Membrane bioreactors – operating and optimisation

Smyth, M., Aqua Enviro, UK


MBRs are a technology that is seen in both domestic and industrial markets although the primary purpose is different depending upon the sector.  For domestic wastewaters the main driver has been disinfection whilst industry has looked to a belt and braces technology to guarantee compliance for total suspended solids and BOD and as a treatment step prior to water re-use; thus ensuring that Production is not adversely affected by the ‘tail wagging the dog’.  However, MBRs can be challenged with achieving the design volumetric throughput and this can be down to many factors including filterability of the mixed liquor, operating MLSS concentration, microbiology, nutrient levels, limited dissolved oxygen, cleaning regimes, surfactants and silicone based antifoams to name some.

This paper looks at techniques to assess the health of MBRs and actions taken to improve volumetric throughput and draws upon numerous real world examples.

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