MABR aeration membranes

The acronym MABR “Membrane Aerated Biological Reactor” stands for a particular application of gas permeable membranes in the treatment of municipal wastewater based on the ability of organic biofilms to develop and grow on the membranes which act at the same time as a support and a control device. supply of the oxygen necessary for their reproduction with very low energy consumption and high transfer efficiency.

In a MABR system the driving force for the transfer of oxygen into the membrane is represented by its concentration gradient, rather than pressure. Consequently, the blowers responsible for supplying air to the membranes of the MABR process must only overcome the pressure drops given by the length of the membranes and the related pipes and instruments and can therefore operate at low pressure with very low energy consumption.

With this technology it is possible to obtain a very high oxygen transfer efficiency (OTE – Oxygen Transfer Efficiency) even in shallow tanks, such as those of the prefabricated solutions that can be adopted for small systems, existing tanks used for aeration with surface turbines and secondary settlers.

Another important characteristic of a MABR system is represented by the particularity of the biological process that occurs in these systems: oxygen and nutrients diffuse from two opposite sides within the biofilm that grows on the membranes. Oxygen is delivered to the membrane/biofilm interface, while the nutrients come from the wastewater/biofilm interface: in this way it is in fact possible to obtain simultaneous nitrification/denitrification processes thanks to the development of the different colonies of microorganisms forming part of the biofilm at high biological specialization.

Main features:

  • Increase in the capacity of existing plants by up to 50% and/or increase in performance in the same biological volumes
  • High resilience: the biofilm that develops on the membrane has good resilience to load variations and process interferences
  • It is a simple and easy to install solution: the devices are lowered into existing tanks without the need to build new volumes
  • Energy saving thanks to oxygen transfer efficiency, which is up to 4 times higher than the most efficient air diffusion system on the market


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