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The Zuckerberg Institute
for Water Research (ZIWR)
Jan. 15, 2018

ZIWR seminar room

Monday, January 15th, 2018 at 13:15
ZIWR Seminar room
Fluence MABR: Technology Update
Ronen Shechter and Liron Friedman
Membrane Aerated Biofilm Reactors (MABR) are an especially energy efficient biological wastewater treatment process, based on passive aeration by diffusion of oxygen through membranes. The membranes also support an aerobic nitrifying biofilm that develops on their surface, while suspended solids are held in the mixed liquor. This combination enables simultaneous nitrification and denitrification (SND) to avoid carbon deficiency and obtain low total nitrogen in the effluent.
The Fluence (Emefcy) MABR is a spirally wound, oxygen permeable membrane sleeve, rolled together with a flow spacer. It is submerged in the biological wastewater treatment tank operating with suspended solids (mixed liquor) to create a two-biomass system operating simultaneously to support each other’s activity (Shechter 2015). The membrane itself is produced by Fluence as a fabric coated with a thin film of an oxygen permeable, water impermeable polymer material.
The membrane modules are arranged inside the biological wastewater treatment reactor in series to perform a staged process, thus reducing the process HRT, i.e. maximize overall reaction rate. However, it has recently been found that the first stage of the MABR supports conditions for biological phosphorous removal in addition to SND. This is attributed to the low ORP and sufficient HRT in this stage, as recommended in recent publications (Barnard, 2017).
Fluence currently manufactures package MABR plants which supposedly enable distributed wastewater treatment and reuse. Aiming for energy efficiency as well as cost optimization, distributed planning holds a great potential advantage over conventional centralized treatment in many cases. This concept, discussed by different researchers recently and in the past (Guo & Engelhardt, 2015; Domenech, 2011), has been economically estimated for a case of local parameters in Israel. The ranges considered were plant capacity in the range of 100-500 m3/d, and distance to a centralized treatment plant in the range 2-8 km. The preliminary results show a life cycle benefit for the decentralized scenario in the range US$ 100k-500k.
Fluence is currently a multinational company, also operating in the fields of membrane desalination, water reuse, anaerobic digestion and new technologies associated with all of it products and activities.
Barnard, J., Dunlap1, P., Steichen1, M., (2017) A Comprehensive Theory to understand all Biological Phosphorus Removal Observations, Proceeding of WEF Nutrient Symposium 2017
Shechter, R., (2015), Energy Efficiency and Performance of a Full Scale Membrane Aerated Biofilm Reactor, WEFTEC 2015 Proceeding
Englehardt, J. and Guo T., (2015) Principles for Scaling of Distributed Direct Potable Water Reuse Systems: A Modeling Study, Water Research 75, 146-163
Domenech, L (2011), Rethinking water management: From centralised to decentralised water supply and sanitation models, Documents d’Anàlisi Geogràfica., 57(2), 293-310