Singapore’s Changi plant to be used as MBR testbed

Singapore’s newly commissioned membrane bioreactor (MBR) system at the Changi Water Reclamation Plant is to be used as an MBR testing facility.

Under a collaboration between Siemens Water Technologies and the PUB, Singapore’s national water agency, the test facility will allow Siemens’ R&D personnel to validate innovative design parameters quickly and under real conditions.The recently commissioned 1,000 m³/d MBR system treats domestic wastewater at the Changi plant, which is part of the first phase of the Singapore Deep Tunnel Sewerage System (DTSS) project.

“We will look at new ways to operate the plant and make even greater improvements to the MBR system’s innovative air-scour process,” says Ruediger Knauf, vice president of R&D for Siemens Water Technologies. “We will also be looking at developing and testing new MBR technology, with the ultimate goal of providing our customers with the most sustainable, energy-efficient product, and more control over plant operations.”

The testing facility incorporates the Siemens MBR system, which combines activated sludge biological treatment with Memcor membrane filtration system. The system generates rapid pulses at each MBR module using a continuous air flow, increasing scouring effectiveness and reducing energy consumption.

Claimed system benefits include: decreased operating and maintenance costs, and increased ease of use, as there are no moving parts in the membrane air-scour process; 30-50% reduction in air-scour energy use; and ease of retrofitting to existing systems.

The MBR research and development program allows the project team to test the membrane operating system of the pulsed airlift technology and optimize performance under extreme and normal operating environments. The full-scale plant allows testing to take place in a carefully controlled and monitored environment.

The expected result is improvements in overall lower energy use and system maintenance for MBRs. The program is based on detailed computational flow dynamics analysis carried out over the last two years, which is a result of a close collaboration between the Siemens Water Technologies R&D Center and the Institute of High Performance Computing in Singapore.