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NITIE, Mumbai

Moving Bed Biofilm


Process
An Innovation in Wastewater Treatment

Anant Maheshwari
PGDISEM Class of 2011
CONTENT

INTRODUCTION …………………………………………… 3

BIOLOGICAL TREATMENT PROCESSES …………………………………………… 3

Purpose …………………………………………… 3

Principle …………………………………………… 3

Types …………………………………………… 3

BIOFILMS …………………………………………… 4

Advantages of Biofilm Processes …………………………………………… 5

Biofilm Systems in use …………………………………………… 5

MOVING BED BIOFILM PROCESS …………………………………………… 6

Principle …………………………………………… 6

Applications …………………………………………… 6

Process Design & Engineering …………………………………………… 7

Advantages …………………………………………… 8

BIOFILM CARRIERS …………………………………………… 9

Characteristics of Biofilm Carriers …………………………………………… 10

CASE STUDY …………………………………………… 11

Case of AstraZeneca, Sweden …………………………………………… 11

Case of ITC Ltd., PSPD Div., Andhra Pradesh …………………………………………… 14

REFERENCES …………………………………………… 17
INTRODUCTION
Biological Treatment Process:
Purpose:

The idea behind all Biological methods of wastewater treatment is to introduce contact with
bacteria (cells), which feed on the organic materials in the wastewater. Biological treatment
processes are based on the activity of microorganisms and the main objectives are:

Transform dissolved and particulate biodegradable constituents into acceptable end


products.
Transform or remove nutrients as N and P.
Remove or reduce concentration of organic or inorganic compounds.

Principle:

Microorganisms eat the organic material present in the wastewater. Through their
metabolism, the organic material is transformed into cellular mass, which is no longer in
solution but can be precipitated at the bottom of a settling tank or retained as slime on solid
surfaces or vegetation in the system. The water exiting the system is then much clearer than
it entered it.

Types:

Suspended Growth Process:

The microorganisms responsible for the treatment are maintained in the suspended state. It
is commonly known as Activated Sludge process.

It consists in a set of two basins. In the first, air is pumped through perforated pipes at the
bottom of the basin. This provides oxygen form of air to the water and creates highly
turbulent conditions that favor intimate contact between cells, the organic material in the
water and oxygen. The second basin is a settling tank, where water flow is made to be very
quiet so that the cellular material may be removed by gravitational settling.

Schematic View of Suspended Growth Process


Activated Growth Process:

The microorganisms responsible for the treatment are attached to an inert packing material.
A very common example of this process is Trickling Filter.

It consists in a bed of fist-size rocks over which the wastewater is gently sprayed by a
rotating arm. Slime (fungi, algae) develops on the rock surface, growing by intercepting
organic material from the water as it trickles down.

Schematic View of Attached Growth Process

Biofilm:
A biofilm is a structured community of bacterial and other
microbial cells enclosed in a polymeric matrix and
adhered on an inert or living surface.

Biofilms consists of three components:


Microorganisms
Extracellular Polymeric Substances (EPS)
Surface
Advantages of Biofilm Processes:

Higher process productivity (loading rates)


Higher biomass holdup
Higher mean cell residence time
No need for biomass recirculation
Creates suitable environment for each type of bacteria
Sustains toxic loads

Biofilm Systems in use:

Rotating Biological Contactor (RBC)


Trickling filter
Fixed media submerged biofilters Rotating Biological Contactor (RBC)
Granular media biofilters
Moving Bed Biofilm Reactor (MBBR)
Fluidized bed reactors

Trickling filter Moving Bed Biofilm Reactor Fluidized bed reactors


MOVING BED BIOFILM PROCESS
Principle:

The basic principle of the moving bed process is the growth of the biomass on plastic
supports that move in the biological reactor via agitation generated by aeration systems
(aerobic reactors) or by mechanical systems (in anoxic or anaerobic reactors). The supports
are made from plastic with a density close to 1 g/cm3 letting them move easily in the reactor
even when the capacity reaches 70%.

The moving bed processes come from the current trend in waste water treatment, from the
use of systems that offer an increased specific surface in the reactor for the growth of the
biomass, achieving significant reductions in the biological reactor volume.

Suspension within the reactor is kept in continuous movement by either aeration (in aerobic
reactors) or mechanical mixers (in anaerobic and anoxic reactors).

Aerobic Reactor with Aeration System Anaerobic Reactor with Mechanical Stirrer

Initially fixed bed systems were used, however it was discovered that this type of process
show a series of operational inconveniences such as the blocking of the bed because of the
excessive growth of the biomass, this makes periodical cleaning obligatory. These
drawbacks have caused the need for the creation of simple biofilm processes that eliminate
them and that ease their operation; these are the moving bed processes.

Applications:

This type of process can be applied both to treatment plants for the biodegradation of
organic material as well as for installations with nutrient elimination, in urban and industrial
wastewaters. Another application is the use of this technology in the redesign of current
activated sludge processes, which only treat organic material, to expand them and include
simple nitrogen elimination without the need to construct new biological reactors.
With respect to the aeration system is via a grid of perforated stainless steel tubes that
avoid problems of efficiency loss, diffuser replacement, etc.

