Simon Judd, author of The MBR Book, Watermaths, and Industrial MBRs, offers observations on membrane technology in this occasional blog.

About Simon

Professor Simon Judd lectures at Cranfield University in the UK and Qatar University in the Middle East. He has over 20 years’ experience in teaching the fundamentals of water and wastewater technologies and is an acknowledged expert in membrane bioreactor technology and produced water.

Simon has written a number of text books on water and wastewater treatment, including ‘Watermaths‘, a textbook for undergraduates and practitioners on maths for water and wastewater treatment technologies.

He continues to conduct research into wastewater technologies, specialising in membrane bioreactors and produced water, and provides consultancy on water and wastewater treatment to clients across the globe. Contact Simon at

  • 10 October 2014
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    MBR cost determination

    It’s often the case that if you ask the price of anything at all relating to engineering, you’ll get the answer “It depends”. Trying to establish the cost of an MBR installation is no different: there are many different components of cost, and many ways of determining them. ... Read more

  • 16 June 2014
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    The future for membrane bioreactor technologies

    It’s inevitable that anyone choosing to write a reference text book about MBRs is going to learn a lot. Learning to dispense with certain luxuries (like sleep) would be one of them. Perhaps the most obvious learning point, though, is the development of MBR membrane technologies themselves: the module and process configuration. ... Read more

  • 25 January 2014
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    Towards zero energy and zero waste

    A long-standing notion regarding wastewater is its potential to provide a useful resource, rather than being viewed as a waste. This is not completely far-fetched. Wastewaters high in readily biodegradable organic carbon can be anaerobically treated to provide methane. ... Read more

  • 29 April 2013
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    Another good polish

    The dichotomy over the most appropriate treatment for municipal wastewater for reuse, specifically via reverse osmosis, divides the communities of academics and practitioners alike. The general perception of those less predisposed towards MBRs is that they are more troublesome and ... Read more

  • 08 February 2012
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    Sucking air

    Regardless of the manifest benefits offered by MBR technology with respect to the amazingly high water quality produced, it’s hard to get away from the not-unwarranted perception that they are too expensive to buy, use too much energy, and present a whole host of operational problems. ... Read more

  • 12 October 2011
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    A good polish

    There continues to be a debate over whether MBRs really are worth the money, when a biotreatment plant with a micro/ultrafiltration polish would suffice. There are all sorts of factors at play here. An MBR provides biotreatment and membrane filtration in a single stage (though still demanding two tanks). ... Read more

  • 18 August 2011
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    You say you want the resolution ..

    It is recognised that MBRs – and the immersed configuration (iMBR) in particular – operate more efficiently when fluctuations in loading are reduced. If the option is available, and this normally means space, a buffer tank can reduce fluctuations sufficiently to allow more optimal use of the membranes ... Read more

  • 31 July 2011
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    Have you got the energy?

    High operational costs, and energy costs in particular, are seen as being the Achilles heel of MBRs. There is naturally a great emphasis on energy efficiency and, given that most of the energy demand from operating MBRs relates to blowing air, aeration energy efficiency has attracted the most attention. ... Read more

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