The need for water treatment and reuse is increasing globally and membrane bioreactor technology (MBR) is a proven technology to fulfill this. Fouling is still the limiting factor to run high performance and energy efficient installations. Berghof Membrane Technology produces tubular ultrafiltration membranes and modules for the use in sidestream MBR applications. The advantage of these tubular membranes with inner tube diameters ranging from 5 till 10 mm is the throughput of flows with high suspended solid contents (up to 25 g/L MLSS) without clogging the module. The external configuration allows inside-out filtration, which permits excellent fouling control, efficient and easy cleanability, and the optimization of process and membrane/module design leads to reduced energy consumption.
We will report on the experiences we made respective to established filtration modes: crossflow with and without backwash (Biopulse resp. Bioflow). A direct comparison was performed for a period of 14 months in an installation used in tannery wastewater treatment. The Biopulse-configuration performed at a lower crossflow velocity. Although, the investment cost are 20% higher, the energy consumption is reduced by 45% and the process stability was improved.