Inventeurs :
  • LORD, GARFIELD R. (Iles Turks et Caïques)
(73) Titulaires :
  • BIONEST TECHNOLOGIES INC. (Canada)
(71) Demandeurs :
  • STRATEGIC ENVIRONMENTAL TECHNOLOGIES LTD. (Iles Turks et Caïques)
(74) Agent: GOWLING WLG (CANADA) LLP
(74) Co-agent:
(45) Délivré: 2009-12-15
(86) Date de dépôt PCT: 2002-09-26
(87) Mise à la disponibilité du public: 2003-04-03
Requête d'examen: 2006-10-13
Licence disponible: S.O.
(25) Langue des documents déposés: Anglais

Traité de coopération en matière de brevets (PCT): Oui
(86) Numéro de la demande PCT: PCT/CA2002/001462
(87) Numéro de publication internationale PCT: WO2003/027031
(85) Entrée nationale: 2004-03-25

(30) Données de priorité de la demande:
Numéro de la demande Pays / territoire Date
2,357,907 Canada 2001-09-26

Abrégés

Abrégé français

L'invention concerne un dispositif (1) de culture de bactéries s'utilisant avec des bactéries dans un milieu sensiblement liquide. Ledit dispositif (1) comprend au moins une bande (5) présentant une surface de forme et de dimensions permettant de recevoir des bactéries présentes dans le milieu sensiblement liquide et permettant à ses bactéries de se fixer sur la surface de la ou les bandes (5) de façon à favoriser la croissance des bactéries fixées. Le milieu sensiblement liquide peut être délimité dans des conditions aérobies ; dans ce cas, le dispositif (1) s'utilise pour favoriser la croissance des bactéries aérobies. Autrement, le milieu sensiblement liquide peut être délimité dans des conditions anaérobies et/ou anoxiques ; dans ce cas, le dispositif (1) s'utilise pour favoriser la croissance des bactéries anaérobies et/ou anoxiques correspondantes. En outre, l'invention concerne un ensemble comportant ledit dispositif et son procédé associé s'utilisant, généralement, pour favoriser la croissance de bactéries destinées au traitement et à la purification d'effluents d'eaux usées. Lesdits effluents, tels que, par exemple, les rejets d'eaux usées de réservoirs d'eaux usées septiques industrielles et/ou domestiques, demandent une quantité élevée de produits biochimiques.


Abrégé anglais




A bacteria growth device (1) for use with bacteria in a substantially liquid
medium, the device (1) comprising at least one strip (5) having a surface area
shaped and sized for receiving bacteria present in the substantially liquid
medium and for allowing attachment of said bacteria onto the surface area of
the at least one strip (5) so as to promote growth of the attached bacteria.
The substantially liquid medium may be enclosed in an aerobic environment, in
which case the device (1) is used to promote the growth of aerobic bacteria.
Alternatively, the substantially liquid medium may be enclosed in an anaerobic
and/or anoxic environment, in which case the device (1) is used to promote the
growth of corresponding anaerobic and/or anoxic bacteria. Also described are
an assembly including the above-mentioned device and the method associated
thereto. Typically, these are used for promoting growth of bacteria destined
for treating and purifying wastewater effluents which are high in biochemical
demand, such as the wastewater discharges of residential and/or industrial
septic/wastewater tanks for example.

Revendications

Note : Les revendications sont présentées dans la langue officielle dans laquelle elles ont été soumises.



28
CLAIM:

1. A bacteria growth device (1) for use in the biological consumption of
impurities in a liquid medium; said device comprising at least one strip (5),
which contacts said liquid medium in use, said at least one strip being
interwined
to present a nest-like configuration and presenting a surface for attachment
and
growth of bacteria on said surface, to promote growth of the attached bacteria
in
a substantially uniform manner throughout said at least one strip, the nest-
like
configuration of the at least one strip allowing for the free circulation of
the liquid
medium through the attached bacteria.

2. A bacteria growth device (1) according to claim 1,
wherein the at least one strip (5) is made of a non-toxic and non-
biodegradable polymeric material.

3. A bacteria growth device (1) according to any one of claims 1
and 2, wherein the surface area of the at least one strip (5) is
plasma etched.

4. A bacteria growth device (1) according to claim
3, wherein the at least one strip (5) is made of a material
containing an underlying porous substance, said porous substance being
exposed to the bacteria for attachment thereon through corresponding
etches of the plasma etched surface area.


29
5. A bacteria growth device (1) according to claim 4, wherein the
porous substance is selected from the group consisting of zeolite, activated
carbon, and porous stone.

6. A bacteria growth device (1) according to any one of claims 1
to 5, wherein the at least one strip (5) is made of a polymeric
material selected from the group consisting of high-density polyethylene
and polypropylene.

7. A bacteria growth device (1) according to any one of claims 1
to 6, wherein the at least one strip (5) is made with a
manufacturing process selected from the group of milling, extrusion,
molding, machining and casting.

8. A bacteria growth device (1) according to any one of claims 1
to 7, wherein the liquid medium is enclosed in an aerobic
environment.

9. A bacteria growth device (1) according to any one of claims 1
to 7, wherein the liquid medium is enclosed in an anaerobic
environment.

10. A bacteria growth device (1) according to any one of claims 1
to 7, wherein the liquid medium is enclosed in an anoxic
environment.

11. A bacteria growth device (1) according to any one of claims 1
to 8, wherein the bacteria are selected from the group consisting of
nitrosomonas and nitrobacters.

12. A bacteria growth device (1) according to any one of claims 1
to 9, wherein the liquid medium is selected from the group


30
consisting of grey water, black water, domestic wastewater and industrial
wastewater.

13. A bacteria growth device (1) according to any one of claims 1
to 12, wherein the at least one strip (5) has a substantially
rectangular cross-sectional area having a thickness of about 0.2mm and a
width of about 3.0mm.

14. A bacteria growth device (1) according to any one of claims 1
to 13, wherein the nest-like configuration of the at least one strip
(5) occupies a volume of about 3 meters oube.

