Membrane Aerated Biofilm Reactor explained

OxyMem MABR is a unique attached growth biofilm (fixed film) system which allows for aeration from the carrier side. It exploits a gas permeable hollow fibre membrane which allows the bacteria to ‘breath’ by allowing the oxygen to travel across the non porous wall by way of diffusion.

The MABR habitat creates an ideal environment to support a very resilient biofilm that can withstand hydraulic shock loads and process upsets. The biofilm absorbs and consumes carbon and nitrogen based pollutants, but unlike conventional fixed film/biofilm systems (MBBR, RBC) it is incredibility energy efficient.

Low Pressure & High OTR Gives Energy Advantage

The energy advantage comes due to the fact that we can pass air through the media at such low pressures (100-200 mBar) and achieve oxygen transfer rates of up to 95%. The typical MABR module for municipal and industrial use is sized for an oxygen delivery capacity of up to 25kg of O2/day when operating on air. OxyMem can also operate on Oxygen – 100kg O2/day which opens a range of interesting possibilities for higher strength industrial applications.

If You Can’t Measure It You Can’t Manage It

As with any biofilm reactor for wastewater treatment, the pollutant degrading microorganisms grow continuously, resulting in an increase in biofilm thickness. It is important to have some means of maintaining a stable biofilm thickness in order to ensure good contact between the wastewater and the biofilm. This was the main technical impediment that had prevented the commercialization up to the early part of this century. Uncontrolled growth of the biofilm which can lead to reduced rates of treatment if the biofilm is not managed but this is managed by OxyMem’s patented Biofilm control system.

Deployment options

The OxyMem Membrane Aerated Biofilm Reactor (MABR) can be fitted directly into existing aeration tanks to deliver additional treatment capacity (IFAS style) without interfering with the current treatment process.  The modular design can be deployed for standalone wastewater treatment in conventional tanks, allowing assets to be reused and modernised with ease.

MABR delivers quantified benefits:

  • Oxygen transfer efficiency per unit of energy is 8kg O2/kWh. 4X more efficient than Conventional Activated Sludge (CAS) and 10X more energy efficient than Moving Bed BioReactor (MBBR)
    Energy consumption for Industrial applications is typically 0.25 kWh per kg of COD removed.
  • Energy consumption for typical Municipal wastewater treatment is in the order of 0.1 – 0.2 kWh per m3 of wastewater treated.
  • 50% lower sludge production compared to CAS. Biofilm delivers a much lower sludge yield, 0.1-0.15kgTSS/kg COD removed because more of the COD is oxidised to CO2