Membrane bioreactors (MBRs)


Membrane BioReactor technology (MBR) integrates biological degradation and sludge separation and recycling in one single step. Thus, when installing an MBR in a wastewater treatment and reclamation plant, no second clarifier is needed to separate and recycle the activated sludge. The advantages of membrane technology when coupled to biological process are:

  1. Improved effluent quality due to the rejection not only of solids but also of high molecular and colloidal matter.
  2. Lower footprint as high biomass concentration can be achieved in reduced space.
  3. Complete control over sludge retention time as solid-liquid separation is not limited by biomass concentration. 
  4. Ease to retrofit existing activated sludge plants in order to increase treatment capacity.


The aWARE project will demonstrate the potential application of an MBR for the combined treatment of urban wastewater and the brines generated from the subsequent the nanofiltration treatment step in order to minimize the generation of brine and enhance priority and emerging contaminant removal.