Use of Bioreactors in Sewage Treatment

Bioreactor has been accepted as multi-purpose tools and is a great demand. The growing demand can be related to the uses in many ways especially in sewage treatment purpose.

The understanding of bioreactor and membrane bioreactor is actually important to understand why it is very require for these treatment. Also, the understanding of quality of the membrane bioreactor (MBR), which was created from the combination of membrane process like microfiltration, and also ultrafiltration and now is trusted as a sewage treatment method are important in making the wastewater treatment done perfectly.

This review thesis is meant to provide an overview during the last several years in these technologies of the backdrop, types of membrane bioreactor and the sewage treatment method using membrane bio reactor. Provide some relevant types of this application strategies from recent research.



1. 1 Track record Studies

Bioreactor is a vessel that provides out the chemical substance process, which can either be anaerobic or aerobic, where biochemically or organism chemicals that being derived from organism are participating. These bioreactors are usually cylinder. varies in proportions from liters to cubic meters, and commonly manufactured from stainless steel to avoid oxidization process.

It is also certain as any device or system that supports a biologically productive environment, device or system that are used to increase cell or cells in the cell culture process which nowadays developed extensively for tissue engineering usage.

In basic setting of operation, it can be split into batch reactor, fed batch reactor and continuous reactor. We will discuss about this later.

Meanwhile, by using bioreactor, it'll suspend and immobilize the organism that growing in it. A couple of two method that is easy method where petri dish with agar as a nutrient are used to grow bacterias and large size immobilized method such as Moving Foundation Biofilm Reactor(MBBR), packed bed, fibrous foundation and membrane method.

1. 2 Bioreactor Design

Bioreactor design is researched under the biochemical executive discipline which is a complex engineering activity. The microorganism and cells in it is capable of doing completely rate of success of the desired function even they are simply in maximum conditions. To make this happened flawlessly, we have to monitored and manipulated strongly the bioreactor's environmental conditions such as gas flow rates, heat range, pH, and dissolved air levels as well as the agitation acceleration and circulation rate.

The bioreactor must be easily cleansed and works as smooth as you possibly can to avoid Fouling that can harm the overall sterility and efficiency of the bioreactor, especially the heat exchanger. That's the reason why bioreactor are round shape built.

To maintain the bioprocess at a regular temperature, high temperature exchange is necessary. Refrigeration is needed in most case of bioreactors because the major source of warmth in bioreactors comes from biological fermentation. Refrigerated can be done by using an exterior jacket or with inner coils for a very large vessel.

The most difficult task to perform in an anaerobic bioreactor process is the optimal oxygen transfer. Oxygen is required to mix nutrients and to keep the fermentation homogenous, which is helped by agitation to copy it. That's why, in practice, to raise the solubility of air in water, bioreactors are pressurized.

1. 3 Types of bioreactor

There are extensive type of bioreactor that been use by company across the world such as Radial Stream bioreactor, Membrane bioreactor, Mechatronic bioreactor and others. Here I am going to introduce a little about frequently used bioreactor like Moving Foundation Biofilm Reactor (MBBR), batch reactor, packed bed reactor, Photo Bioreactor (PBR) and ongoing reactor.

Photo Bioreactor

PBR is a bioreactor that consumes some form of light sources. Virtually all the transparent box could be called PBR but it is more used as a closed system. Small phototrophic organism such as cyanobacteria, or algae are grown up by Picture bioreactors and photosynthesis light can be used as their energy sources which means that sugars or lipid are not required as energy sources.

Batch Reactor

Batch reactor is a vessel that broadly use in the process industries such as stable dissolutions, product mixing, chemical reactions, batch distillation, crystallization, liquid extraction and polymerization. It really is formed of a tank with an agitator and integral heating up/cooling system that fluctuate in size. Adaptability or capacities is its advantages where a single vessel without the need to break containment can perform a collection of different businesses.

Continuous Reactor

Continuous reactor is also known as flow reactors can take materials as a flowing stream and greatly use in substance and natural process within the meals, substance and pharmaceutical sectors. It size is smaller than batch reactor which makes higher mixing machine rates possible and designed as pipes with or without baffles or group of interconnected stages. Due to their great heat copy capacities, it can cope with higher reactant concentrations. And by varying the run time, their end result can be modified which will lead to improve the operating versatility.

Packed Foundation Reactor

Packed foundation reactor is a reactor that most often used to catalyze gas reactions which are filled with stable catalyst particles. The top of catalyst is where the chemical response took place. Employing this reactor, change per weight catalyst can be acquired greater than other catalytic reactor. Rather than the volume of the reactor, the effect rate is dependant on the quantity of the sound catalyst.