15. An assembly (3) for treating a liquid containing impurities, the
assembly (3) comprising a reactor (7) having:

an inlet (17) through which the liquid containing impurities is
introduced into the reactor (7) and an outlet (19) through which the liquid
removed of certain impurities is discharged from the reactor (7); and

at least one bacteria growth device (1) as defined in any one of
claims 1 to 14, the device (1) being operatively positioned inside the reactor

(7) between the inlet (17) and the outlet (19) thereof so that the bacteria
attached onto the surface area of the at least one strip (5) of said
device (1) are used to biologically eliminate impurities from the liquid
present in the reactor (7).

16. An assembly (3) according to claim 15, wherein the reactor (7)
further comprises neighboring first and second chambers (8), the chambers
(9) being in fluid connection with each other between the inlet (17) and the
outlet (19) of the reactor (7), each of said chambers (9) comprising at least
one of said bacteria growth device (1), the first chamber (9) being an
aerobic chamber (9a) for eliminating impurities from the liquid with aerobic


31
bacteria, and the second chamber (9) being an anaerobic chamber (9b) for
eliminating other impurities from the liquid with anaerobic bacteria.

17. An assembly (3) according to claim 16, wherein the first
chamber (9) has a volume which is twice that of the second chamber (9).

18. An assembly (3) according to claim 16 or 17, wherein the
assembly (3) further comprises a septic tank (13) having an inlet (21), and
an outlet (23) connected to the inlet (17) of the reactor (7) so that a liquid

containing impurities being discharged from the septic tank (13) is
introduced into the reactor (7).

19. An assembly (3) according to claim 18, wherein the septic
tank (13) further comprises neighboring first and second chambers (9), said
chambers (9) being in fluid connection with each other between the inlet
(21) and the outlet (23) of the septic tank (13), the first chamber (9) of the

septic tank (13) acting as a settling chamber (15), the second chamber (9)
of the septic tank (13) comprising at least one of said device (1) and being
an anaerobic chamber (9b) for eliminating impurities from the liquid with
anaerobic bacteria.

20. An assembly (3) according to claim 19, wherein the first
chamber (9) of the septic tank (13) has a volume which is twice that of the
second chamber (9) of the septic tank (13).

21. An assembly (3) according to any one of claims 18 to 20,
wherein the outlet (19) of the reactor (7) is connectable to the inlet (21) of

the septic tank (13) so that liquid containing impurities discharged from the
reactor (7) may be re-circulated through the septic tank (13) and the reactor
(7).


32
22. A method for treating a liquid containing impurities, the
method comprising the steps of:

a) introducing the liquid containing impurities into a reactor (7);

b) providing a bacteria growth device (1) as defined in any one of
claims 1 to 14 in the reactor (7) of step a);

c) contacting said device with said liquid,
allowing the bacteria attached onto the surface area of the at
least one strip (5) of the device (1) to grow and
eliminate impurities from the liquid present in the reactor (7);
and

d) evacuating the liquid removed of certain impurities from the
reactor (7).

23. A method according to claim22, wherein step a) comprises
the step of discharging a liquid containing impurities from a septic tank (13)

into the reactor (7).

24. A method according to claim 23, wherein step d) further
comprises the step of re-circulating the liquid removed of certain impurities
back into the septic tank (13).

25. A bacteria growth device (1) according to claim 1, wherein the surface
of the at least one strip is etched for receiving and allowing the bacteria to
attach thereto.
26. A bacteria growth device (1) for use in the biological consumption of
impurities in a substantially liquid medium; said device comprising a
plurality of strips (5)
that are free of attachment to one another and interwined so as to form a
loose
conformation of strips in a nest-like configuration, the strips presenting a
surface for
attachment and growth of bacteria on said surface, to promote growth of the
attached
bacteria in a substantially uniform manner throughout said device, the nest-
like configuration
of the strips being constructed and arranged so that the nest-like
configuration resists
compression and collapse over time and allows for the free circulation of the
liquid medium through the attached bacteria.

Description

Note : Les descriptions sont présentées dans la langue officielle dans laquelle elles ont été soumises.



CA 02461668 2008-07-08

WO 03/027031 PCT/CA02/01462
BIOLOGICAL WATER TREATMENT ASSEMBLY INCLUDING A BACTERIA GROWTH DEVICE
AND METHOD ASSOCIATED THERETO

Field of the invention

The present invention relates to a bacteria growth device, hereinafter
referred to also as a"BionestT"" device". More particularly, the present
invention
relates to a bacteria growth device for use with bacteria in a substantially
liquid medium, as well as to an assembly including such a device and the
method associated thereto. Typically, the device, assembly, and method
are used for treating and purifying wastewater effluents which are high in
biochemical oxygen demand, such as the wastewater discharges of
residential and/or industrial septic/wastewater tanks for example.
Background of the invention

Known in the art are several filtering apparatuses used for treating and
purifying wastewater. For instance, the North American Filter Corporation
has developed a filter known as the Waterloo BiofilterTM, which comprises
an open cell foam wherein little blocks are cut into dimensions of about 3
inches by 3 inches. Typically, grey water is poured over the top of the
blocks and flows down as air is blown up through the bottom of the open
cell foam. By keeping the media wet with re-circulating grey water, the
bacteria grow inside the foam. However, such a system is fairly expensive
to maintain, as it constantly needs air blowing to generate aerobic bacteria
in the foam and because a mechanical pump is required to continuously re-
circulate the grey water over the foam.

Also known in the art are other filtering/purifying apparatuses used for
treating and purifying wastewater. These include the following: leaching
fields attached to septic tanks, biodisks (rotating disks), multimedia sand
filters, fluidized beds (sand suspended in water), Zenon Zeeweed filters,


CA 02461668 2008-07-08

2
ECO FLOWO (peat moss) and plastic spheres, balls, stars, honeycombs,
and the like.

A major problem with the devices that use 'peat moss and other similar
substances for fiteringlpurifying applications is that these substances are
biodegradable, and thus get eaten by bacteria with time and turn into mock,
which is very undesirable, as is known in the art.

