Innovative Application of Two-Phase Flow Yields Low Energy, Side-Stream Membrane Bioreactor Process

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Membrane bioreactors (MBRs) are accepted in the municipal and industrial wastewater market as providing high quality effluent. The majority of the installed systems in the United States to date use immersed systems where the membranes are submerged either directly in the bioreactor or in a separate membrane tank. One key reason immersed systems were developed was to avoid the high energy cost of pumping needed to maintain proper cross-flow velocities for external or side-stream membrane systems. While side-stream technology has been used for years in many industrial applications and has proven to provide high quality liquid/solid separation, the high cost of operation has limited its practical use in membrane bioreactor applications.

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