MBBR is widely used in all kinds of industries across the globe for various purposes.
Following industries are using MBBR as the biological treatment unit in their treatment
plant:

Municipal Wastewater
Food Processing Industry
Pulp & Paper Industry
Pharmaceutical Industry
Petroleum / Chemical Industry Electronics
Fish Farming

Schematic diagram of MBBR system

Process Design & Engineering:

Major components of the system are:


a. Media
b. Stainless Steel
c. Aeration System
d. Stainless Steel
e. Sieve Assemblies
f. Tank
g. Blowers
h. Instrumentation & Controls

Certain other features of the system are as follows:


Media Retention:
A stainless steel wedge wire sieve is used to retain the media.

Aeration Grid:
A stainless steel grid mounted at the bottom. The grid is connected to high efficiency
blowers which produces a medium bubble which provides the necessary mixing.

Operated at a DO concentration of 5 - 7 mg/l.


Retention times in the MBBR tank are in the order of 15 to 30 minutes.
Followed by an efficient particle separation to remove particulate matter.
Settling is enhanced by Coagulation (retention time 15-20 mins.) followed by separation
by floatation, cloth or filtration.

Aerobic reactor with aeration system Anoxic reactor with horizontally shaft
and vertically mounted mounted mixers and
cylindricalbar sieves rectangular mesh sieves

Advantages compared to conventional biological processes:

In general, the main advantages shown by the moving bed process compared to
conventional biological processes are:

A reduction in the volume of the biological reactor because it uses a support or carrier
that gives a high specific surface.

They are very flexible processes since they are based on the percentage of plastic
support used in the reactor, it is recommended that it is not greater than 70%, the
surface can be modified and as a consequence the efficiency of the process.
It does not require reactor biomass recirculation – This gives rise to the fact that the
biomass does not depend on the final separation of the sludge and as a consequence
typical problems found in conventional activated sludge processes related to the
sedimentation properties of the sludge (filamentous bulking, etc.).

The operation and control is simple for this type of processes.- On the one hand the
process avoids blockage problems and consequently regular cleaning periods, in addition
it is not necessary to control the sludge purging since the system keeps the biomass in
the reactor until it comes off the support.

It allows the generation of a characteristic biomass for each type of reactor (aerobic,
anoxic or anaerobic) bringing about the creation of a biofilm with a high level of activity.
Experimentally it has been confirmed that the levels of nitrification and denitrification in
this type of processes are greater than those obtained in conventional processes.

Operational stability and maintenance:

The Moving Bed Biofilm process requires no sludge recirculation and has a robust
operational design regarding factors such as temporary limitation of nutrients, toxicity, as
well as pH- and temperatures shocks.

These factors may temporarily reduce the biological capacity of the biofilm system, but will
not significantly affect the biomass in the reactor. Due to the continuous movement and
pre-treatment by means of screening the MBB process is generally not prone to clogging.
However, in upgrading existing treatment plants that operate without primary settling and
rather large screen sizes, the carrier material should be chosen correspondingly to prevent
clogging.

Biofilm Carriers:

The core of the process is the biofilm carrier elements on which attached growth of
microorganisms takes place. The elements are made from polyethylene with a density
slightly lower than water. The biofilm carrier elements are kept suspended in the water by
air from the diffusors in aerobic reactors and by means of propeller mixers in anaerobic and
anoxic reactors. The carrier elements are retained by means of suitably sized sieves or
plates.

The original KMB carrier elements are about 7 mm long and 10 mm in diameter and
designed to provide a large protected surface for the biofilm and optimal conditions for the
bacteria culture when the elements are circulated in the water. The carrier elements are
wheel shaped with longitudinal fins at the outside. They are made of polyethylene having a
density of 0.96 g/cm3, which allow easy movement of the carrier material in the completely
mixed tanks. The carrier material is retained by perforated plates (usually 5x25 mm).
The reactors are normally filled up to 67% of their volume with biofilm carrier elements
corresponding to an effective biofilm area of 250 to 350m2/m3 water volume, depending on
the carrier shape and size used. Due to the shape of the carrier elements, only 12% of the
water is displaced.

Moving bed plastic media Bacteria in plastic media

Characteristics of The Anox Kaldnes Biofilm Carriers


CASE STUDY #1

Pharmaceuticals Company

Södertälje, Sweden

Company Profile:

- A world leading pharmaceutical company with a world-class biologics capability.

- Active in over 100 countries with a growing presence in important emerging markets
including China; corporate office in London, UK; and major R&D sites in Sweden, the UK and
the US.

- Sales in 2008 totalled $31.6 billion.

- 26 manufacturing sites in 18 countries .


