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International Journal of Emerging Technology and Advanced Engineering

Website: www.ijetae.com (ISSN 2250-2459, ISO 9001:2008 Certified Journal, Volume 4, Issue 12, December 2014)

AReviewonMembraneBioreactors:AnEmergingTechnology
forIndustrialWastewaterTreatment
Er. Devendra Dohare1, Er. Rohit Trivedi2
1

Assistant Professor, Dept. Of Civil Engineering & Applied Mechanics, S.G.S.I.T.S., Indore (M.P). India
Student, M. Tech. (Environmental Engineering), Dept. Of Civil Engineering & Applied Mechanics, S.G.S.I.T.S., Indore (M.P).
India
The use of membranes
module. The permeate flux
Abstract Membrane Bioreactor (MBR) is an emerging to separate solids and
generally varies between
biological treatment process which utilises advantages of bothtreated wastewater is the
50 and 120 m3/m2/s and
activated sludge process and membrane filtration. Due to the
main difference between
the
transmembrane
robustness, reliability and flexibility, MBR technology is gaining
pressure
(TMP)
is in the
MBRs
and
traditional
wide acceptance in field of wastewater treatment. Growing
range
of
1
to
4
bar
[1].
treatment
plants
for
which
industrialization in emergent nations like India, it is estimated to
generate substantial demand for fresh usable water that in turn is the efficiency of the final
B.) Submerged (Or
likely to fuel market growth in coming recent years. Conventional clarification step depends
Immersed) MBR
ubiquitous technologies are estimated to be replaced by MBR mainly on the activated
systems in the coming years, owing to low operation and sludge settling properties
In this type, membrane
maintenance costs of MBR systems. Presently, the global market[1]. Membrane bioreactors
component is immersed
for this technology is rapidly growing at a compound annual could be developed for
inside the bioreactor basin
growth rate (CAGR) of 13.2%. This growth rate is much higher both attached growth and
[see fig 1(b)]. Usually
than any other wastewater treatment technologies; also, the suspended
hollow fiber membranes
growth
market is expected to increase twice over the present growth rate
are used for submerged
processes,
moreover,
in the next five years worldwide as this technology offers various
MBRs. For the submerged
advantages over limitations of conventional systems. Historically,hybrid MBRs are also
configuration, the filtration
developed
in
recent
years.
high capital cost and operation & maintenance costs (CAPEX &
is carried out in the
OPMEX) and limited membrane life were barriers in broad Based on location of
aeration basin by suction
application of MBRs. But studies conducted in last two decades membrane component with
removal of the effluent.
and recent advances have helped to overcome such obstacles. Thisrespect to bioreactor basin,
The permeate flux varies
article reviews present scenario, potential applications of MBR there are two following
from 15 to 50 m3/m2/s and
technology, recent advances in membrane materials and problems basic configurations of
the TMP is about 0.5 bar
of membrane fouling. An attempt also has been made to give a MBRs (fig.1)[1].
2

state-of-the-art of the technology.

Keywords Biomimetic membranes, Ceramic membranes,


Industrial wastewater treatment, MBR, Membrane bioreactor,
Membrane fouling, Polymeric membranes.

A.) Cross-Flow
MBR
(Also Referred as Side
Stream or External
Membrane MBR)

In this type, membrane


component is placed in a
Membrane bioreactor is a form of activated sludge process separate vessel, outside the
bioreactor basin [see fig
which replaces gravity settling of conventional ASP and uses 1(a)]. In CF-MBR, usually
micro filtration (0.1 to 10 m) or ultra filtration (0.01 to 0.1 polymeric
flat
sheet
m) membranes as a physical barrier for the final clarification. membranes are used and
A process that uses both a biological stage and a membranethe mixed liquor is filtered
module has recently been developed for wastewater treatment: under pressure in a specific
it is called the membrane bioreactor process.
outer
skin
membrane
I. INTRODUCTION

Fig 1. Configurations of
MBR System [2]226

International Journal of Emerging Technology and Advanced Engineering


Website: www.ijetae.com (ISSN 2250-2459, ISO 9001:2008 Certified Journal, Volume 4, Issue 12, December 2014)
Table 1
Comparison of Cross-Flow MBR and Submerged MBR [4, 5]
S. No.

Comparative Factor

Cross-flow MBR

Submerged MBR

1.

