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Biological Wastewater Treatment Part III - MBR Processes (2 credit hours)
The MBR (membrane bioreactor) process uses an aeration tank similar to those used in conventional activated sludge processes, combined with membrane filtration as a replacement for secondary sedimentation.  This combination can produce a very high quality effluent, typically with a more compact reactor than conventional activated sludge, but requires a higher rate of aeration than conventional activated sludge in order to keep the membranes from fouling.  The current typical MBR process configuration uses a membrane module submerged in the aeration tank.
This 2 hour course includes discussion of process design calculations for the membrane module used in an MBR system, for an MBR aeration tank designed to provide BOD removal and nitrification, and for a pre-anoxic tank to go with an MBR BOD removal and nitrification system.  
This course is intended primarily for civil engineers, environmental engineers, and chemical engineers.  After completing this course you will be familiar with the general components and configuration of an MBR wastewater treatment process and be able to make typical process design calculations for an MBR process.
Harlan Bengtson
At the conclusion of this course, the student will:
  • Know the differences between attached growth and suspended growth biological wastewater treatment processes.
  • Be familiar with the components of and the general configuration of an MBBR wastewater treatment process.
  • Be able to calculate the loading rate of a wastewater constituent to an MBBR process (in lb/day and g/day) for a specified wastewater flow rate and constituent concentration.
  • Be able to calculate the required carrier surface area for an MBBR wastewater treatment process for a specified SALR and loading rate.
  • Be able to calculate the required MBBR tank volume for specified carrier surface area, carrier specific surface area and carrier fill %.
  • Be able to calculate the liquid volume in an MBBR tank for known tank volume, carrier volume and carrier % void space.
  • Be able to calculate the BOD, NH3-N, or NO3-N removal rate for known values of the surface area removal rate (SARR) and design carrier surface area.
  • Be able to calculate an estimated effluent BOD, NH3-N or NO3-N concentration based on known values of the appropriate loading rate, estimated removal rate, and design wastewater flow rate.
  • Be able to make process design calculations for a post-anoxic denitrification MBBR process, including required tank sizes, estimated effluent concentrations, alkalinity requirement and carbon source requirement.
  • 4Be able to make process design calculations for a pre-anoxic denitrification MBBR process, including required tank sizes, estimated effluent concentrations, and alkalinity requirements.

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