Aerobic & Anaerobic Membrane Bioreactors
Aerobic and Anaerobic Membrane Bioreactors (MBR) are becoming the wastewater treatment process of choice for food and beverage production facilities due to their inherent assurance of high quality effluent in the face of widely varying wastewater flow and loads. These variations are well known to be the ‘Achillies heel’ of traditional wastewater treatment systems that rely on gravity separation.
A Membrane Bioreactor is a process that combines conventional activated sludge treatment with Ultrafiltration Membranes (UF). UF membranes are a solid, impermeable barrier that rejects any suspended or colloidal material (biomass) and only allows treated effluent to pass through.
An MBR can deliver a higher quality effluent when compared to clarifiers or other gravity separation methods that have been used in the past. This effluent is generally clean enough to be sent to a surface body of water for direct discharge and/or further processed to enable water reuse applications.
Benefits of Anaerobic Treatment:
- Can reliably process very large organic loading variations from day to day
- Can sit idle, if necessary, for long periods in the event of seasonal variations when influent flow and organic loading is low
- When properly managed, restarts and responds quickly when necessary
- The AnMBR technology converts up to 99.5% of the biodegradable organics into biogas over the 75-90% conversion with other anaerobic technologies
- A specialized jet mixing system is the only internals within the anaerobic reactor
- The feed, microorganisms and any precipitated inorganics are completely mixed in the reactor without the need to maintain specialized microorganism granules
- Can accept large quantities of fats and inorganics, which would cause major upsets in other anaerobic technologies
- A cyclone is used to remove excess precipitated compounds containing calcium, iron, ammonia and phosphorus, among others
Anaerobic Membrane Bioreactors (AnMBR) offers the following benefits over an purely aerobic system
- Small footprint compared to aerobic systems
- Produces methane from the organic material that can be used in a variety of energy recovery systems
- Significantly lower energy costs compared to an aerobic system where the primary energy cost is blower operation
- Produces 60-90% lower biomass generation compared to an aerobic process