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Exploring the Membrane Bio Reactor
Dr. A Yudhistra Kumar, R&D Center, HECS.


Sewage Treatment has undergone tremendous changes over the last century. Starting from the Village Pond Oxidation methodology there has been continuous technological changes and up-gradations. Fifteen years back HECS adopted the Activated Sludge Process (Extended Aeration), over the years it upgraded it to Submerged Aerobic Fixed Film (SAFF) and Mixed Bed Bio Reactor (MBBR) with Ultra Filtration. Since 2009 HECS started exploring the MBR technology and initiated designing, erection and commissioning of MBR plants. We have successfully erected and commis-sioned our first 250 KLD MBR sewage treatment plant at Bharat Dynamics Limited, Hyderabad, which is presently in operation.

Membrane Bio Reactor Technology

In simple words a membrane is a material which separates solids from liquids. In this process the membranes are directly submerged in the activated sludge. The activated sludge (biomass) is sep-arated from the liquid as it passes through the membranes and is retained in the biological reac-tor. The application of membrane bio reactor eliminates the need for secondary clarification tank. The elimination of secondary clarification and reduced aeration tank size offers significant reduc-tion in footprint of the facility. MBR Technology produces good effl
uent quality which exceeds conventional standards.

MBR Configurations:

Submerged: Membranes are directly submerged in the bio—reactor.

Sidestream: Membranes are a separate unit and require intermediate pumping. 


Effluent Quality

Description  Outlet Standard
 pH  6.0-8.5  5.5-9
 TSS  (MG/L) <5 <30
 BOD (MG/L) <5 <30
 COD (MG/L) <30 -
 Oil & Grease     


Smaller footprint compared to conventional STP’s
Good effluent quality with hy-gienic standards.
Reduced Sludge Production
Less manual errors


Higher Capital Cost
Higher Power Consumption
Dependence on Imports
 If you would like to highlight any event or contribute any articles or suggestions email [email protected]
 Editorial Team: Aroopjyothy Tripathy, Franco A Chandran, Dr A Yudhistra Kumar & Sangeeth Moses

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