With the goal of becoming energy neutral by 2023, the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago partnered with SUEZ's Water Technologies & Solutions for a demonstration project to evaluate SUEZ's ZeeLung* Membrane Aerated Biofilm Reactor technology. The test is performed at the district’s O'Brien Water Reclamation Plant in Skokie, Illinois, to prove ZeeLung’s ability to remove nutrients in the plant’s existing footprint and reduce the energy required for biological aeration by up to 40 percent. The membrane aerated biofilm reactor (MABR) process is an innovative technology that enables the upgrade of conventional activated sludge plants for nutrient removal and capacity expansion while significantly reducing the energy required for aeration. MABR intensifies treatment capacity and improves treatment performance by increasing the biomass inventory in a given reactor volume. The MABR process employs a gas transfer membrane to deliver oxygen to a biofilm that is attached to the surface of the membrane. The product is deployed as a cassette into an existing activated sludge tank. Oxygen is delivered to the biofilm by diffusion through the membrane to maintain aerobic conditions in the biofilm. The suspended biomass surrounding the membrane cassettes is controlled to anoxic conditions so that simultaneous nitrification and denitrification is performed in the reactor (nitrifiction in the aerobic biofilm and denitrification in the anoxic suspended biomass). Because oxygen is delivered by diffusion directly to a biofilm, the energy required for oxygen delivery is reduced by up to 4X compared to conventional aeration.
Achieving Energy Neutrality with MABR Technology for Wastewater Treatment
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