The air-based membrane biofilm reactor (MBFR) for energy efficient wastewater treatment

Marcelo Aybar, Gonzalo Pizarro, Kelly Martin, Joshua Boltz, Leon Downing, Robert Nerenberg

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

The membrane-aerated biofilm reactor (MABR) is a novel, energy-efficient technology that provides wastewater treatment by passively supplying dissolved oxygen directly to a biofilm, without the formation of bubbles. Significant energy savings may be obtained by using the MABR for wastewater treatment, as compared to the conventional activated sludge process. In this study, we used modeling and cost estimation, as well as a sensitivity analysis, to determine the potential energy and cost savings of the MABR. Results suggest that energy savings can exceed 85%. The savings in energy and costs are strongly affected by the following: MABR fluxes for COD removal, nitrification, and denitrification; membrane costs (impacted by membrane material, the cassette assembly, and specific surface area); mixing energy requirements; and the life cycle cost of membrane. Further research is needed to better quantify the above variables, as well as develop and test potentially scalable and retrofittable reactor configurations. If feasible, the MABR can allow for more sustainable and cost effective wastewater management.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationWEFTEC 2012 - 85th Annual Technical Exhibition and Conference
PublisherWater Environment Federation
Pages5458-5485
Number of pages28
ISBN (Electronic)9781510870437
DOIs
StatePublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes
Event85th Annual Water Environment Federation Technical Exhibition and Conference, WEFTEC 2012 - New Orleans, United States
Duration: Sep 29 2012Oct 3 2012

Publication series

NameWEFTEC 2012 - 85th Annual Technical Exhibition and Conference
Volume9

Conference

Conference85th Annual Water Environment Federation Technical Exhibition and Conference, WEFTEC 2012
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityNew Orleans
Period9/29/1210/3/12

Keywords

  • Energy efficiency
  • MABR
  • MBfR
  • Membranes
  • Nitrogen removal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecological Modeling
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Pollution
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Water Science and Technology

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