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Since installation of the first large, U.S., commercial scale membrane biological reactor (MBR)system for industrial wastewater treatment at the General Motors plant in Mansfield, Ohio (GM Mansfield), use of membranes for biomass-effluent separation in biological systems has gained wide appeal both in this country and internationally. Full scale application of the MBR technology in North America has progressed to the furthest extent in the treatment of industrial wastewaters, with projects dating back to 1991. A great deal of knowledge has been gained with respect to the technology, particularly by those operating the first generation systems. Despite a significant operating history and increasing application of the MBR configuration, the users of the technology have had little opportunity to share their experiences with one another. With this in mind, a two day meeting entitled Membrane Bioreactors for Industrial Wastewater Treatment: A User's Forum was organized. The meeting provided the opportunity for end-users of the technology and other involved parties to exchange information concerning their experiences, in order to foster discussions concerning issues and solutions associated with MBR process performance, and operation of the various mechanical components associated with the technology.

The meeting was composed of eight presentation and discussion sessions, and a final panelaudience participation session during which the outcome of the meeting was summarized and MBR technology needs discussed. The eight sessions consisted of 25 presentations. The majority of the presentations were made by end users of the MBR technology or their engineering consultant, although presentations were made by suppliers of MBR systems or system components. The presentations were relatively brief followed by a lengthy question and answer (Q&A) and discussion period, at the end of each session. The proceedings of the meeting in the form of the individual presentations together with an edited transcript of the Q&A and discussions sessions, has been published. The results of the meeting clearly indicated the broad applicability of the MBR technology to industrial wastewaters but that there is still much to be learned, and many process and system improvements to be made.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2003-01-01

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