While its well-known Reverse Osmosis membranes were developed in the early 1960s and commercialized in the 1970s, it may be surprising to learn the first MBR system was also introduced in the 1960s. The first MBR patent was assigned to Dorr-Oliver in 1968, where the membrane treated a side-stream portion of the mixed liquor, see Figure 1 below. Issues with this design included high cost of membranes, low economic value of product and rapid loss of performance due to fouling. Twenty-one years later, the breakthrough for MBRs occurred in 1989, with the pioneering work of Yamamoto, where the MBR module was directly immersed in an aerated tank. Instead of pumping mixed liquor to the membrane module, treated effluent is pulled by vacuum through the membrane, see Figure 2, item c and d.
This presentation is available to AMTA Members only.
- Susan Guibert
- Toray Membrane USA, Inc.
- AMTA/AWWA Membrane Technology Conference, Las Vegas
- AMTA/AWWA Membrane Technology Conference
- Flat-Sheet MBR, Reverse Osmosis