Membrane area
Requirement

Characterized by higher flux (50-100 m3/m2/s), thus


lower membrane area requirement.

Lower flux (15-35 m3/m2/s) but higher membrane


packing density (i.e., membrane area per unit volume).

2.

Space or footprint
Requirements

Higher flux membranes with bioreactor operating at


higher VSS concentration and skidded assembly
construction, results in compact system.

Higher membrane packing density and operation at


bioreactor VSS concentration of 10 g/l or greater
translates to compact system.

3.

Membrane performance
Consistency

Less susceptible to changing wastewater and biomass


characteristics.

More susceptible to changing wastewater and biomass


characteristics requiring alteration in membrane cleaning
strategy and/or cleaning frequency.

4.

Recovery of membrane
Performance
.

Off-line cleaning required every 1 to 2 months. Simple,


automated procedure normally requiring less than 4
hours.

Off-line recovery cleaning required every 2 to 6


months. A more complex procedure requiring
significantly more time and manual activity, at least on
occasion may be required.

5.

Membrane life or
Replacement
requirements

An operating life of 7 years or more can be achieved


with polymerics prior to irreversible fouling. Operating
life of ceramics is much longer.

An operating life of 5 years may be possible prior to


irreversible fouling and/or excessive membrane physical
damage.

6.

Economics

Non-conventional designs translate to comparable


power costs. Comparable capital cost at least at lower
wastewater feed rates. Higher OPEX & lower CAPEX.
Aeration costs low (nearly 20% of OPEX) & high
pumping cost (60-80% of OPEX).

Power and capital cost advantage at higher wastewater


feed rates. Appears to be more economical based on
energy consumption. Lower OPEX & higher CAPEX.
Aeration costs high (nearly 90% of OPEX) & very low
liquid pumping costs (higher if suction pump is used
nearly 28% of OPEX)

7.

Typical energy
requirements

2 to 10 KW.h/m3

0.2 to 0.4 KW.h/m3

II. CONFIGURATION OF MEMBRANES

III. PAST AND


PRESENT
SCENARIO

There are six principal configurations currently employed in


membrane processes, which all have various practical benefitsA.) Evolution of MBR
and limitations. The configurations are based on either a planar Technologyor cylindrical geometry and comprise: Plate-and-frame/flat sheet The first MBR
(FS), Hollow Fiber (HF), Multi-Tubular (MT), Capillary tube installation (Membrane
(CT), Pleated filter cartridge (FC), Spiral-wound (SW).
Sewage SystemOf the above configurations, only the first three are suited to MST) commercialized in
MBR technologies (Table 2). The modules must permitthe 70s and 80s was
turbulence promotion, cleaning or, preferably, both. Turbulence based on side stream
promotion can arise through passing either the feed water or an configurations, was made
air/water mixture along the surface of the membrane to aid the by Dorr-Oliver, Inc., with
passage of permeates through it [2]. Hollow fiber configurations flat sheet ultra filtration
works at higher fluxes, but are operated at lower MLSSplate operated at excessive
concentrations compared to flat sheet configurations [22].
pressure (3.5 bar inlet
pressure) and low flux rate

(17 l/(m2 h)), yielding


mean
permeability[2].
However, installation of the
first large full scale MBR
system for industrial
wastewater treatment was
at the General Motors plant
in Mansfield, Ohio (U.S.)
in
the
early
1990s
[38].Later Yamamoto et al.
(1989)
innovated
the
submerged MBR (SMBR)
configuration where the
membrane module was
directly submerged into the
mixed liquor and operated
under suction pressure [39]
227

International Journal of Emerging Technology and Advanced Engineering


Website: www.ijetae.com (ISSN 2250-2459, ISO 9001:2008 Certified Journal, Volume 4, Issue 12, December 2014)
TABLE 2
COMPARISON OF TUBULAR, FLAT SHEET AND HOLLOW FIBER MEMBRANES [41]

Characteristics

Tubular membranes

Flat sheet membranes

Hollow fiber membranes

Arrangement
Packing density
Energy demand

External - recycling
Low
High (turbulent flow)

External / submerged
Moderate
Low-moderate (laminar flow)