Known to the Applicant are the following US patents which describe
different purifying apparatuses and methods: 4,615,803; 5,206,206;
5,618,414; 5,811,002; 5,913,588; 6,063,276; 6,110,374; and 6,1.62,020.
Also known to the Applicant are the following international patent
applications which also describe different purifying apparatuses and
methods: WO 87/05593; WO 91/16496; WO 01104060; WO 01/12563; Wa
01156936; and WO 01/66475.

These different apparatuses and methods are disadvantageous because
they tend to be elaborate in design; require a substantial amount of energy
input for operating; are fairly expensive and/or difi=tcult to
manufacture/assemble/instail; require considerable maintenance; etc.

Summary of the invention

The object of the present invention is to provide an improved device for
promoting the growth of bacteria, which satisfies some of the above-
mentioned needs and which is thus an improvement over the devices
known in the prior art.

In accordance with the present invention, the above object is achieved with
a bacteria growth device (1) for use with bacteria in a substantially liquid
medium, the device (1) comprising at least one strip


CA 02461668 2008-07-08

3
having a surface area shaped and sized for receiving bacteria present in the
substantially liquid medium and for allowing attachment of said bacteria onto
the surface area of the at least one strip so as to promote growth of the
attached bacteria.

Preferably, the at least one strip is intertwined and has a nest-like
configuration,
and the bacteria attached onto the surface area of the at least one
strip are used for biologically consuming impurities contained in the
substantially liquid medium.

Preferably also, each strip of the device is made of a non-toxic and non-
biodegradable polymeric material.
According to another aspect of the present invention, there Is also provided
an assembly for treating a liquid containing impurities, fhe assembly
comprising a reactor having:
an inlet through which the liquid containing impurities is introduced
into the reactor and an outiet through which the liquid removed of certain
impurities is discharged from the reactor; and
at least one bacteria growth device such as the above-mentioned,
the device being operatively positioned inside the reactor between the inlet
and the outlet thereof so that the bacteria attached onto the surface area of
the at least one strip of said device 'are used to bioiogically elimfnate
impurities from the liquid present in the reactor.

Preferably, the reactor furthe'r comprises neighboring first and second
chambers, the chambers being in fluid connection with each other between
the inlet and the outlet of the reactor, each of said chambers comprising at
least one of said bacteria growth device, the first chamber being an aerobio
chamber for eliminating impurities from the iictuid with aerobic bacteria, and


CA 02461668 2004-03-25
WO 03/027031 PCT/CA02/01462
4

the second chamber being an anaerobic chamber for eliminating other
impurities from the liquid with anaerobic bacteria.

According to yet another aspect of the present invention, there is also
provided a method for treating a liquid containing impurities, the method
comprising the steps of:

a) introducing the liquid containing impurities into a reactor;

b) providing a bacteria growth device such as the above-
mentioned in the reactor of step a);

c) allowing the bacteria attached onto the surface area of the at
least one strip of the device to grow and eliminate impurities
from the liquid present in the reactor; and

d) evacuating the liquid removed of certain impurities from the
reactor.

Preferably, step a) comprises the step of discharging a liquid containing
impurities from a septic tank and/or settling tank into the reactor.

Preferably also, step d) further comprises the step of re-circulating the
liquid
removed of certain impurities back into the septic tank and/or settling tank.
The objects, advantages and other features of the present invention will
become more apparent upon reading of the following non-restrictive
description of preferred embodiments thereof, given for the purpose of
exemplification only with reference to the accompanying drawings.


CA 02461668 2004-03-25
WO 03/027031 PCT/CA02/01462
Brief description of the drawings

Figure 1 is a schematic representation of the bacteria growth device
according to the present invention, the device being shown with at least one
strip intertwined into a nest-like configuration according to the preferred
5 embodiment of the invention.

Figure 2 is a fragmentary enlarged plan view of the surface area of the strip
shown in Figure 1 according to a preferred embodiment of the invention.
Figure 3 is a fragmentary enlarged plan view of the surface area of the strip
shown in Figure 1 according to another preferred embodiment of the
invention.

Figure 4 is a fragmentary enlarged plan view of the surface area of the strip
shown in Figure 1 according to yet another preferred embodiment of the
invention.

Figure 5 is a fragmentary enlarged plan view of the surface area of the strip
shown in Figure 1 according to yet another preferred embodiment of the
invention.

Figure 6 is a schematic cross-sectional view of an assembly for treating a
liquid containing impurities according to a first preferred embodiment of the
invention.

Figure 7 is a schematic cross-sectional view of an assembly for treating a
liquid containing impurities according to a second preferred embodiment of
the invention.


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WO 03/027031 PCT/CA02/01462
6
Detailed description of preferred embodiments of the invention

In the following description, the same numerical references refer to similar
elements. The embodiments shown in the figures are preferred.
Furthermore, although the present invention was primarily designed for
promoting the growth of attached bacteria destined to clean wastewater
discharged from a septic tank, it may be used for promoting the growth of
attached bacteria capable of interacting with other various types of liquids
employed in other technical fields, as apparent to a person skilled in the
art.
For this reason, expressions such as "waste", "water", "septic" and the like
should not be taken as to limit the scope of the present invention and
include all other kinds of liquids or technical applications with which the
present invention may be used and could be useful.

Moreover, in the context of the present invention, the expressions "water",
"liquid", "effluent", "discharge", and any other equivalent expression known
in the art used to designate a substance displaying liquid-like features, as
well as any other equivalent expressions and/or compound words thereof,
may be used interchangeably. Furthermore, expressions such as "polluted",
"contaminated" and "soiled" for example, may also be used interchangeably
in the context of the present description. The same applies for any other
mutually equivalent expressions such as "septic" and "settling", as well as
"reactor", "assembly" and "clarifier" for example, as also apparent to a
person skilled in the art. Moreover, in the context of the present invention,
"anaerobic" may also be used to designate and include "anoxic", as
apparent to a person skilled in the art.

