Jun 14, 2019
Jordan Schmidt, PhD

LuminUltra’s 2nd Generation ATP testing platform is an easy-to-use and accurate test that, through established conversions, provides a direct measurement of active biomass concentration in mg/L. ATP is the primary energy carrier for all forms of life and, as such, provides a direct measurement of a sample’s active biological content. Utilizing ATP, as opposed to traditional surrogates such as total suspended solids that do not differentiate between biological active cells, dead cells and other organic/inorganic matter, allows users to achieve superior bioreactor control.

What are the benefits to implementing your technology?

LuminUltra’s 2nd Generation ATP provides a rapid, direct measurement of active biomass, the engine of the treatment process. Typically, active biomass is approximated through surrogate parameters such as total or volatile suspended solids. However, these surrogate parameters are not sensitive to toxicity or imbalance events since they don’t distinguish between living and dead biomass. Therefore, ATP can allow users to:

  1. Immediately identify and respond to process changes including: toxic upsets, nutrient or aeration limitations and bulking conditions.
  2. Speed up the feedback loop between identification and action. ATP is very responsive to changes in active biomass and it can be measured quickly (5 minutes), allowing users to rapidly move from problem identification to implementing a solution.
  3. Gain insight into biomass health. Biomass is the engine of the process so ensuring it is healthy is important for realizing maximum treatment performance.
  4. Easily perform solids inventory optimizations by purging dead biomass and inert organic matter for increased treatment and energy efficiency. Carrying excessive amount of dead biomass and inert organic matter reduces the plants aeration efficiency, increases the organic loading and increases the sludge handling.

Has the technology been tested, demonstrated, or implemented anywhere to date?

LuminUltra has offered ATP testing equipment, tailored to specific industries including wastewater, oil & gas, potable water and industrial process water, for 15 years with over 3000 customers across 75 countries. Within the wastewater sector, LuminUltra’s 2nd Generation ATP has been used at numerous full-scale industrial (petrochemical, pulp and paper, and food and beverage) and municipal treatment plants.

What are some of the next steps needed to advance the technology?

ATP monitoring has been successfully implemented in numerous full-scale treatment plants. Outcomes have included reduced sludge bulking (through SVI measurements) and increased treatment performance. Previously, outcomes have focused primarily on troubleshooting and operational successes related to overall bioreactor health, and were done in a reactive manner when problems became obvious

The next steps LuminUltra would like to take is to gather data on operational & capital savings associated with proactive ATP monitoring and solid inventory optimizations. By optimizing solids, inventory plants can increase aeration efficiency, reduce solids handling (shorter sludge age), and reduce organic loading associated with the recirculation of dead biomass, all of which contribute to overall plant energy and treatment efficiency.


LuminUltra is new to the LIFT program and is looking forward to connecting with potential partners for demonstration trials on achieving increased plant efficiencies (energy, treatment) through proactive ATP monitoring!
Jordan Schmidt, PhD
Applications Manager

Jordan Schmidt, PhD | Applications Manager
T: +1-506-292-7867 | M: +1-506-292-7867



Jordan Schmidt, PhD | Applications Manager
T: +1-506-292-7867
M: +1-506-292-7867