Why are Membrane Bioreactors Becoming the First Investment Choice for Water Treatment Businesses?

14 Feb



  • Introduction
  • Advantages of employing MBR technology in municipal wastewater treatment
  • Product launches and business offerings in the industry

Water scarcity is one of the gravest problems faced by humanity today. With the majority of the fresh water sources drying up, the world is increasingly facing problems related to lack of safe drinking water. Hence, the emphasis on purifying the unclean and impure water sources has increased. Various technologies have been devised which help in water treatment and purification. One such technology used for water purification is membrane bioreactor technology. MBR technology uses membrane bioreactors for different water treatment processes such as microfiltration and ultrafiltration. These bioreactors employ membranes that act as a medium of transport for certain substances, while at the same time rejecting the passage of other elements.

How do membrane bioreactors help municipal bodies in wastewater treatment?

In almost all countries across the globe, the responsibility of providing citizens with clean and safe drinking water lies with the local authorities like municipalities and municipal councils. Over the years, the credibility of MBR technology has increased substantially owing to the amazing results that have been given as far as wastewater treatment is concerned. Firstly, studies have shown that MBR technology offers high quality water treatment. The water collected after treatment is completely free from microorganisms, suspended particles, and biomatter. In fact, research has shown that the treated water can be used directly for consumption and is safe for releasing in natural water bodies also.

Another important advantage of using these bioreactors is that they have a high volumetric load capacity. This is extremely important for municipal bodies as the volume of wastewater generated by a city, or a suburban area is huge. In such a scenario, other water treatment technologies, due to their low volumetric capacity, become unsuitable for municipal uses.

Despite their high volumetric capacity, these bioreactors are extremely compact in size and have a much smaller footprint as compared to conventional technologies. A comparison with Classical Activated Sludge (CAS) technology has shown that membrane bioreactors occupy just 50% of the space of what CAS treatment machinery requires. This increases the applicability of MBR technology as the compactness of these bioreactors helps in their installation in small, congested spaces in rural areas.

A main problem associated with many wastewater treatment technologies is that the sludge that is left behind needs to be disposed off frequently; else it starts contaminating the entire process. MBR technology provides an edge in this aspect also; these bioreactors work in such a manner that minimal sludge is produced in the first place. Moreover, frequent disposal of sludge isn’t required. Since most municipal bodies are short on manpower, frequent disposal of sludge becomes difficult. In such a case, MBR technology becomes a perfect solution.

Role of private players in strengthening the position of the industry

Owing to the widespread water pollution caused by industrial effluents, many countries have enacted policies that make it mandatory for industries to treat the wastewater before releasing it into the natural water bodies. As a result, apart from municipal bodies, many industries too have started adopting MBR technology for treating industrial effluents before they are released in the environment. In order to cater to the demands of many such end-use industries, companies operating in the water treatment industry have started investing in MBR technology. Many major companies have even launched their own products to establish their dominance in the membrane bioreactor industry.

For instance, in October 2020, Thermax, a multinational company specializing in energy and environmental solutions, announced the launch of atoM, a compact sewage recycling system. The company released a statement after that launch revealing the details of this sewage recycling system. Powered by MBR technology, the system is extremely easy to install and offers easy maintenance features.

Similarly, in September 2022, Evac, a leading sustainable technologies developer, announced the launch of a new MBR technology-powered wastewater treatment plant. The company has claimed that the newly launched treatment facility filters up to 99% of the microplastics. Such product launches have helped the industry to increase its footprint across the globe.

To summarize, MBR technology has certain inherent advantages which makes it perfect for municipal wastewater treatment. In the past few years, owing to the growing adoption of this technology by various end-use industries, many companies in the industry have launched their own products, thus helping the industry to flourish.

For recommendations and suggestions on how to capitalize on the opportunities offered by the membrane bioreactor industry, feel free to contact us.

Rosy Behera

Rosy Behera

Author's Bio- Rosy Behera holds a bachelor’s degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering and now she is a content writer by profession. She loves to portray her thoughts and ideas with a nice command of words. Grabbing an audience with her creative write-ups is one of her biggest assets so far. Apart from writing, she is a certified “Odisi” dancer and has done Gardharva in Drawing, Painting, and Arts. She always explores new things through travel and is a big foodie.


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