Background:

In 1992, AstraZeneca approached AnoxKaldnes in order to obtain a state of the art solution
for a new treatment plant. The wastewater from the pharmaceutical production was highly
toxic and in addition contained many difficult-to-degrade organic compounds.

The recipient was the very sensitive Lake Mälaren, which surrounds several cities including
the capital Stockholm. To be able to discharge the wastewater into Lake Mälaren it had to
be totally detoxified and at thesame time at least 95% of the organic content had to be
removed.

Solution:

Several activated sludge processes were initially unsuccessfully tested. The main problem
was that the wastewater was toxic not only for animals and plants but also for the bacteria
used in biological treatment processes.

An R & D project was then launched basedon the newly developed Natrix™ biological
process. It was demonstrated that only certain microfungi could resist and break down the
toxic compounds.

The Natrix™ technology is different in the carrier it uses. The patented Natrix™ carrier is
normally from 31 to 50 mm in length and from 31 to 60 mm in diameter. The carriers are
injection moulded high density polyethylene/calcium carbonate. The filling volume is
typically 30 to 50% of the reactor volume. The Natrix™ process can treat wastewater
with total suspended solids contents of 1000 to 2000 mg/l, up to this moment the process
has been nearly exclusively used in industrial applications.

A tailor-made treatment process in six stages was develope d. In the first three MBBR
reactors fungal growth is promoted by lowering pH to 4. In the following three stages, when
the wastewater was detoxified, pH is adjusted to 7 to promote bacteria that take care of the
residual organic compounds.
Dimensioning:

The flow is approx. 1800 m3/d. Incoming TOC averaging 440 kg/d but varies considerably
because of batch-wise production. The hydraulic retention time in each reactor is 3-4 h. The
biological treatment process is complemented with chemical phosphorous precipitation and
polishing with activated carbon and a sand filter to takecare of any residual toxicity and
suspended solids, respectively.

Results:

The treatment plant has been operational since 1997 and the treatment results have been
superior. In addition, the built-in tolerance to peak loads and toxicity in the Natrix™
biological process has provided a very stable operation that could not have been obtained
with conventional treatment processes.

The treated wastewater is totally detoxifyed by the action of the microfungi that also takes
care of 80% of TOC.

The bacterial communities in the following reactors remove additional organic substances
so that the overall TOC removal is 97%.

Approximately 80% of incoming nitrogen is removed (far more than the discharge limit) and
Phosphorous removal is 99%.

During the years, environmental studies of the discharge point have shown that the
recipient has not received any residual toxicity from the treatment process and that the
amounts of nitrogen, phosphorous, COD and suspended solids have decreased in the area.
CASE STUDY #2

ITC Limited

Paperboards & Specialty Papers Division


Bhadrachalam, Andhra Pradesh

Company Profile:

PSPD, a Division of ITC Ltd, is India’s largest and most technology advanced Pulp & Paper
business

Unit Bhadrachalam is India’s largest single location integrated paperboard co. of capacity 4.0
lac TPA Paper and Paper Board

30% Market share in 2008-09 : growing to 45% by 2009-10 in paperboards segment

Usage of 90,000 TPA Recycled fiber


Treatment Facilities at site:

Mechanical pre-treatment
o Bar screen
o primary clarifier

Biological treatment
o Activated sludge
o MBBR

Post treatment
o Clarifier (Mechanical)

ETP Flow sheet


Process Design:

Number of reactors : 2

Reactor dimensions: 21.3 m x 21.2 m x 8 m (WxLxH)

Water depth : 7 m

Reactor volume : 3200 m3 each

Media type : Biofilm-Chip P

Amount of media : 320 m3 in each reactor

Void volume : 80%

MBBR Inlet Conditions:

Parameter Unit Design

Flow m3/d 44,000

pH std. unit 6-8

0
Temperature C Max 40

TSS mg/l <120

COD mg/l 720

Results:

Parameter Unit MBBR inlet MBBR outlet

COD mg/l 1120 672

BOD5 mg/l 450 60

Achieved COD reduction by 40 % at MBBR outlet

Achieved BOD5 reduction by 87%


REFERENCES

http://www.sciencedirect.com

http://www.greenbusinesscentre.org

http://www.veoliawaterst.com/processes/lib//pres/DB16yRyQ59FJ5S17v5bWSb3
v.pdf

http://www.accaglobalgroup.com/EEC_HOW_SYSTEMS_WORKS.pdf

http://www.sabesp.com.br/sabesp/filesmng.nsf/570F9FE72CBC3BB2832574F2005
81095/$File/mbbr_chandler_johnson.pdf

http://www.scipub.org/fulltext/ajes/ajes46675-682.pdf

http://www.xauat.edu.cn/FUWWS-XIAN2005/keynote-pdf/Hallvard.pdf

www.anoxkaldnes.com

http://www.water.siemens.complications/wastewater_treatment/Pages/Granado
r_Juice.aspx

http://www.veoliawaterst.com/processes/lib//pres/DADC813X5P3s5ERP572ZV4L
b.pdf