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Design and Optimization of MBR Systems for Residential Wastewater Treatment and Reuse in Mexico and Emerging Markets using Aquifas

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The Membrane Bioreactor (MBR) design was adapted to the conditions in emerging economies in Mexico, Latin America and elsewhere. A simulation model (Aquifas) was customized to the conditions to allow for a faster and reliable design that is also optimized to achieve lower and flexible footprint to ensure that plant fits within the area available. The parameters included for optimization included DO setpoints in the main reactor and the membrane and recycle rates, both of which help reduce the energy requirement and maintenance costs. The MBR is designed to produce an effluent quality that effluent meets or exceeds the National Mexican Norm (NOM-003) for wastewater reuse.

The design methodology was developed and tested to allow for comparison of process parameters between external membrane modules and submerged membranes, such as the X-Flow external ultrafiltration modules from Norit, the HYDRAsub microfiltration submerged modules from Hydranautics, the Zenon hollow fiber submerged modules from GE, and Flat Sheet submerged modules from Kubota. The simulation tool was developed to work on two separate platforms: Excel- Visual Basic and .NET, with the latter providing access to a complete graphical interface. Based on the similarity of wastewater temperatures (25 to 35 C) and strengths (500 to 1000 mg/L COD) in emerging markets in Mexico, Latin America, Middle East and South Asia, the Aquifas MBR design tool and model were evaluated adapted for these geographies.

Keywords: Aquifas; Emerging Markets; Membrane Bioreactor; Reuse; Water

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2009-01-01

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  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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