In addition, although the preferred embodiment of the present invention as
illustrated in the accompanying drawings comprises various components,
such as small pumps, air returns, etc., and although the preferred
embodiment of the present invention as shown consists of certain


CA 02461668 2008-07-08

WO 031027031 PCT/CA02/01462
7
geometrical configurations and arrangements, not all of these components,
geometries and/or arrangements are essential to the invention and thus
should not be taken in their restrictive sense, i.e. should not be taken as to
limit the scope of the present invention. It is to be understood, as also
apparent to a person skilled in the art, that other suitable components and
cooperations thereinbetween, as well as other suitable geometrical
configurations and arrangements may be used for the bacteria growth
device 1 and corresponding assembly 3 according to the present invention,
as will be briefly explained hereinafter, without departing from the scope of
the invention.

Broadly described, the device 1 according to the present invention, as
illustrated in the accompanying drawings, is a bacteria growth device 1 for
use with bacteria in a substantially liquid medium, the device 1 comprising
at least one strip 5 having a surface area shaped and sized for receiving
bacteria present in the substantially liquid medium and for allowing
attachment of said bacteria onto the surface area of the at least one strip 5
so as to promote growth of the attached bacteria. The substantially liquid
medium may be enclosed in an aerobic environment, in which case the
device 1 is used to promote the growth of aerobic bacteria. Altematively,
the substantially liquid medium may be enclosed in an anaerobic
environment, in which case the device I is used to promote the growth of
anaerobic bacteria. The bacteria according to the present are preferably
selected from the group consisting of riitrosomonas, nitrobacters, and the
like. It is worth mentioning however that other suitable bacteria (and
corresponding enzymes), whether naturally occurring in the fluid medium or
introduced therein from an outside source, may be used according to the
present invention, deperLding on the particular applications for which the
bacteria growth device 1 is intended and the particular liquid medium with
which it is intended to interact, as apparent to a person skilled in the art.


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WO 03/027031 PCT/C.A02/01462
8
Preferably, at least one strip 5 is intertwined and has a nest-like
configuration, as better shown in Figure 1. It is to be understood, as
apparent to a person skilled in the art, that according to the present
invention, the bacteria growth device 1 may comprise one single elongated
strip 5 or a plurality of strips 5 bundled up together so as to obtain a
desired
nest-like configuration, such as the one illustrated in Figure 1, or any other
suitable geometrical configuration (whether one-, two-, or three-dimensional
configuration; whether orderly or randorri spatial disposition; and/or whether
tightly packed or loosely fitted; etc), depending on the particuiar
applications for which the bacteria growth device 1 is intended and the
particular liquid medium with which it is intended to interact, as apparent to
a person skilled in the art. Indeed, among other considerations, the
geometrical configuration of the bacteria growth device 1 according to the
present
invention should be intended to allow an appropriate flow rate of the liquid
medium therethrough, as also apparent to a person skilled in the art.
Preferably, the bacteria attached onto the surface area of each strip 5 of the
device I are used for biologically consuming impurities which may be
contained in the substantially liquid medium, such as waste products
contained in wastewater for example. Preferably, the substantially liquid
medium is selected from the group consisting of grey water, black water,
domestic wastewater, industrial wastewater, and the like. Consequently,
each strip 5 is preferably made of a non-toxic and non-biodegradable
polymeric material, which is preferably selected from the group consisting
of high-density polyethylene, polypropylene, and the like, as apparent to a
person skilled in the art. The strip(s) 5 of the device I are preferably made
with a suitable and cost-effective manufacturing process selected from the
group of milling, extrusion, molding, machining, casting, and the like, as
also apparent to a person skilled in the art.


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WO 03/027031 PCT/(:A02/01462
9

It is worth mentioning here that the strip(s) 5 of the device 1 can be made of
any type of suitable material that is not bioacidal in its nature, i.e. that
will
not be detrimental to the attachment and growth of bacteria, unlike polyvinyl
chloride for example. Preferably, the material used for the strip(s) 5 of the
device I is a plastic that is compatible to bacteria growth rather than a
plastic that may disintegrate in time and leach toxic chemical that would kill
the bacteria, as apparent to a person skilled in the art.

As aforementioned, the plastic that is used for the strip(s) 5 of the bacteria
growth device 1
may be selected from the group consisting of high-density polyethylene,
polypropylene or any other plastic that can be heated, extruded, molded,
milled, cast and/or made in a way that will allow them to be loosely packed
together. The strip(s) 5 of the device 1 should be constructed and arranged
so as to not compress or collapse or disintegrate over time and/or stop the
flow of the fluid medium passing through the device 1.

When considering the geometrical and dimensional features of the strip(s) 5
of the device 1, these strip(s) 5 should be manufactured as small and as
thin as possible while being structurally sound and rigid at the same time.
The rigidity is, among other factors, provided by the nature of the material
used as well as the cross-section of the strip 5. It is important not to
manufacture the strip(s) 5 of the device 1 too thin since it will become like
a
frail sheet that will collapse together and won't allow proper passage of the
liquid medium there between the strip(s) 5.

Preferably, each strip 5 has a substantially rectangular cross-sectional area
having a thickness of about 0.2mm and a width of about 3.0mm. Typically,
for domestic applications, e.g. for a single-family household having three
bedrooms, the nest-like configuration of the device I should occupy a
volume of about 3 meters cube, for example. It should be understood that,
according to the present invention, other suitable cross-sectional
configurations may used for the strip(s) 5 of the device 1, as well as other


CA 02461668 2008-07-08

WO 03/027031 PCT/CA02/01462
volumetric dimensions, depending on the particular applications for which
the bacteria growth device 1 is intended and the particular liquid medium
with which it is intended to interact, as apparent to a person skilled in the
art. However, it is worth mentioning that a structurally sound and very thin
5 substantially rectangular cross-section is preferred in that it offers a
greater
surface area exposed for the amount of material used. Indeed, the greater
the surface area of the strip 5, the greater the rate of bacteria attachment
(and growth), which is very advantageous, as will be explained hereinafter.
Furthermore, the less material used for the strip(s) 5 of the device 1, the
10 less the resulting manufacturing costs, which is also advantageous.

Further to the geometrical and dimensional features of the strip(s) ~5 which
are preferably devised to increase the surface area thereof, it is worth
mentioning that the peripheral surface of the strip(s) 5 of the device 1
according to the present invention may also be surface treated in various
forms so as to further increase the effective surface area of the strip(s) 5,
and thus increase the attachment and growth of the bacteria thereon, as
will be briefly explained hereinbelow.