External / Submerged
High
Low

Cleaning

Efficient + physical cleaning possible

Moderate

Back washing possible

Replacement
Specific Fluxes

Tubes or element
40-60 m3/m2/s

Sheet
115 m3/m2/s

Element
50-65 3/m2/s

B.) Present scenario and market status-

IV. DRIVERS AND BARRIERS


A
main
advantage
of
Historically,
low
According to Membrane Bioreactor (MBR) Systems
membrane
flux
(i.e.,
Market - Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, MBRs is whole biomass
permeate production per
Trends And Forecast, 2012 2019, Hollow fiber MBRretention in the aerobic
unit of membrane area),
reactor,
which
makes
system is one of the early stage eminent techniques that are
low permeability (i.e., flux
still expected to dominate the market globally over thesludge retention time
per unit of transmembrane
(SRT)
independent
from
coming years. Simplicity and high output efficiency has
pressure or TMP), limited
the
hydraulic
retention
helped hollow fiber MBR systems sustain relentlessly over
membrane life hindered
the past couple of years. Flat sheet and Multi-tubular time (HRT), allowing
broad application of the
products incurred high operation and maintenance costs MLSS concentrations to
MBR technology [3].
increase
in
the
reactor,
which led to their dampened market growth.
Also, the application of
thus facilitating relatively
MBR systems market was dominated in 2012 by
MBRs to wide scale was
smaller
and
more
compact
submerged systems that are likely to continue over the
limited by its high costs,
with
higher
forecast period. High operation and maintenance cost has reactors
both capital and operating
organic
loading
rates
dampened the side stream configuration segment growth.
expenditure (CAPEX and
(ORL), better effluent
The most cited market analysis report indicates aquality,
OPEX), mainly due to
rapid
initial
compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.2 % and process startup and low
membrane installation &
predicts a global market value of $ 627 million in 2015
replacement and high
excess sludge production
(BCC, 2011). This growth rate is much higher than the other
energy demand. This high
(decreased by a factor of 2
wastewater treatment technologies; further, the market is
energy
demand
in
to3).
In
addition,
the
expected to increase twice over the present growth rate in the
comparison with a CAS, is
process
eliminates
various
next five years.
closely associated with
pretreatments
as
in
Beijing Origin Water Technology is one of the companiesconventional systems and
strategies
for
in China that continuously focuses on implementation ofonly needs screening (1- 3
avoiding/mitigating
water reclamation activities that in turn is expected to achieve mm) for removal of larger
membrane fouling (70% of
10% reclamation of fresh water through MBR technology in solids that could damage
the total energy demand
China by 2015 [5].
for iMBR) (Verrech et al.,
the membranes.
In India, MBR technology is in its initial stages of
2008;Verrech et al., 2010).
The
total
nitrogen
development and implementation, with relatively few removal
in MBR is about
Since 1992, these costs
examples e.g. Cubbon Park in Bangalore (Karnataka), Tidel30%
greater
than
have been reduced by
Park in Chennai (Tamil Nadu), Common Wealth Games conventional
treatment
developments that include
Village, New Delhi etc. [6].
systems [7].
the following:

228

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3.) Typically, ceramic
removal from wastewater
1. Longer life time;
membranes can work
[11].
2. Cheaper replacement cost (by a factor of 15 since under temperature up to
6.) However, commercial
300C, pressure up to 2.5
1992 and a factor of 4 since 1995);
MBR membranes are
MPa
and
pH
ranges
from
3. Reduction of the energy consumption compared to
almost all polymeric.
the permeate flux obtained, by the use of gravity in 1 to 14. Mueller et al . [17]
More than half of the
studied
two
ceramic
the case of the submerged MBR; and
MBR membrane module
membranes (0.2 and 0.8
products offered are based
4. Reduction of the product manufacturing costs.
m pore sizes) for the
on PVDF. The next most
treatment of oily water
common
material
is
Hueneme
field
in
V. MEMBRANE MATERIAL
polyethersulfone (PES).
California.
The
oil
The membrane material should have resistance to removal efficiencies were
7.) The combination of
thermal and chemical attack, that is, extremes of about 98% to 99% [9].
good chemical resistance,
temperature, pH and/or oxidant concentrations that
surface structure and
The
ceramic
lower cost has meant that
normally arise when the membrane is chemically cleaned, 4.)
are
best
these polymeric materials
and should ideally offer some resistance to fouling. There membranes
dominate.
are mainly two different types of membrane material,facility for high strength
wastewater
like
oily
these being polymeric and ceramic. Metallic membrane wastewater,
8.)
The
polyolefenic
as
it
filters also exist, but these have very specific applications guarantees the reliability,
hollow
fiber
(HF)
which do not relate to membrane bioreactor (MBR)robustness and stability of
membranes are amongst
technology [2].
the process [10].
the
lowest
in raw
production cost of all
Polymers seldom used to form membranes are5.) A recent patent with
MBR
membrane
polyvinylidene difluoride (PVDF), polyethylsulphone
(PES), polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP). WhileInternational Publication
materials. The remaining
inorganic ceramic membranes are composed of Al 2O3,Number WO 2012/055257
materials

