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Designing a Membrane Bioreactor to Minimize Energy Use While Meeting a Low Nitrogen Limit

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The use of membrane bioreactors (MBRs) for water reclamation continues to increase due to the exceptional water quality and compact size enabled by this technology. MBR facilities, however, are prone to higher energy use since additional air (immersed) or a pumping system (external) is required to scour the membranes, high return activated sludge (RAS) rates are required, and pumping is usually needed to move water through the membranes. This paper discusses measures to reduce energy demand evaluated during the design of the proposed upgrades to the City of Tallahassee's Lake Bradford Road Water Reclamation Facility (LBRWRF). Implementation of energy reduction measures could reduce the overall energy use of the LBRWRF by 20% as compared to typical energy use at other MBR facilities while still meeting the mandated nitrogen limit and providing a high quality effluent for reuse.
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Keywords: MBR; Membrane bioreactors; aeration; biological nutrient removal; energy use

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2009-01-01

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