UNESCO/IHE - Uncapping MBR limitations

UNESCO/IHE - Uncapping MBR limitations

Membrane bioreactors (MBRs) combine biological with membrane filtration processes for the treatment of wastewater. MBRs produce a high quality effluent requiring small footprints. However, inefficient oxygen supply technologies not only impose a cap on the achievement of biomass concentrations higher than 15-20 g/L (impacting on the operational conditions of MBRs and preventing the achievement of even smaller footprints), but also demand high energy requirements for aeration (70% of total energy needs). Innovative supersaturated oxygen supply technologies provide alternatives for achieving much higher biomass concentrations than standard conditions, uncapping existing limitations and reducing aeration costs.

Moreover, the operation of MBRs at such high biomass concentrations may promote favourable conditions for innovative applications such as the removal of emerging contaminants from wastewater by both enhancing adsorption processes as well as promoting microbial co-metabolism degradation. This pioneering and novel concept is being currently demonstrated for the first time at the UNESCOIHE research facilities. This development is supported by OVIVO (MBR manufacturer) in partnership with innovative oxygen delivery technology manufacturers (BlueInGreen and ECO2). If successful, this innovative study can contribute to reducing operational costs and set the basis for the design of the next generation of MBRs for novel applications.

Locations: Netherlands, Croatia, Uruguay, USA
Contact: Hector Garcia Hernandez (h.garcia@unesco-ihe.org)

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