A1, (5 March of 2012)


ZrO2, TiO2, SiO2, or combinations thereof.
polyacrylonitrile (PAN),
entitled
Bio-ceramic
polysulphone, polyvinyl
A.)
Ceramic Versus Polymeric Membranesuseful as biological media
alcohol
(PVA)
and
polytetrafluorethane
Whilst ceramic membranes are more robust, reliablefilter material for air
(PTFE) are much less
and stable in terms of resistance to fouling and chemical filtration and wastewater
comprises
common [8].
attack, their applications in MBR technology remaintreatment,
limited due to their relatively high cost. Here pros and sludge, kaolin and metal
9.) Tardieu et al. noted
M or its oxide [22], aims
cons of both types of membranes are discussedthat a ceramic membrane
to deal with the problem
installed externally to the
1.) Ceramic multichannel monoliths have found use in of
wasted
sludge
some applications, and recently ceramic flat sheet management providing a
membrane bioreactor is
configurations have been introduced [8] (In Julybiological process where
quickly subject to fouling
2013,MBR sewage treatment plant in Petersberg,
(due to the formation of a
selective
adsorption
and
Germany using ceramic flat membrane was installed).
thick cake) when the
digestion functions are
critical flux is exceeded
2.) TERI University, India has taken initiative to use low taking
place
[40]. Defrance et al.
cost ceramic membranes prepared from waste materials simultaneously in the
investigated that it would
like bagasse fly ash. The recent development of low costsame
method.
Biobe better to have a
ceramic membrane filters from waste materials such as ceramic membranes has
constant TMP or permeate
biomass ash has opened a new MBR research frontier the ability of adsorbing
flux in order to avoid the
especially applicable for developing countries. In thisbenzene, phenol, multiple
fouling of the ceramic
work, a 17 L lab scale MBR was fabricated locally. hydrocarbons, dimethyl
membranes used with a
Experiments were conducted with real sewage andsulfide and thioether
membrane bioreactor [41].
ceramic membrane filters prepared from biomass ash. The malodorous substances; in
Ramirez and Davis stated
system showed more than 90% removal of COD and NO3-addition,
these
may
that, the backpulsing
N at hydraulic retention time (HRT) between 8-16 h [6]. adsorb phosphate ions and
technique is used for back
oxygen rich compounds
washing
in
SMBR
such as nitrates, nitrites
requires
high-pressurefrom the aqueous phase,
resistant membranes and
contributing therefore to
ceramic membranes for
the
efficient
nutrient
microfiltration
and

ultrafiltration seem to meet this requirement [1].

