What is MBBR technology?

What does MBBR stand for?

MBBR technology uses bacterial supports, called MBBR media, which are like buildings for bacteria. These “buildings” move through the water to be purified, to bring the greatest number of bacteria into contact with the greatest amount of pollution. This is summed up with the acronym MBBR: “Moving Bed Biofilm Reactor” or in French “réacteur à lit fluidisé”.

How does MBBR work?

Like any other water treatment technology, except that this technology can treat much more pollution in the same volume. Indeed, to treat water, 4 components are needed:

  • space for bacteria to grow
  • bacteria to “eat” pollution
  • air for them to breathe (like us in fact)
  • and a method of transport. In purification, it is about agitation.

Let’s take the case of activated sludge technology, which is widespread throughout the world:

  • You have to keep a large quantity of water to have enough space for the bacteria to grow (and especially to have time to eat the pollution)
  • The bacteria are found in the water where they multiply and where they are “recycled” with the recirculation.
  • We need to give them some air
  • And they need to be shaken. To simplify, let’s say that they are bacterial colonies of the “hunter-gatherer” type

MBBR technology works the same way:

  • MBBR media act as a building, and can accommodate a large amount of bacteria
  • The bacteria colonize the MBBR media, and grow as a biofilm. Each bacterial support is a small megalopolis of micro-organisms, which must be fed
  • and needs to be aired
  • And that it is also necessary to shake to put well in contact these “buildings with bacteria” with the pollution to be treated

With MBBR technology, we use the term “fluidized bed” because it is a mix between, on the one hand, free bacteria (hunter-gatherers) and, on the other hand, bacteria in the form of biofilms attached to their supports (buildings) that move freely in the biological reactor.

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What are the advantages of MBBR technology?

  • They are many of them, and the principal are : :

    • compactness:the more bacteria are concentrated, the smaller the total volume of the structure. On average, MBBR technology is 3 times more compact than activated sludge technology.
    • high tolerance to load variations:fixed cultures are more resistant in biofilm form, and are more resistant to hydraulic and organic load shocks. Attached to their supports, they are not “washed away” during storms.
    • Easy to operate: MBBR technology is operated just like an activated sludge plant.

How to design a MBBR basin for a wastewater treatment plant?

First of all, it is important to understand the incoming charges and the desired treatment objectives. The temperature of the water also impacts the sizing, the warmer the water the more efficient the bacteria will be.

With these loads, it is possible to calculate the required MBBR media surface. In general terms, this gives:

  • 4 to 10 gDBO5/m²/day for the carbon stage
  • from 0.4 to 1.5 gNH4/m²/day for the nitrification step
  • 1 to 3 gNO3/m²/day for denitrification

Then, the MBBR process is designed like a lego. According to the waste standards, the alkalinity of the water and other parameters, the following stages can be used:

  • pre-denitrification
  • nitrification
  • denitrification
  • recirculation
  • degassing
  • Post-denitrification

This is quite complex and each MBBR supplier knows the behavior of its bacterial support, and therefore has a specific sizing table for its media.

How to distinguish MBBR media?

Several criteria are involved:

  • Protected surface area of the media: the higher the protected surface area of the media, the less media will need to be purchased
  • Filling rate: it varies according to the application and the specific characteristics of the media. The filling rate impacts the volume of the structure. But we must not forget that there is a minimum “biological” residence time to respect. If the water flows through the reactor too quickly, the bacteria will not have time to clean up.
  • Aeration:to function, bacteria need air and also need to be agitated. The required air volume on an MBBR is often greater for stirring the media than the need for biological air. This has an effect on the operating balance, but fortunately this is not the case withMBBR 1H2O3 media.
  • Compression capacity:some media, including ours, can be compressed, which allows for significant savings in transportation.
  • Agitation:in addition to over-ventilation, some media require mechanical agitation.
  • Attrition resistance: it depends on the components of the MBBR media

Are you looking for a simple, ready-to-use solution? Our complete packages are made for you!

1H2O3 packages: custom built at standard prices

According to the properties of your input raw water and the removal efficiency to be achieved at the output, our engineers will create the package that will perfectly meet your objectives.

Like a lego, BOXes technologies are assembled to create your custom treatment process. Thus, MBBR BOXes can be combined with decantation, filtration, buffer tank BOXes… In addition, options such as UV disinfection, inlet and outlet flowmeters for self-monitoring…

With our 1H2O3 packages, you are assured of receiving a custom system that is professionally designed and assembled. The 1H2O3 packages are delivered as a single unit with their own control cabinet, ready to be connected and to purify water.

  • Easy delivery: shipping by land, air and sea
  • Simplified installation on a cement slab
  • Supervision and communication included
  • Easy access with anti-slip cover
  • Easy connections
  • BOXes assembled individually or in groups.
  • Easy to use and maintain
  • High energy efficiency through MBBR support
  • Corrosion resistance
  • Light and insulating materials
  • Long life expectancy
  • Several options: UV disinfection, flow meters, additional in-line sensors (T°C, pH, O2, redox, conductivity…), connected to the electrical cabinet
  • Alarm system by Wifi or SMS optional

All you have to do is to fix the package, connect the raw water and energy, and then start the treatment!

Some explanatory videos

Let's start today!

Whether it’s a simple lamellar clarifier or a complete customized system, our engineers can help you select the perfect combination of equipment for your needs.

Contact us now!

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