Reduction of operating costs of a membrane bioreactor using the example of a wastewater treatment plant of the company Thor in Speyer, Germany


Within the scope of an optimization project of a wastewater treatment plant of the company Thor GmbH, the possibilities to reduce the operating costs of a membrane bioreactor (MBR) were to be worked out and implemented.

In particular, high dry substance contents (TS contents) of up to 65 g/ L, high salt loads and a large proportion of fibrous components in the wastewater presented special challenges for optimization.

By skilfully selecting a suitable pre-separation, the tendency of the tubular membranes to clog could be eliminated in the first step.

As a result, special tubular membrane modules of the T-CUT UF series with significantly smaller membrane tube cross sections could now be used in the filtration plant. By tapering the cross-section of the membrane tubes from 1″ to 1/2″, the packing density of the modules could be significantly increased.

In addition to the resulting larger membrane area, the elimination of the tendency to clogging was also a reason why the specific pump capacity per volume of permeate obtained per hour could be kept stable.

Another success factor in the implementation of the project was the optimization of dry matter. By reducing the TS content, it was possible on the one hand to reduce the required flow velocity and at the same time to significantly increase the flux of the T-CUT UF modules.

The sum of all optimization measures revealed a significant savings potential; overall, the energy requirement of the filtration plant was reduced by around 30 %.

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