229

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Work in Denmark has
10 and 100 m3/m2/s.
10.) Polymeric membranes are also hydrophobic, which shown that aquaporin
makes them susceptible to fouling by hydrophobic matter proteins, which are used
present in the mixed liquors of bioreactor. Thus, it in nature to achieve
becomes essential to modify surface of the base material transport of water through
to produce a hydrophilic surface using techniques such as cell
walls,
can
be
chemical oxidation, organic chemical reaction, plasma incorporated
into
2.) Permeability- The
treatment or grafting [2].
membrane structures to
amount
of
permeate
promising
passing through unit area
11.) Field testing of 2 low-cost membrane filters, viz. 30 achieve
separation with very high
of membrane per unit time
m polymeric mesh and 26 m macroporous waste-ash permeability [13].
in unit transmembrane
based ceramic filter, in a submerged membrane bioreactor
pressure.
State-of-the-art
(MBR) was conducted for sewage.. The results indicated
that the ceramic filter was able to operate for longer synthetic membranes at
periods without cleaning; however, there is a limit to the optimal conditions can
transmembrane pressure it can withstand and it wasnow desalinate sea water
concluded that ash-based ceramic filter appears promisingwith an energy demand
3.) Resistancein terms of both long-term stable flux and high sludge about 1520% of that
used for the early (RO)
retention in a submerged MBR [6].
membranes
[14].
B.) Biomimetic Membranes
However,
biomimetic
are
not
Biomimetic means to mimic or replicate natural process membranes
analysed
for
the
or phenomenon. Biomimetics incorporate biological
Where, J = permeate flux
applicability
in
MBRs
and
elements or borrow concepts, ideas or inspiration from
(m3/m2/s),
P=
intensive
studies
should
biological
systems.
Biomimetic
approaches
to
transmembrane
pressure
be
conducted
for
this
development of membranes for separations and filtration
(Pa), = viscosity of the
purpose; as state-of-thehave seen a renewed interest in recent times.
permeate (Pa.s),
art shows biomimetic
Rt = total resistance for
However, Synthetic biomimetic membranes are onlymembranes can be future
filtration (1/m)
analyzed for desalination or water treatment purpose till membrane materials for
now and yet not applied for industrial wastewater MBRs.
Total
treatment or MBR technology. Commercialization of this
Resistance, Rt
technology is in its infancy, and although robustness and
VI.
F
ACTORS
= Rm + Rc +
longevity still need to be established, the concept shows
AFFECTING
potential for addressing the energy problem of
Rf
MEMBRANE
desalination. Synthetic biomimetic membranes have been
PROCESS
Where, Rm = intrinsic
made from silica at Sandia Laboratories in New Mexico
O
membrane resistance; Rc=
and may provide an alternative approach to water
PE
cake layer resistance;
treatment, but this work is still in the research phase [13].
R
Rf=fouling resistance due
AT
Based on their unique combination of offering high
to irreversible and pore
IO
water permeability and high solute rejection aquaporin
plugging.
N
proteins have attracted considerable interest over the last
years as functional building blocks of biomimetic 1.) Flux - The flux
4.) Membrane Area [m2]
membranes for water desalination and reuse [14].
= Process Volume [L]
(normally denoted as J)
/ (Flux [LMH] x
Biomimetic membranes shows promise to reduce the is the quantity of material
Process Time [H])
energy requirements of desalination significantly by using passing through a unit
charge repulsion to reject ionic species while facilitatingarea of membrane per unit
5.) Pump feed rate [L/min]
the transport of water molecules.
time. MBRs generally
= Feed flux [L/min/m2] x
operate at fluxes between
Area [m2]
230

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TABLE 3
TYPICAL DESIGN CRITERIA FOR MBR [15]

COD
Loading
(kg/m3/day)

F/M
(kgCOD/
kgMLVSS/day)

SRT
(days)

MLSS
(mg/L)

5-20

5,000-20,000

Flux
(L/m2/da
y)

Applied
Vacuum
(kPa)

DO
(mg/L)

Energy
consumption
(membrane system
3
only)(KWh/m )

4-35

0.5-1.0

0.3 0.6

\
1.2-3.2

0.1-0.4

600-1,100

TABLE 4
OPERATIONAL PARAMETERS ACCORDING THE TYPES OF INDUSTRIES [14]

231

VII. MEMBRANE FOULING AND CONCEPT OF CRITICAL


FLUX
Typically, the deposition or adsorption of
material on the surface of the membrane or within
the pores is referred as membrane fouling. Fouling
is a common and major problem in MBR
applications. Fouling may cause a decline in
permeate flux; increases in TMP, loss of permeate
quality and deterioration of the membrane, etc.
Fouling can be classified on the basis of their
foulants as: particulate fouling, organic fouling,
biofouling, and scaling.

1.) Particulate foulingSmall


particles
can
accumulate
on
the
membrane surface, thereby
forming a filter cake, which
is referred as particulate
fouling. The particulates
can either be suspended
solids, colloids and even
microorganisms. Particulate
fouling is the dominant type
of
fouling
in
most
microfiltration (MF) and
ultrafiltration (UF) systems.
However, MBRs using MF

and UF membranes suffer more colloidal and organic substances on the membrane
surface or in its pores due to
fouling.
the intermolecular interactions
2.) Organic fouling- The adsorption of dissolved organic

between the membrane and


organic matter, it is referred
as organic fouling.

