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