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Graphic to illustrate an MABR vs MBR
Schematic of MABR biofilm and associated transfer of oxygen, carbon and nitrogen species
News Oct 15 Ge Advancing Energy Neutrality For Municipal Wwt With Zeelung Mabr Technology 1


A ‘membrane-aerated biofilm reactor’ (MABR) is an aerobic biological treatment process based on a fixed film, unlike for membrane bioreactors which are based on a suspended growth process.

The membrane in an MABR is used both for delivering oxygen to the biofilm and for providing an underlayer (or substratum) on which the biofilm can form.

What is MABR? Membrane aerated biofilm reactors and oxygenation

An MABR is a media process providing an alternative method for enhanced oxygenation by using the membrane to deliver oxygen-enriched air to the biofilm and solution in the reactor.

Classical enhanced oxygenation delivers oxygen-enriched air via conventional fine bubble diffusers.

MABRs: Membrane aerated biofilm reactors and oxygenation


Both the regular immersed membrane bioreactor (iMBR) and the membrane-aerated biofilm reactor (MABR) consist of a membrane submerged in a tank fed with air.

In an MABR, the membrane is used to aerate the solution, replacing the conventional fine bubble diffuser. For the MBR, the membrane is used for filtration, separating the product water from the biomass.


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The MBBR technology configuration
Credit: Judd Water & Wastewater Consultants


Both the membrane-aerated biofilm reactor (MABR) and the moving bed bioreactor (MBBR) are examples of fixed film/media processes. As such, they are both based on a biofilm attached to a substratum whose properties to some extent determine both the biomass concentration and the microbial ecology in the bioreactor.

Graphic to demonstrate an AnMBR

MABRs and anaerobic MBRs

MABRs and anaerobic MBRs represent alternative process and/or biological configurations to the more established aerobic MBR process. They each offer distinct benefts for specific treatment scenarios and goals.

Anaerobic MBRs

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