For example, Figures 2-5 show various strip(s) 5 which may be used for the
device 1 according to the present invention and whose respective surfaces
having been treated differently. For example, Figure 2 illustrates a strip 5
as
it is first produced from virgin or recycled polymer. Figure 3 illustrates the
same strip 5 of Figure 2 after its surface area has been plasma etched.
Figure 4 shows a strip 5 made of polymeric material blended with a porous
material prior to its final processing. Figure 5 show the strip 5 of Figure 4
after it has been plasma etched so as to expose the surfaces of the porous
material trapped in the polymeric material to the bacteria so that they may
better attach thereon, as apparent to a person skilled in the art.

As aforementioned, the strip(s) 5 of the device 1 may consist of a simple
elongated polymeric strip 5, such as shown in Figure 2. The surface area of


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WO 03/027031 PCT/CA02/01462
11
each strip 5 may be etched, as better shown in Figure 3. Preferably, the
surface area of each one strip 5 of the device 1 is plasma etched.
Preferably also, each strip 5 is made of a material containing an underlying
porous substance, as better shown in Figure 4. The porous substance is
preferably exposed to the bacteria for attachment thereon through
corresponding etches of the plasma etched surface area, as better shown
in Figure 5. Preferably also, the porous substance is selected from the
group consisting of zeolite, activated carbon, porous stone/rock, and the
like, as apparent to a person skilled in the art.

As shown in Figure 5, the plasma etched strip 5 has superior adhesive
qualities than the strip 5 of Figure 1. Indeed, the adhesive qualities of the
strip(s) 5 of the device 1 can be improved thanks to a known technology
that allows processing of the plastic strip 5 that will in turn increase its
adhesive properties. This technology is called Plasma Etch Technology,
and essentially uses a gas in a vacuum with a high frequency RF or
microwave. The surface of any plastic media can thus be appropriately
etched to create a much larger effective surface area for the bacteria to
attach thereto. This preferably includes all synthetic media that are
presently being used to support bacteria growth, as apparent to a person
skilled in the art.

As shown in Figures 4 and 5, the polymer strips 5 of the device 1 may
comprise a porous substance blended inside of the plastic. Such porous
substance may be zeolyte or activated carbon or any other porous-like
material which is preferably non-toxic to bacterial growth. This porous
substance is preferably blended into the strip 5 in such a way that it lies
just
below the surface of the plastic. Once the strips 5 are formed, the surface is
etched off so as to create an opening on the surface to expose the porous
substance and thereby creating a larger surface for bacteria growth.
Therefore, any inert porous material that is preferably heat resistant may be
used for the strip(s) 5 of device 1 according to the present invention.


CA 02461668 2007-10-11

12
Preferably also, the porous material is not affected by heat if the plastic is
molded, cast, machined, extruded andlor formed by any other suitable
manufacturing process in which heat may be generated. Furthermore, as
can be easily understood by a person skilled in the art, the porous material
should not have holes that are so big that the plastic will impregnate it and
the plastic can be etched off easily from the surface with plasma etching.
The above-described material used for the strip(s) 5 of the device 1 is
preferably manufactured by a suitable process after having been blended
with the porous substance such as activated carbon, any zeolyte or other
porous material that could be mixed into the plastic before the
manufacturing phase of the strip(s) 5. The porous substance ~'ould be
uniformly blended inside the plastic of the strip(s) 5 when completed. This
blended composite material should then be machined or plasma etched as
above-described, to etch the surface of the strip(s) 5 and thereby expose
the porous substance trapped inside the plastic so as to thus increase
substantially the effective surface area of the finished strip(s) 5.

As aforementioned, the present invention broadly relates also to an
assembly 3 for treating a liquid (not shown) containing impurities. The
assembly employs at least one bacteria growth device 1 such as the above-
discussed for increasing bacterial growth thereon and also preferably
employs a multi-chamber reactor 7 (or "clarifier") used after a settling tank
13
such as a domestic multi chamber septic tank for example, as shown in
Figures 6 and 7, or a solids removal apparatus such as a screen, a filter, a
screw or any other type of press, and the like, as apparent to a person
skilled in the art. Preferably, the assembly 3 is used for increasing attached
growth bacteria in aerobic/anaerobic chamber(s) 9 of a multi-chamber
biological clarifier 7, typically attached to a settling tank 13, such as a
septic
tank for example, as shown in Figures 6 and 7. According to the preferred
embodiments of the invention as shown in the accompanying drawings, the


CA 02461668 2004-03-25
WO 03/027031 PCT/CA02/01462
13
assembly 3 is mainly intended to carry out a process for purifying
wastewater from a residential or community septic tank.

Figures 6 and 7 show the various general stages of decontamination of
effluent, the first stage essentially consisting in the separation of the
solids
from the wastewater, in one or more settling chambers 15, the next stage
essentially consisting in the remediation of the wastewater by bacteria
growth device(s) in the various aerobic/anaerobic chambers 9 of the
assembly 3.

Indeed, according to a particular aspect of the present invention, there is
also provided an assembly 3 for treating a liquid containing impurities. The
assembly comprises a reactor 7 having a) an inlet 17 through which the
liquid containing impurities is introduced into the reactor 7; b) at least one
bacteria growth device 1 as explained hereinabove, the bacteria attached
onto the surface area of the at least one strip 5 of said device being used to
biologically eliminate impurities from the liquid present in the reactor 7;
and
c) an outlet 19 through which the liquid removed of certain impurities is
discharged from the reactor 7.

Preferably, the reactor 7 further comprises neighboring first and second
chambers 9, the chambers 9 being in fluid connection with each other
between the inlet 17 and the outlet 19 of the reactor 7, each of said
chambers 9 comprising at least one of said device 1, the first chamber 9
being an aerobic chamber 9a for eliminating impurities from the liquid with
aerobic bacteria, and the second chamber 9 being an anaerobic chamber
9b for eliminating other impurities from the liquid with anaerobic bacteria.

Preferably also, the assembly 3 further comprises a septic tank 13 having
an inlet 21, and an outlet 23 connected to the inlet 17 of the reactor 7 so
that a liquid containing impurities being discharged from the septic tank 13
is introduced into the reactor 7.


