CHAPTER 10: Membrane Bioreactors: An Advanced Technology to Treat Industrial Waste Water
Published:18 Nov 2021
Industrialization is an inevitable part of the advancement of human civilization. While industrialization can have a positive effect in controlling the economy of a country, it can have a major negative effect on society, i.e. via environmental pollution. Industrial waste water, i.e. the water that has been used as part of making a commercial product, may contain organics, inorganics (heavy metals), pathogens, nutrients etc. and should be treated very carefully before being discharged into water bodies; otherwise it may pollute receiving water sources and cause a great threat to aquatic life and hence to the total life cycle. Among several techniques for treating industrial waste water, Membrane bioreactors (MBRs) have been established as the most advanced and viable technology. An MBR is a suspended growth activated sludge system that utilizes microfiltration or ultrafiltration membranes for solid–liquid separation instead of using a secondary clarifier. It has several advantages, such as steady permeate quality, smaller footprint, reduced sludge production, independent control of solids and hydraulic retention time, operation at higher mixed liquor suspended solid concentrations and better effluent quality. The present chapter describes the working principles of a MBR, the different types, details of the membranes used in an MBR and their applications in treating industrial waste water.