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MBR technology

With its lengthy experience, Ser.Eco. Depurazione Acque has become a leader in the design and construction of MBR systems.

In addition to ensuring the removal of virtually all suspended solids and bacteria from the effluent - to the point that it is suitable for reuse as process water - "MBR" technology allows for the building of very compact systems or the option of doubling the capacity of existing treatment systems without having to produce new reactors.

An MBR system is a suspended biomass biological treatment system that incorporates a membrane filtration system for clarifying the biomass rather than the classic gravity-based sedimentation process.

Once the system has been commissioned and is up and running, we can provide our customers with a technical support and scheduled maintenance service, partly through the management companies we partner with nationwide.

Systems are fully automated using PLC microprocessors and industrial PCs that, in addition to managing everyday operations, can report any trouble or faults so that normal operation can be resumed without delay.

With an internet connection, operators can check its operation, fine-tune the system, where necessary, and adjust operating parameters to optimize its technical operation.

In addition to meeting the requirement of unbeatable flexibility, the system's sizing is determined to achieve the most compact footprint possible.

With over 180 MBR systems designed and built, you can rest assured that Ser.Eco. has the experience required to deliver the very best MBR technology.

Numerous analyses conducted for commissioning and operation monitoring purposes show that the systems offer very high standards of quality and low maintenance costs (after 5 years, 90% of systems are still operating with the same membranes), while achieving excellent operating reliability and safety.

Over the years, we have studied, learned, experimented with and optimized MBR technology so that, today, we can select the manufacturer and type of membrane that will provide the best performance for the type of application in question.

Continuous-flow system diagram

MBR system diagram


Running the process is very straightforward and the actual automation is complemented by the simplicity and performance reliability of the biological phase, where there is no longer any need to control the settleability of the sludge or adjust its recycling or concentration, which can be as high as 14 kg TSS/m3.

With a process that employs membranes rather than the classic sedimentation method, the end quality of the effluent discharged is assured. With nominal filtration in the field of ultrafiltration, suspended solids are virtually zero and phosphates are reduced, and therefore so are the phosphate removal reagents.

The wall of the membrane acts as a mechanical barrier, trapping bacteria and many viruses in addition to the suspended solids.

With the membrane clarification system applied to the biological process, the difficulty in managing the oxidative phase is overcome even when handling sludge with poor settleability properties.

Filamentous organisms, which tend to proliferate in wastewater with poor levels of nutritional elements (N-P), do not affect the performance of an MBR system at all.

The maintenance and operation of a membrane system is, overall, less labour intensive than a conventional process: extracting the permeate and controlling filtration is done fully automatically and does not require personnel.

The distinguishing features of the MBR reactors can be summed up as follows:

  • the membranes are an absolute barrier for the particulate, hence ensuring that there are no suspended solids in the effluent; they ensure that the treated water produced is of a high quality that far exceeds any other conventional treatment and remains high and consistent over time;
  • the treatment system is very simple to run and features fully automated operation, hence the biological process requires no operator intervention to ensure sludge settleability;
  • ability to handle high suspended solids concentrations in the aerated liquor, thus enabling a possible reduction in the biological reactor's volume;
  • handling a very high sludge concentration means increasing the age of the sludge in question and its mineralization, hence resulting in a specific COD feed reduction per kg. Lower consumption of coagulants and flocculants added to control settleability of the biomass, with clear financial benefits in terms of running costs;
  • the system is modular by its very nature and allows for the option of expanding the surface area installed, which might require upgrading during the life of the system.
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