CA 02461668 2008-07-08

14
Referring particularly to the assembly 3 according to the first preferred
embodiment of the invention as shown in Figure 6, the assembly 3
comprises a multi-chamber container, the chambers 9 being separated by
baffles so that air can access the first chamber 9 and provide aerobic
biological treatment while the next chamber is deprived of air or oxygen so
as to provide anaerobic treatment. Indeed, according to this embodiment, a
series of subsequent chambers 9, preferably three chambers as shown, are
atternately aerated and deprived of air or oxygen. Altemativeiy, it is worth
mentioning that air could be turned on and off at varying intervals in each
chamber 9 of the reactor 7 (or a single chamber 9 which could constitute
the entire reactor for that matter) to promote the growth of both aerobic and
anaerobic bacteria in the same chamber(s) 9 or reactor(s) 7. That is, it
should be understood that instead of having the liquid to be treated flow
continuously from one first chamber 9 to another subsequent, neighboring
chamber
9, from the inlet 17 to the outlet 19 of the reactor 7, in aiternating
aerobic/anaerobic conditions, the liquid being treated could be processed in
a single chamber 9 of the reactor 7 by varying the aerobic/anaerobic
conditions of the given chamber 9, i.e. the liquid being treated may be
processed in batches", as also apparent to a person skilled in the art.

Referring now particularly to the assembly 3 according to the second
preferred embodiment of the invention as shown in Figure 7, the septic tank
13 preferably comprises neighboring first and second chambers 15, 9, said
chambers being in fluid connection with each other between the inlet 21
and the outlet 23 of the septic tank 13, the first chamber 15 of the septic
tank 13 acting as a settling chamber 15, the second chamber 9 of the septic
tank 13 comprising at least one of said device 1 and being an anaerobic
chamber 9b for eliminating impurities from the liquid with anaerobic
bacteria.

As better shown in Figure 7, the first chamber 9a of the reactor 7 has a
volume which is preferably twice that of the second chamber 9b, and the


CA 02461668 2008-07-08

the first chamber 15 of the septic tank 13 has a volume which is preferably
twice that of the second chamber 9b of the septic tank 13.

Preferably also, the outiet 19 of the reactor 7 is connectable to the inlet 21
of the septic tank 13 so that liquid containing Impurities discharged from the
5 reactor 7 may be re-circulated through the septic tank 13 and the reactor 7.

Preferably also, whether for the assembly 3 shown in Figure 6 or Figure 7,
each chamber 9 which is not acting as a settling chamber 15 is fi#led with a
loose bundle of non-toxic thin and narrow strips of elongated virgin or
recycled polymer, i.e. the BionestTm device 1, that allows for the free
circulation of the
10 wastewater through the attached growth bacteria (either nitrosomonas or
nitrobacters) completing the natural nitrogen cycle treatment or process in a
controlled environment.

Preferably also, the polymer strips 5 of the device I serve to vastly increase
the area on which bacteria can attach themselves and grow in the reaction
15 chambers 9, thereby providing for faster and more efficient treatment for
the
liquid.

Minimal maintenance is required according to the present invention in that
excess residue from bacterial action which falls off the device I becomes a
source of carbon for further biological processing of the liquid andlor can be
sucked away by appropriate vacuums placed at the bottom of the reactor.
Aiternativeiy, excess residue from bacterial action which falls off the device
I can also be pumped out after an extended peripd of time, such as five
years for example, through one or more of the container's covers.

The size of the container and its polymer strip bundle filled chambers 9 can
be varied to allow for different retention times and meet specific goals for
effluent discharge, as apparent to a person skilled in the art.


CA 02461668 2004-03-25
WO 03/027031 PCT/CA02/01462
16
Treated effluent is preferably decontaminated to a quality level that meets
national and local requirements for water being discharged either into the
ground or for irrigation use, as also apparent to a person skilled in the art.

An important advantage of such a clarifying system is that it replaces a
leaching field or bed and is sized according to the amount of wastewater
produced by the septic tank 13 or community effluent discharge as well as
it's specific biochemical oxygen demande ("b.o.d."). Water thus treated is
decontaminated to a quality level that easily allows for its discharge either
into the ground or surface discharge for irrigation.

Another important advantage of such a clarifying system comes from the
fact that it is now possible to create a very large surface area for bacteria
growth in a fairly delimited volume. Indeed, because attached growth
bacteria need a surface to attach to and to grow, the greater the surface
area one can create for a given volume possible, the greater the efficiency
of the treatment, which is very advantageous.

Furthermore, the overall cost to produce the above-mentioned system is
fairly low when compared to other prior art systems.

As aforementioned, the bacteria growth device 1 according to the present
invention preferably comprises a non-toxic (virgin or recycled) polymer that
is manufactured into thin strips 5 of various lengths and gathered in a loose
bundle. The loose conformation of the polymer strips 5 is important in that
allows unhindered wastewater to circulate through the device 1.
Furthermore, this conformation allows the device 1 to fit within each of the
multiple chambers 9 of an aerobic and anaerobic clarifier 7 that is fed with a
residential or community domestic effluent (or any waste water source high
in b.o.d.) from a settling tank 13 or multi-chambered septic tank 13.
Moreover, the conformation of the polymer increases the surface area on


CA 02461668 2004-03-25
WO 03/027031 PCT/CA02/01462
17
which attached growth bacteria can proliferate and thus increases the
efficiency and the treatment capacity of the clarifier 7.

After being manufactured by an appropriate process, the strip(s) 5 are
preferably put into an irregular form either by putting them through a gear or
spinning them or blowing them as they are growing so that they will adopt
an irregular form, as better shown in Figure 1. This is mainly to prevent
them from substantially touching together and compacting together,
because, as mentioned hereinabove, it important that the water flows
through the device 1 without an excessive restriction carrying through the
pollutants in the wastewater that the bacteria will remove, as apparent to a
person skilled in the art.