1. 3. 5 Moving Bed Biofilm Reactor (MBBR)

MBBR process is a process that used the activated sludge and other biofilm system advantages without having to be restrained by their negatives and it is based on the aerobic biofilm basic principle. The biofilm providers that are made from polyethylene give a protected surface area for the biofilm and optimum conditions for the bacterial culture to develop. It's imply that less spaced are needed by bacterias to grow compared to other biological systems and much less control. The sole control points for this system are nutritional levels and DO (Dissolved Oxygen) level. It is trusted as facilities to remove BOD/COD from wastewater treatment streams as well as for nitrogen removal.

1. 4 Market

According to Business Communications Company (BCC), Inc. , all bioreactors market was valued at $275 million in 1997 and expected to increase to $380 million in 2002 which suggest 6. 6% of average annual growth rate (AAGR).

Below is the table of estimated of total U. S bioreactor market size and expansion of 1997 and 2002 in Million U. S Money.

From here we can conclude that bioreactor market will increased from calendar year to year due to get from all sector to work with the bioreactor in their field.


1. 1 Background Studies

Membrane bioreactor (MBR) is process that blended membrane process like microfiltration or ultrafiltration process with a suspended growth bioreactor. It really is use around the globe widely in commercial wastewater treatment. MBR process could produce outflow of high quality enough to be discharged to be discharged to coastal, brackish or surface waterways when being used with home wastewater.

The features of MBR process is small footprint, east retrofit and update of old wastewater treatment vegetation. You can find two MBR settings exist which is internal part where the membrane are plunged in and essential to the biological reactor and the other part is external or downstream part where membranes are different unit process needing an intermediate pumping step.

The MBR had been pushed to become an established process for the wastewater treatment after the recent technical creativity and significant membrane cost reduction. It has been estimated that the existing MBR market to value around US$216 million in 2006 and also to grow to US$363 million by 2010 which become facts that the MBR process is currently become the number one option for the treatment and reuse of wastewater treatment.

1. 2 History

As soon as ultrafiltration and microfiltration membranes were available, the MBR process was presents around the overdue 1960s. Dorr-Oliver Inc. was the one that responsible in presenting the original process and blended the use of an activated sludge bioreactor with a combination flow membrane purification loop. Even though the idea was great, it was hard to utilize the process due to the high cost of membranes, low financial value of the product and the potential immediate lack of performance scheduled to membrane fouling.

With the idea from Yamamoto and fellow workers to submerge the membranes in the bioreactor, the breakthrough for the MBR arrived at 1989. Before that, the separation device located exterior to the reactor and relied on high Trans membrane pressure to keep filtration but with the idea from Yamamoto, the membrane directly plunged into the bioreactor, submerged MBR systems preferred to area stream configuration. To create combining and limit fouling, the submerged settings relies on coarse bubble aeration and the vitality demand of it could be up to 2 purchases of magnitude lower than the side stream system. In addition, it performs at lower flux which leads to demand more membrane area. Aeration is considered as the major parameter on process performances both hydraulic and biological in submerged configurations and it keeps solids in suspension system, scours the membrane surface and air to biomass which lead to better biodegradability and cell synthesis.

The acceptance of modest fluxes and the theory to work with two-phase bubbly flow to control fouling were the other important steps in the recent MBR development. From the mid-90s, prompted by the lower operating cost obtained with submerged configuration along with the steady reduction in the membrane cost, an exponential increase have been seen in MBR flower installations. Since that time, MBR design and procedure have been increased further by introduced and integrated into larger plant life. The recent craze, which made MBR to use in lower sturdy retention times around 10-20 times, made them more manageable combined liquor suspended solids (MLSS) levels around 10-15 g/L. With this new operating status, the oxygen copy and the pumping cost in MBR have cut down and overall maintenance has been simplified.



Environment of city have been one of the important thing for the citizen. Nowadays, we can see people have a tendency to pay more and more attention to the surroundings. The sewage treatment is vital especially for city with high inhabitants. The sequencing batch reactor (SBR) is a traditional sewage treatment method which combines the biology reactor and the supplementary settling reservoir, and the sludge parting is completed by the gravity action in the gravity action in the extra settling container. The parting efficiency depends upon the settleability of the sludge which mean the better settleability is, the higher the separating efficiency will be but in request, the settleability of the sludge is hard to control which lead to unstable treatment effect. So, people tend to change to membrane bioreactor (MBR) which is a sewage treatment technique using membrane separating process instead of the extra settling tank. It could avoid the challenge of hard control of the settleability and can displace the secondary settling tank which means it surpassed the SBR sewage treatment technique and the membrane separating approach.