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SrSO4, MgCO3 and SiO2
Natural organic matter (NOM) fouling in drinking waterDue to their low flux and
in
operations
causes
membrane
filtration processes is a well-known problem. However,limited
scaling, with regard to
cleaning
options,
reverse
the filtration of wastewater and activated sludge has been
concern in RO and NF.
(RO)
and
applied more recently and soluble microbial products osmosis
Scaling is not dominating
nanofiltration
(NF)
(SMP) fouling has been the main concern.
in
MBR
fouling.
processes suffer more of
However, iron or calcium
3.) Biofouling- The adhesion and growth ofbiofouling.
precipitation may occur in
microorganisms on the membrane surface, i.e., the
some cases. If oxidant
4.)
ScalingIf
dissolved
formation of a biofilm is referred as biofouling, whichsalts
cleaning is not sufficient,
exceed
their
results in a loss of membrane performance. Basically, a solubility product, scale
acid cleaning should be
biofilm can occur on all kinds of surfaces, natural andmay deposit on the
considered to restore the
synthetic, due to the fact that bacteria have developed membrane
membrane permeability
surface.
elaborate adhesion mechanisms.
[18].
Typically, over-saturation
of CaCO3, CaSO4, BaSO4,
affecting--factors
and controlling
approaches [16].

Fig.2. Schematic illustration


showing the fouling

organic
The relative contributionfouling
of
particulates,and pore
colloids/macro-organics andblocking
solutes to membrane foulingbecomes
are influenced by filtrationimportant.
flux
and
hydrodynamic
Fouling
conditions, which determineis
also
the tendency of particleaffected by
deposition. If the flux is highthe
floc
but the cross flow velocity issize
and
low, the permeation velocitysize
can be higher than the backdistributio
with
transport
velocity.
Then,
smaller
particulate fouling and cakeflocs being
filtration may dominate.generated
However, if the filtration fluxin
is low and the cross-flowsidestream
velocity
is
high,
thesystems
permeation velocity can bedue to the
lower than the back transportshear
velocity
and
onlycreated by
the pump.
colloids/macro-organics and
solutes may deposit/absorb
on the membrane. The role of

A
remov
further
able
complicati from
on
tothe
fouling
memb
characteriz rane if
ation is thean
change inappro
the
priate
physical, physic
chemical, al
and
washi
physiologi ng
cal
protoc
characteris ol is
tics of theemplo
mixed
yed; it
liquor bothis
with feedoften
water
classif
quality andied as
with timerevers
[19]. Cakeible
layer
isfoulin
largely
g. On
readily
the
232

Fig.3. Factors
influencing
membrane fouling in
membrane bioreactor
[17].

other hand,for
limiting
internal
membrane
fouling
fouling are
caused byas follows:
the
1.)
adsorption
Redu
of
ction
dissolved
of the
matter into
mem
the
brane
membrane
fouli
pores and
ng by
pore
blocking is
aerati
considered
on in
irreversible
the
and
is
vicini
generally
ty of
only
mem
removed by
brane
chemical
s by
cleaning
filtrat
[18].
ion
Conventi
belo
onal
w the
techniques

critic
al
flux,
by
the
additi
on of
coag
ulant
s, by
highfrequ
ency
back
pulsi
ng, or
by
utilizi
ng a
high
recyc
le
veloc
ity;

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flux is not exceeded. Thus,
A.) Concept of Critical
2.) Removal of the fouling material after formation by Flux
ideally a constant-flux, rather
chemical washing (backwashing or backpulsing).
than a constant-pressure,
operating mode is to be
Unfortunately, the complexity of fouling is increased by Field et al. was the first
preferred [20]. Critical flux
a biological activity, and the progression in this field of to introduce the concept
of critical flux. As long as
research is relatively slow [1].
depends on hydrodynamics,
particle size (it is reached
Traditional strategies for fouling mitigation such as air one operates below this
sparging, physical cleaning techniques (i.e backpulsingcritical
flux,
the
very quickly for small
and relaxation) and chemical maintenance cleaning have membrane fouling can be
particles),
interactions
been incorporated in most MBR designs as a standard
between
colloids
and
neglected
and
thus
operating strategy to limit fouling. Air sparging, expressed
membrane, and suspension
membrane
cleaning
is
not
as specific aeration demand (SADm), takes a typical value
properties (pH, salinity,
for full-scale facilities between 0.30 Nm 3/h m2 (FSrequired. It is important
conductivity) [1]. Critical
configuration) to 0.57 Nm3/h m2 (HF configuration).therefore to choose an
flux decreases with increase
Relaxation and backpulsing (only for HF) are commonlyadequate initial permeate
in SRT, indicating that
applied for 30 130 seconds every 1025 min of filtration flux or TMP. By correctly
membrane fouling has
[2].
selecting the initial TMP the
rate of fouling is greatly
reduced because a critical

TABLE 5
CHARACTE
RISTICS OF
FOUR TYPES
OF
MEMBRANE
FOULING
[19]

started to occur even at low


flux condition [7].