According to another example of the present invention, there is also
provided a method for treating a liquid containing impurities, the method
comprising the steps of a) introducing the liquid containing impurities into a
reactor 7; b) providing a bacteria growth device 1 such as the above-
described in the reactor of step a); c) allowing the bacteria attached onto
the surface area of the at least one strip 5 of the device I to grow and
eliminate impurities from the liquid present in the reactor 7; and d)
evacuating the liquid removed of certain impurities from the reactor 7.

Preferably, step a) comprises the step of discharging a liquid containing
impurities from a septic tank 13 into the reactor 7.

Preferably also, step d) further comprises the step of re-circulating the
liquid
removed of certain impurities back into the septic tank 13.

EXAMPLES
The following examples are illustrative of the wide range of applicability of
the present invention and is not intended to limit its scope. Modifications


CA 02461668 2004-03-25
WO 03/027031 PCT/CA02/01462
18
and variations can be made therein without departing from the spirit and
scope of the invention. Although any method and material similar or
equivalent to those described herein can be used in the practice for testing
of the present invention, the preferred methods and materials are
described.

The following are the results of the analysis of various parameters of water
at the inlet 17 and at the outlet 19 of an assembly 3 including bacteria
growth devices 1 according to the present invention, such as the one
illustrated in Figure 7.

Tablel: Diagram illustrating the apparent color of the water.
Apparent color of the water

400
350 ------------------------------- ---------- ----- ^ Outlet
300 -------------------------------- ---------- -----

250 ---------- ------- E Inlet
U 200 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - --------- ---------- -----
150 zo%

100 ------ ,s~------- ---------- -----
98% 90%
----- ------ -----
50 -- ------

0
28-02-2002 12-03-2002 26-03-2002 09-04-2002
Date of sampling


CA 02461668 2004-03-25
WO 03/027031 PCT/CA02/01462
19
Table 2: Diagram illustrating the suspended matter.

Suspended matter

25 ------------------------------------------------
20 - -------- -------- ------------------
Inlet
J
15 - Outlet
E Norm
10 --------- -------- --------------

5 - --------- -------- ---- -----
0
28-05-2002 18-06-2002 26-06-2002 09-07-2002
Date of sampling

Table 3: Results of the suspended matter.

Date of sampling

28-05-2002 18-06-2002 26-06-2002 09-07-2002
Inlet 24 mg/L 23 mg/L 22 mg/L 8 mg/L
Outlet <3 mg/L <3 mg/L 5 mg/L <3 mg/L


CA 02461668 2004-03-25
WO 03/027031 PCT/CA02/01462
Table 4: Diagram illustrating the stercoraceous coliforms.

Stercoraceous coliforms
90000

80000 -- -------------------------------------
70000 --. -------------------------------------
60000 -- -------------------------------------

0 50000 ------- ~ Inlet
Outlet
LL 40000 --- ----------- ---------------------- Norm
m
30000 -- ----------- ----------------------
20000 -- -------=--- ----------------------
10000 --. ----------- -----------------------
98% >99% 85 /u
0 ~
18-06-2002 26-06-2002 09-07-2002
Date of sampling
Table 5: Results of the stercoraceous coliforms.
Date of sampling

18-06-2002 26-06-2002 09-07-2002
Inlet 88 000 UFC/100mL 40 000 UFC/100mL 1 000 UFC/100mL
Outlet 1 400 UFC/100mL 180 UFC/100mL 150 UFC/100MI


CA 02461668 2004-03-25
WO 03/027031 PCT/CA02/01462
21
Table 6: Diagram illustrating the DBO 5 days.

DBO 5 days

70 -------------- -----------------------------
60 -----
- --------- ---------------------------- - -
J
! Inlet
p 40 - --- ------------------------------
CD E Outlet
E
30 -------- -------------------- ------
20 -------- -------- -------- ------
10 -------- -------- -------- ------
93% 97% 89% 91%
0
14-05-2002 28-05-2002 18-06-2002 26-06-2002
Date of sampling

Table 7: Results of the DBO 5 days.

Date of sampling

14-05-2002 28-05-2002 18-06-2002 26-06-2002
Inlet 69 mg O2/L 78 mg Oz/L 27 mg 02/L 34 mg Oz/L
Outlet 5 mg OZ/L <3 mg 02/L <3 mg OZ/L <3 mg O2/L


CA 02461668 2004-03-25
WO 03/027031 PCT/CA02/01462
22
Table 8: Diagram illustrating the turbidity.

Turbidity

20 - ----------------------------------

15 -------------------- -----------------
Inl.et
z
F-
.Outlet
.10 -------- -------- ---------
Norm for
drinking
water
5 -

91% 84%
93% 94%
0
28-05-2002 18-06-2002 26-06-2002 09-07-2002
Date of sampling


CA 02461668 2004-03-25
WO 03/027031 PCT/CA02/01462
23
Table 9: Results of the turbidity.

Date of sampling

28-05-2002 18-06-2002 26-06-2002 09-07-2002
Inlet 24 UTN 10 UTN 18 UTN 13 UTN
Outlet 2,2 UTN 0,7 UTN 2,9 UTN 0,8 UTN
Table 10: Summary of the various parameters analyzed.

Performance of the system during winter five months after installation
Apparent color 90%

Turbidity 98%
Suspended matter >99%
DBO 5 days 99%
Stercoraceous coliforms >99%
Total coliforms >99%
Total nitrogen kjeldahl 71%


CA 02461668 2004-03-25
WO 03/027031 PCT/CA02/01462
24
Total phosphorus 34%

Table 11: Comparative overview between the results obtained and the
norms required.

Result Norm
Ammoniacal nitrogen 0,24 mg N/L

Total nitrogen kjeldahl 1,12 mg N/L
Stercoraceous coliforms
150 50 000
(UFC/100mL)

Total coliforms
50 000
(UFCI100mL)

Apparent color 23,7 UCA
DBO 5 days <3 mg OZ/L
DCO 25 mg OZ/L

Suspended matter <3 mg/L 15 mg/L


CA 02461668 2004-03-25
WO 03/027031 PCT/CA02/01462
Total phosphorus 3,02 mg P/L

5 UTN
Turbidity 0,8 UTN
*for drinking water
DBO 5 carbonaced <3 mg Oz/L 15 mg 02/L
Nitrites/Nitrates 5,57

Thus, the above table indicates that the water treated by the present
invetion presents a much greater quality than that of most government
standards. Furthermore, a very appreciable turbidity may be achieved, in
5 that it is inferior to that of drinking water. Moreover, there is a
remarkable
absence of coliforms in the water treated with the present invetion: 300
times less than that of the required norm.

