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Immersed flat sheet MBR membranes: a summary of commercial products

In this first of three features exploring the MBR membrane market, Simon Judd summarises characteristics of some of the commercially-available immersed flat sheet membranes for wastewater treatment

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Water reuse – where have we got to?

Where exactly have we got to with reusing municipal wastewater for potable water supply? How does indirect potable reuse (IPR) differ from direct potable reuse (DPR)?

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MBR features

Search our in-depth feature articles on MBRs. Practitioners with experience of operating membrane bioreactor technology and academics researching this specialist area share their expertise.

Foaming in MBRsView all MBR features

About MBRs

A membrane bioreactor (MBR) is a wastewater treatment process where a perm-selective membrane is integrated with a biological process – a suspended growth bioreactor.

A membrane bioreactor is essentially a version of the conventional activated sludge (CAS) system. Whereas the CAS process uses a secondary clarifier or settlement tank for solid/liquid separation, an MBR uses a membrane. This provides a number of advantages relating to process control and product water quality.

About MBRsMBR acronym buster

Municipal & industrial treatment

There is no significant difference in the design of the MBR technology for a process treating industrial rather than municipal wastewater. The key differences between the two applications are that, for industrial effluents, there are:

  • higher concentrations of organic matter
  • more temporal variation in the concentrations of pollutants (seasonally and diurnally)
  • very significant variations across different industrial sectors, the most biorefactory effluents being from landfill leachate applications
  • no requirement for the removal of pathogenic micro-organisms, unless the effluent is combined with a sewage stream.

MBR case studiesMBR features

MBR costs

A full needs analysis is required before selecting a membrane bioreactor system, first of all to confirm that an MBR will be the most cost effective solution for a particular requirement, taking everything into account. Secondly, to ensure an MBR is the most appropriate choice of technology for the circumstances.

Feature − MBR OpexView all MBR features

Design and Operation

Operation and maintenance (O&M) parameters for an MBR include:

  • membrane side − flux, pressure, permeability, recovery, membrane aeration rate, and physical and chemical cleaning cycle times and protocols, and
  • biological side − hydraulic and solids retention time, and sludge recycle rate(s).

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Explore more content…

Membrane technology in controlling micropollutants and pathogens

Read our report on 'Discussing membrane technology: micropollutants and pathogens' attended by 30 people from across the world (April 2021)

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What are MBRs?

If you're new to MBRs, read our introduction to membrane bioreactors - and explore all our MBR Basics pages

What are MBRs?MBR Basics

Largest MBR plants worldwide

Our list of the largest MBR plants (over 100 MLD) worldwide. Contact us to add yours to the list

Largest plants worldwide

The ZeeLung MABR technology: the story so far

The membrane-aerated biofilm reactor (MABR) is a fixed film process where the biofilm is fed with oxygen via the membrane on which the biofilm sits...

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