EU pushes MBR as novel wastewater technology

The European Commission is boosting development and application of membrane bioreactor (MBR) processes for municipal wastewater treatment by financing two projects. The two consortia include 25 European universities, research centres, enterprises and MBR plant operators. Ttwo Australian universities and a South-African one also are involved. The global project totals about $14.1 million of which the EU contribution amounts to $7.04 million and the Australian government's to about $586,244...

BERLIN, Nov. 10, 2005 -- The European Commission has decided to boost the development and application of European membrane bioreactor (MBR) processes for municipal wastewater treatment through financing two projects within the scope of its 6th Framework Program. The two consortia include 25 European universities, research centres, enterprises and MBR plant operators. Furthermore two Australian universities and one South-African university are involved. The global project envelope totals to around EUR 12 million [US$14.1 million] of which the European Commission's contribution to the projects amounts to EUR 6 million [US$7.04 million] and of the Australian government to approximately EUR 500,000 [US$586,244].

The projects "AMEDEUS" and "EUROMBRA" started in October 2005 and are scheduled for three years. They focus on research and development of the membrane activated sludge technology. This recent invention, commonly referred to as membrane bioreactor (MBR), is already implemented worldwide on a large scale to treat industrial wastewater, and is considered as a key technology to achieve advanced municipal wastewater purification in the future. Compared to conventional technologies, the MBR enables complete disinfection of the treated water, and may lead to superior elimination of trace substances and emerging pollutants.

The cluster of two projects targets ambitious objectives:
• Reducing both capital and operation costs of the MBR technology in Europe in order to increase its competitiveness with respect to conventional technologies;
• Increasing the share of European companies in the market of MBR plants, in the EU as well as worldwide, while strengthening the European MBR market;
• Facilitating the implementation of the European directive on wastewater treatment, and bathing waters, as well as increasing the potential for non-potable reuse of treated effluent.

For further information, contact KompetenzZentrum Wasser Berlin GmbH (www.kompetenz-wasser.de) or the Department of Hydraulic and Environmental Engineering at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, in Trondheim, Norway (www.ntnu.no/indexe.php or www.ivt.ntnu.no/ivm/english/).

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