Waste water treatment using moving bed biofilm reactor technology


Moving Bed Biofilm Reactor MBBR process is a state-of-the-art fixed-film (or attached growth) biological process used for wastewater treatment both municipally and industrially for BOD removal, nitrification and denitrification.

A Moving Bed Biofilm MBBR reactor consists of a tank with submerged but floating plastic (usually HDPE, polyethylene or polypropylene) media having specific gravity less than 1.0. The large surface area of the plastics provide abundant surface for bacterial growth. Biomass grows on the surface as a thin film whose thickness usually varies between 50-300 microns. Medium or coarse bubble diffusers uniformly placed at the bottom of the reactor maintains a dissolved oxygen (DO) concentration of > 2.5-3 mg/L for BOD removal. Higher DO concentrations are maintained for nitrification. To retain the media flowing out of the tank, screens are placed on the downstream walls. A clarifier or a DAF is placed downstream of the MBBR tank to separate the biomass and the solids from the wastewater. No sludge recycle is required for this process.

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Juzer Jangbarwala
Unfortunately, while achieving a smaller footprint, these plants typically produce more sludge. The turbulent moving of the media "pulverizes" the sloughing biofilm, necessitating the need for clarification, adding chemicals which bring additional volume due to hydration water, and make the sludge extremely difficult to dewater.
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