Characteristics

Particulate fouling

Organic fouling

Biofouling

Foulants

Colloids, Suspended
solids

Organic matter

Microorganism

Major factors
affect fouling

Concentration, Particle size


Distribution,
Compressibility
of particles

Concentration, Charge,
Hydrophobicity, pH, ionic
strength, Calcium

Temperature, Nutrients

Indicator of
fouling
prediction

Silt density
index (SDI), Modified
fouling index
(MFI), Specific
resistance to
fouling (SRF)

DOC, UV 254, SUVA

Assimilable
organic carbon
(AOC), Biofilm
formation rate
(BFR)

Feed water
pretreatment

Coagulation, MF and UF

Adjustment of1.) pH
2.) Coagulation

Sand filtration,
Biofilter, Coagulation,
Flocculation, UF and
MF

reactor
VIII. APPLICATIONS (MBR)
OF MBR
configurati
TECHNOLOGY IN
on
has
WASTEWATE proven to
be optimal
R
TREATMENT for
treatment
The membrane biologicalof many
industrial

Scaling
Salt, Metal cations

Temperature,
Concentration, pH

Solubitlity

Acid, Anti-scalent

wastewate The MBR technology haspulp and


rs
whengreat potential in widepaper,
treatment ranging
applicationstextile,
efficiency including
municipal,chemical,
is
anindustrial
wastewaterpharmaceu
important treatment and solid wastetical,
considerati digestion. Major sources ofpetroleum,
on [3].
industrial
wastewaterstannery,
include the food processing,and
233

manufactu
ring
industries.

International Journal of Emerging Technology and Advanced Engineering


Website: www.ijetae.com (ISSN 2250-2459, ISO 9001:2008 Certified Journal, Volume 4, Issue 12, December 2014)
COD removal efficiency
reviewed
tha
MBR
Characteristics of industrial wastewaters strongly
treatment systems can
of
78%
to
96%,
BOD
5
depend on the type of industrial wastewaters and industrial
reduce BOD greater than
processes and usually represented by the basic parameters, removal from 87 to 99%
98%; reduce COD up to
including chemical oxygen demand (COD), biochemical and oil and grease
98%; produce a consistent
removal
from
92
to
95%
oxygen demand (BOD), suspended solids (SS),
NH4+-N+ removal rate up
[25].
Mowla
et
al.,
2009
ammonium nitrogen (NH4+-N), heavy metals, pH, color,
to
99%;
exhibit
a
conducted
experiment
to
turbidity, and biological parameters. Research studies
consistent
nitrate
removal
indicate that certain configurations of MBRs would retain, treat oil field wastewater
for wastewater through
concentrate, and consequently break down many of these (produced water) with
denitrification;
60%
MBR
having
group
of
compounds without requiring sophisticated tertiary
denitrification; 74% TN
bacteria
found
at
high
treatment processes [23]. Compared with municipal
removal and 82% nitrogen
wastewater, industrial waste waters usually have a high salinity conditions and
removal; provide 5-log
found
even
100%
removal
organic strength and extreme physicochemical nature
removal of E. coli; and
of
oil
is
possible
in
the
(e.g., pH, temperature, salinity), and contain synthetic and
eliminate greater than
permeate
[26].
natural substances that may be toxic to or inhibit
97% phosphorus. MBR
Industrial applications
biological treatment processes [22].
performance
for
However, Scott et al., 1996 studied application of MBR of MBR was investigated
wastewater
containing
(having ceramic membrane) for treatment of ice cream for a commercial laundry
ammonia was found to be
production wastewater and found COD removal of 83-and a textile factory at
completely
converted
97% and BOD removal of 90-98% (despite of high values Germany by Jan Hoinkis
NH4+-N to NO3--N as
of - COD and BOD of feed water) and system was able to et al., 2012 and they
compared to a conversion
maintained pH 6-7, which was 10 at feed concentrations,resulted that despite of
rate
of
95%
for
attributed to presence of lactic acid bacteria [24]. having high concentration
conventional
activated
Moreover, Nakhla et al., 2006 analyzed performance of of low biodegradable
sludge processes. Table 6
MBR at mesophilic-thermophilic transitional temperaturechemical in wastewater,
presents overviews of
the
COD
removal
MBR applications in the
(40C) for treating high strength oily wastewater and
efficiency
achieved
industrial
wastewater
found
around
90%
[27].
treatment area.
Moreover, It has been
Table 6
MBR
appli
catio
ns in
indus
trial
waste
water
treat
ment
[23]

