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Development of Membrane Technology of Sewage Resources Reuse


The energy saving and waste water recovery is not only the development direction of the global water market, but also the demand for technological innovation of water treatment company in China. Membrane technology is widely used in the three fields of municipal wastewater treatment-membrane bioreactor (MBR) process, sea water desalination and advanced industrial wastewater treatment. In sewage resources reuse, the membrane technology has several potentials in following:


Membrane aeration biofilm reactor (MABR) which achieves simultaneous nitrification and denitrification.

Principle: In the MABR process, the membrane is not only used as a filter medium, but also serves as a carrier for micropore aeration and biofilm growth.The air diffuses through the membrane pores to the water. By the controlling the aeration rate, the biofilm is attached to the membranes surface. The microorganisms near the membrane surface form an aerobic zone. The other side away from the membrane surface(which contacts the water) forms no anaerobic zone due to no oxygen, and the middle forms anoxic zone to achieve simultaneous nitrification and denitrification.

Advantages: no need of bubble aeration, the resource utilization rate of 30-50%, high organic load, reduction of 50% excess sludge,reduction of 80% investment cost,reduction of 30% operation cost, small footprint, easy to assemble etc. It has great advantage in the fields of municipal project upgrading & renovation, high concentration organic wastewater treatment and distributed processing.


FO and RO coupling process which achieves low cost wastewater reuse

Principle: forward osmosis (FO) uses the concentrated brine osmotic pressure to make the water molecules in the sewage side pass through the forward osmosis membrane and enter into the sale side to achieve the separation effect of water and pollutants, then reversing osmosis (RO) the brine to desalt to achieve the recovery of water resources.

Advantages: the forward osmosis process requires no external pressure, it could effectively traps organic contaminants in the effluent, reduces membrane fouling of RO, greatly reduces the energy consumption, and prolongs membrane life. The application technology difficulty of this engineering is focused on the selection and reuse of draw solution, it’s type of cutting-edge technology and has not been widely applied yet. While it could be applied to the industrial waste water treatment field.The national technology support plan “Study and Demonstration of Key Technologies for Forward Osmosis Seawater Desalination”undertaken by the Hangzhou Water Treatment Center during the “12th Five-Year Plan” period was successfully accepted recently. It’s the world’s largest FO seawater desalination project with 500 tons per day.


Anaerobic MBR (AnMBR) process which achieves energy self-sufficiency

Principle: combining anaerobic technology with membrane separation is beneficial to the growth of anaerobic bacteria, improving the quality of effluent, and recovering the biogas energy while sewage treatment.

In 2010, McCarty, Academician of USA Engineering Academy, published an article on the anaerobic MBR treatment of municipal sewage to achieve energy self-sufficiency and comprehensive utilization of resources in ES&T, the top journal of the environmental field. This led to a worldwide research boom.


AnMBR system for waste recycling reuse


Membrane distillation technology which achieves zero-emission

Principle: Membrane distillation is the process of driving water vapor through capor pressure difference (temperature difference), then passing through a hydrophobic microporous membrane, and condensing into pure water.

Advantages: membrane distillation technology theoretically 100% rejection rate of membrane distillation technology; low operating temperature and waste heat can be used; low operation pressure; low equipment investment; barely no membrane fouling problem; long service life. The regular recovery rate of the conventional seawater desalination system is less than 40-50%, with this coupling process, it could treat the high salt water which is reversed osmosis desalination, and reduce the high salt water discharge to 30%, to realize high efficiency usage of water and energy resources.


Membrane distillation technology


Membrane biogas purification technology

Principle: the gas separation membrane is a technology to use the polymer membranes’ different selective permeability to different gas, and separate the gas. It an indispensable part of waste water recycling to apply membrane technology to biogas purification.

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