Japan/Singapore: Energy-Saving Membrane Technology Mitsubishi Electric to Field Test Ozone Backwashing Bioreactor

Editor: Alexander Stark

Mitsubishi Electric Corporation announced that it will conduct a field test of its Ozone Backwashing Energy-Saving Membrane Bioreactor (Eco-MBR).

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(Picture: Mitshubishi Electric)

Tokyo/Japan – The technology is intended for use in the recycling of sewage and industrial wastewater with low energy consumption at the Public Utilities Board's (PUB), Singapore's national water agency, Changi Water Reclamation Plant.

The company expects the field test to verify that their Eco-MBR potentially reduces energy consumption and increases the quantity of permeated water per membrane filter surface area (flux), compared to conventional technologies.

It is based on a filter-cleaning process using ozonated water. Mitsubishi Electric is now developing practical applications for sewage, industrial water treatment and recycling systems, which they expect to contribute to global efforts to achieve sustainable water environments.

Due to limited water resources in Singapore, the government and industry are applying water-reuse solutions to provide alternative, sustainable supplies of water, especially for industrial use. Currently, Singapore's supply of potable recycled water is sufficient to meet 30 % of the nation's water needs. The pilot-scale study will be carried out in cooperation with the "Pub" and the Centre for Water Research at the National University Singapore until December 2016. Commercialization of the Eco-MBR is scheduled by the year 2018.

According to Misubishi Electric, tests so far have shown that the Bioreactor is able to achieve a high-quantity flux, or quantity of permeated water per membrane surface area, that is more than twice the rate of conventional MBRs. The key is regularly backwashing the membranes with highly concentrated ozonated water to remove virtually all organic foulants, thereby increasing membrane permeability. In addition, the bioreactor was lowering energy consumption by using a reduced flow rate for air bubbles that are emitted from a blower to clean the membrane surfaces. The company also claims that their technology enabled the use of fewer membranes, resulting in smaller plant and system footprints.

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