MBR is a sewage treatment method with high efficiency and extensive application. It gets the advantages of high sludge concentration, good normal water out quality, low sludge production and small conformation set alongside the traditional SBR methods. Even though this system is effectively applied in the sewage treatment system, it still has the problem like triggering membrane fouling, huge cost of energy and the sludge will probably lose, where the membrane fouling is the main factor. In addition, it can lead to the destroy of the sludge separating function which signify the system working has to depend on upgrading the membrane groupware that will lead to increase of the price of the reactor and interrupt the operating period. In order to get yourself a long-time and steady running effect, the membrane fouling must be resolved and the modeling approach to membrane fouling is an effective method to illustrate and predict the membrane fouling.

Below, one modeling approach to membrane fouling will be examined which is the method predicated on Radial Basic Function Neuron Network (RBFNN).


2. 21 Membrane Fouling

Membrane fouling is an ailment when the membrane flux becomes lower and the separating capability of the membrane become low. That is happened when the stable particle and colloid particle or the solute big numerator in the sewage will create some physics and chemistry action with the membrane or the adsorption in the membrane aperture. This will likely result in diminish or jam of the membrane aperture and can lead to improve of the amount of resistance of breaking through of drinking water of the membrane which impede the dissolution and diffusing on the membrane surface. The result factor of membrane fouling is numerous and complicated but the key factor are the property of the membrane, the working condition and the grade of the merged sludge fluid.

2. 22 Related Membrane Properties

The membrane properties that related with the membrane fouling will be the membrane material, how big is the membrane aperture, membrane placement function, the porosity, the electric demand quality, the coarseness and the super hydrophobic properties. The flux of inorganic membrane is bigger than the organism membrane in line with the preceding research however the huge cost of inorganic membrane limited its software in the membrane biology reactor. Under the same running condition, the various membrane material and different membrane aperture in the membrane biology reactor have different fouling trend and generally, the membrane with aperture distributing in the range of 0. 05-0. 2 micrometer (m) gets the biggest flux.

2. 23 The Operating Condition

The functioning conditions of the membrane reactor mainly includes the entered-water quality, the sludge era, the sludge burden, the aerstion gas variety, the framework of the reactor, the operating pressure, temperatures and the pumping time. When the reactor with heavy burden worked well more than 40 day, it pump stress attach fast, the membrane flux lower quickly which lead the membrane cant resume even cleanout. On the other hand, the reactor with low burden still has deviation after 120 day operating. The aeration amount affects the membrane stress when the sludge awareness is high.

2. 23 Affects from the Operating Pressure (TMP)

The impact mainly embodies in the thickness and denseness of polluted layer. Filtrate resistance increase when the gelatin level of the membrane outside become denser which lead to reduce of membrane flux. High TMP will improve the membrane flux but also increase the procedure stress which mean increasing in operation cost.

2. 24 Mixed Sludge Fluid

The properties of sludge mixed smooth is the sludge attentiveness, the size of sludge granule, the electric charge in surface of sludge, the colloid particle in the combined fluid and the deliquescent organism. The increase of sludge attention always goes with the variance of mixed-fluid viscosity, dissolutive organism and inertia materials which will impact the membrane flux. In case the sludge awareness is high, it place on the membrane surface and form a solid sludge layer that make the filtrate resistance increase and membrane flux cut down if the attentiveness is low, the adsorption capacity and soluble organic and natural chemical substance degrader will reduce that will lead to diminish of membrane flux.


2. 24 Feature parameters

Radial Basic Function Network comprises three layers that happen to be input layer, concealed layer and end result layer. The suggestions level point transmit suggestions signal to reach hidden layer, concealed tiers point are explained by the Gauss kernel function and result coating point are describes by the linear function.

The first process of recognition the membrane fouling degree of MBR is to accumulate sample data. The characteristics variables that correlate with membrane fouling amount of MBR must be extracting to collect the sample. We are able to accumulate multi characteristics but all of them can't be the insight vector of sample because among them, some single characteristic parameter can't possess the direct significant and it is possible they correlative with each other that will create the redundancy of information so we have to choose the key parameters. The main element parameter which is some minority feature which decided on from the obtained multitude parameters and also have the most affiliations and most sensitive response with membrane fouling level. The key variables that have the main degree of relationship with the membrane fouling degree will be choose as the insight neuron of RBFN.

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