As may now be appreciated, the present invention is a substantial
improvement over the prior art in that the water treated by the bacteria
10 growth device I and corresponding assembly 3 reaches, as demonstrated
from the results herein, an exceptional quality enabling its reuse after minor
disinfection, namely for residential needs (such as: showers, pools,
washing and irrigation) or its rejection into water courses without adverse
effect for the fauna and the flora.

15 Other advantages of the present invention, as can be easily understood
from the above-discussed, are that the system enables a greater volume of
nitrification/denitrification when compared to what is possible the majority
of
apparatuses and methods known in the art. Indeed, the great area covered
by the bacteria growth device 1 enables to reduce the toxic concentrations
20 of ammonia/nitrite/nitrate very rapidly. In addition, the shape and size of
the


CA 02461668 2008-07-08

WO 03/027031 PCT/CA02/01462
26
surface area of the device 1, as well as the surface treatment thereof,
enables a more rapid growth of the bacterial mass, even when the flow of
the water being treated is high, by favouring adhesion, attachment and
growth of the bacteria onto the strip(s) 5. Moreover, per meter squared, the
present invention is one of the less costly water treatment devices on the
market. Its high productivity translates into a greater infiltration for a
smaller
volume. Thus, the present invention is a low cost solution for any type of
wastewater treatment application, whether residential or commercial.

Furthermore, the present invention is also advantageous in that it results in
a
step forward with respect to the protection of the environment and the battle
against the contamination of water resources by enabling to transform
wastewater into an evacuated water of superior quality which may cleanse
the phreatic surface into which it may be discharged by dilution effect.
Indeed, the present secondary treatment system (device 1 and
corresponding assembly/method) of wastewater is capable of purifying
water at an exceptional rate of 95% and more, as shown hereinabove.
Other advantages that are possible with the present invention: it maintains
the septic tank 13 but decreases of a third the surface used for the
discharge field by replacing it by a biological reactor 7 preferably fed by
gravity and by a polishing field; this treatment link acts independently of
soil
conditions; the present invention can act as a secondary treatment system
which rejects a quality effluent enabling the maintenance of a healthy
environment for the generations to come; the casing of the reactor 7 is of a
dimension similar to that of the septic tank 13 and contains a medium
enabling the bacterial attachment responsible for the purification of the
water; the materials used with the present invention are non-biodegradable
and thus requires no replacement over time; and installed underground, the
biological reactor 7 does not modify at all the appearance of the land..


CA 02461668 2004-03-25
WO 03/027031 PCT/CA02/01462
27
The present invention is also an improvement of the devices of the prior art,
in that it also has the following advantages: the exceptional quality of the
effluent rejected into the environment; a compact, efficient, and easy-to-
install system; the maintenance is minimal, given the fact that it consists of
a passive system, which may be entirely activated by gravity; permanent
installation: the media is non-biodegradable, and thus requires no
replacement; minimal costs of energy (approximately $5 per month for a
single-family household with 3 bedrooms); capability to monitor at a
distance; reduction of the pollution of the phreatic surface by dilution
effect;
reduces considerably the surface of the purification field; removes 99% of
the E.Coli bacteria before that the effluent reaches the soil; efficient all
throughout the season independent of weather conditions; possible use of
the effluent for irrigation purposes following an additional ozone or
sterilizing UV-ray treatment or the like.

As may now also be appreciated, the present invention is also
advantageous in that it may be is used in various technical fields of
nitrification/denitrification, namely in sewage treatment, aquaculture,
aquariums and ponds, water processing, wastewater remediation, and the
like.

While several embodiments of the invention have been described herein, it
will be understood that the present invention is capable of further
modifications, and this application is intended to cover any variations, uses,
or adaptations of the invention, following in general the principles of the
invention and including such departures from the present disclosure as to
come within knowledge or customary practice in the art to which the
invention pertains, and as may be applied to the essential features
hereinbefore set forth and falling within the scope of the invention as
defined in the appended claims.

Dessin représentatif
Une figure unique qui représente un dessin illustrant l'invention.
États administratifs

Pour une meilleure compréhension de l'état de la demande ou brevet qui figure sur cette page, la rubrique Mise en garde , et les descriptions de Brevet , États administratifs , Taxes périodiques et Historique des paiements devraient être consultées.

États administratifs

Titre Date
Date de délivrance prévu 2009-12-15
(86) Date de dépôt PCT 2002-09-26
(87) Date de publication PCT 2003-04-03
(85) Entrée nationale 2004-03-25
Requête d'examen 2006-10-13
(45) Délivré 2009-12-15
Expiré 2022-09-26

Historique d'abandonnement

Date d'abandonnement Raison Reinstatement Date
2005-06-02 Absence de réponse à la lettre du bureau 2005-09-22

Historique des paiements

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Enregistrement de documents 100,00 $ 2004-06-07
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Rétablissement - absence de réponse à la lettre du bureau 200,00 $ 2005-09-22
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Taxe de maintien en état - Demande - nouvelle loi 4 2006-09-26 100,00 $ 2006-07-05
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Enregistrement de documents 100,00 $ 2008-10-09
Taxe de maintien en état - Demande - nouvelle loi 7 2009-09-28 200,00 $ 2009-09-11
Taxe finale 300,00 $ 2009-10-01
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Titulaires au dossier

Les titulaires actuels et antérieures au dossier sont affichés en ordre alphabétique.

Titulaires actuels au dossier
BIONEST TECHNOLOGIES INC.
Titulaires antérieures au dossier
LORD, GARFIELD R.
STRATEGIC ENVIRONMENTAL TECHNOLOGIES LTD.
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Taxes 2013-09-13 1 33
Taxes 2014-09-24 1 33
Taxes 2015-09-18 1 33
Taxes 2016-09-22 1 33