Membrane Bioreactor Technology

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Presentation that gives insight into opportunities and challenges faced by MBR technology for wastewater treatment

Presentation that gives insight into opportunities and challenges faced by MBR technology for wastewater treatment

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  • Membrane bioreator is an effective technology which turns water water into portable-like water. It also reduces the save and overall cost required for water purification
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  • 1. Membrane Bioreactor Technology: Opportunities and Challenges
    Sami Rehman (Process Engineer) at Albion Water Ltd
  • 2. Contents
    Membrane Bioreactor (MBR) systems process outline
    Reasons for using MBR as an alternative to Activated Sludge
    Challenges to address: e.g. membrane fouling and stability
    Latest Research
    Further Work
  • 3. MBR: The Process
    Combination of membrane technology in a bioreactor and a biological stage => led to three generic types of MBR
    First type = separation and retention of solids
    Second type = bubble-less aeration within the bioreactor
    Third type = extraction of priority organic pollutants from industrial wastewaters
  • 4. MBR: The Process
    Raw sewage from equalization/holding tank passes through fine screens to remove substances that may clog or scratch membrane before entering MBR facilities
    Membrane modules immersed inside aerobic tank where organic contents (BOD) in sewage is biologically degraded by activated sludge
    MLSS concentration in MBR sys = 10-20 g/l compared to 3-4 g/l in conventional AS thus 30% lower retention time compared to conventional systems
    Membranes separate solids from liquids in filtration process
    Pore size of membranes: 0.1µm, not only SS are removed but also bacteria such as coliform bacteria
    Immersed membrane filtration process eliminates requirement for gravity sedimentation tank/clarifier required by conventional ASS. By recirculating MLSS from aerobic to anoxic tanks, nitrate content removed
    Additional coagulant or flocculant dosing can be used for phosphorus removal
    Courtesy of Aquatech Pte Ltd
  • 5. MBR Configurations
    Two Types: External and Internal
    External – Mixed liquor filtered under pressure in specific membrane module
    Internal or Submerged – Filtration in an aerated basin by suction to remove effluent
  • 6. External & Submerged MBR Systems
  • 7. Issues: Membrane Fouling
    External modules can avoid fouling by carrying out tangential filtration especially when effluent is concentrated
    There may be a higher cost – this is justified!
    Necessary in such cases that shear stress on bioflocs is controlled, external membranes have high shear stress due to high recycle flow ratios
  • 8. Why MBR over activated sludge?
    Traditional secondary clarifier replaced by membrane module. This module is more compact and quality of rejected water depends on changes in sludge settling velocities
    MBR allows the biomass concentrations to be higher than for traditional plants (20-30 g/l)
  • 9. Latest Research
    Combination of MBR and NF/RO membranes for indirect potable water reuse applications (Abdulhakeem Ali Alturkiet al., 2010)
    Membrane bioreactor in water treatment (G. Wen et al., 2010)
    Novel Anaerobic MBR technology for low cost methane production: pilot wastewater project 2010 proved a success at Ken’s Foods WWTP in MA, USA
  • 10. Further Work
    More indepth study of membranes: MBR or integrated/combined systems approach eg MBR + NF/RO
    Need to study membrane fouling further – establish better understanding for fouling process, identify which materials under what conditions (T, P and pH) will foul the least to optimize system design
  • 11. Summary
    MBR presents an attractive alternative to conventional activated sludge (CAS) in treating wastewater
    MBR is a more robust technology with a small footprint and produces a higher quality effluent due to high removal efficiencies as a result of high retention time compared with CAS
    MBR can meet the increasingly stringent requirements for discharge of treated effluent placed on WWTP operators by environmental bodies like EA
    Research suggests that MBR has a lot of potential and is poised to be the next generation to wastewater treatment