Wastewater Source

Membrane
Configuration

Size Of Operation

Treatment Efficiency

Country Of
Application

Various sources

Ultrafiltration- external

Pilot scale (0.2-24.6 m3/d)

COD removal- >97 %

Germany

Paint industry

Ultrafiltration- external

Full scale (113 m3/d)

COD removal- >94 %

USA

Tannery industry

Ultrafiltration- external

Full scale (500-600 m3/d)

COD removal- >93 %

Germany

Cosmetic industry

Ultrafiltration- external

Full scale

COD removal- >98 %

France

Food industry

Microfiltration

Full scale- (600 m3/d)

COD removal- >97%

USA

Aerobic

Microfiltration external

COD removal- 68-82%

Canada

Electrical industry

Ultrafiltration- external

Bench-scale- (0.05-0.09
m3/d)
Full scale- (10 m3/d)

COD removal- >97 %

Germany

eme
IX.
rgin
CONCLUg
SION
tech
nolo
Membrane
gy
bioreactors
(MBRs)
whi
have been actively
ch
employed
for
has
municipal
and
dev
industrial wastewater
elop
treatments and have
ed a
proven to be an
nich

e in
the
wast
ewa
ter
treat
men
t
sect
or.

Presently, the global


market for this technology is
rapidly growing at a
compound annual growth
rate (CAGR) of 13.2%. This
growth rate is much higher
than any other wastewater
treatment technologies; also,
the market is expected to
increase twice over the
present growth rate in the
234
next five years worldwide.

International Journal of Emerging Technology and Advanced Engineering


Website: www.ijetae.com (ISSN 2250-2459, ISO 9001:2008 Certified Journal, Volume 4, Issue 12, December 2014)

[8]

www.thembrsite.com

So far, the high costs of membranes and membrane


fouling are the main factors which restrict the wide [9] Ebrahimi,
application of MBRs.
M.,Willershausen,
D.,Ashaghi, K.S., Engel,
Over the past few years, considerable investigations
Placido, L., Mund, P.,
have been performed to develop high-flux or low-cost
Bolduan, P. And Czermak
P., Investigations on the
membranes and to understand MBR fouling in detail.
Use of Different Ceramic
Since, MBRs were less adopted in India due to cost
Membranes for Efficient
considerations are now gaining warm welcome in
Oil-Field Produced
Water
Treatment
wastewater treatment systems. Also, trials have been made
Desalination, Vol. 250,
to develop low cost membranes from fly ash. Despite of
2010, 991-996
worldwide research on the complex topic of fouling in
Meabe, E., Lopetegui,
MBR, many questions still remain unanswered to date. [10]
J., Ollo, J. and Lardies S.,
Still by improving the technology and by coupling MBRs
Ceramic
Membrane
with other unit operations and processes have increased
Bioreactor:
Potential
Applications
and
the expected membrane lifetime and enough full-scale
Challenges for the
plants have been successfully operated and now there are
Future.
more than 3000 MBR installations in operation or under
Tolkou, A., Zouboulis
construction worldwide. It is clear that the MBR [11]A. And
Samaras P., The
technology is becoming increasingly competitive and its
Incorporation of Ceramic
Membranes
in
MBR
future market position is guaranteed. MBR is most
Systems for Wastewater
appealing when its small footprint, ease of automation,
Treatment:
Advantages and Patented
and excellent effluent quality are all requirements. It is
New
Developments,
also most appealing when flow peaking can be easily
Recent
Patents
on
Engineering, 2014, Vol. 8,
addressed. Reuse projects that scalp the flow from nearby
(1),
1-9.
sewers are one of the more obvious examples. Moreover,
MBR has the potential to rearrange our thinking about [12]
Biomimetic
Membrane, Vol. 27(3)
reuse.
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6