MBR research report published by WRA

The WateReuse Association has published the results of research it commissioned to achieve a better understanding of the effluent quality produced from a membrane bioreactor (MBR) system as a function of MBR design and operating conditions.

Although the effluent water quality of MBR processes has been reported to be superior to that of conventional activated sludge systems, largely attributed to the membrane barrier, the water quality performance of pilot- and full-scale MBR processes indicate varying degrees of performance with respect to microbes, nutrients, aggregate organics, trace organic compounds and trace metals.

Investigation of Membrane Bioreactor Effluent Water Quality and Technology Treatment Technologies, for which the principal investigator was MWH's Joan A Oppenheimer, set itself the following tasks:

  • Comprehensive analysis of MBR effluent quality and operational data collected from a wide variety of sources that included peer-reviewed and grey literature of pilot studies and full-scale plant operations

  • Comprehensive analysis of data obtained through surveys of vendor suppliers and operating full-scale installations

  • Synthesis of data obtained for aggregate organics and trace organic compounds with the predictions of a mechanistic MBR model developed to simulate different operating scenarios.

  • The last chapter of the report presents and discusses conclusions obtained from this study and recommendations for filling identified knowledge gaps and areas of uncertainty regarding process performance characteristics.

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