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Municipal Water and Waste Management

Membrane Technology
for Waste Water Treatment

Institut für
Siedlungswasserwirtschaft
der RWTH Aachen
Municipal Water and Waste Management

Membrane Technology
for Waste Water Treatment

Edited by:

Univ.-Prof. Dr.-Ing. Johannes Pinnekamp Dr. rer. nat. Harald Friedrich


Institute of Environmental Engineering Head of Department
of the RWTH Aachen University Waste Management, Soil Conservation,
Water Management
Ministry for Environment and Nature Conser-
vation, Agriculture and Consumer Protection
of the federal state North Rhine-Westphalia
Municipal Water and Waste Management
Volume 2

Membrane Technology
for Waste Water Treatment

Edited by:

Univ.-Prof. Dr.-Ing. Johannes Pinnekamp Dr. rer. nat. Harald Friedrich


Institute of Environmental Engineering Head of Department
of the RWTH Aachen University Waste Management, Soil Conservation,
Water Management
Ministry for Environment and Nature Conser-
vation, Agriculture and Consumer Protection
of the federal state North Rhine-Westphalia

Institut für
Siedlungswasserwirtschaft
der RWTH Aachen
Preface

Preface

Membrane technology for the treatment of water and In municipal waste water treatment, certain types of
waste water shows impressively how innovative, future- membrane installations – the biomembrane filtration
orientated, and economically meaningful environmental plants (membrane bioreactor process) – haven’t been
protection technology can be. In the past 100 years of used often so far, both for historical and economical
modern water and waste water treatment for households reasons. But the application of membrane processes in
and enterprises, no other new technology has been intro- municipal waste water treatment may be proven to be
duced offering so many positive effects like the membrane cost-effective, in particular if the following conditions
technology. occur:

Numerous different problems in water treatment can be • the space for the new construction or the expansion
solved, simultaneously resulting in significantly better for waste water treatment plants is limited,
cleaning of the waste water.
• the possibilities for subsequent recycling of the treated
Membrane technology allows the internal recovery and waste water are to be used,
reprocessing of solid and dissolved substances.
• advanced or additional standards for the effluent
Due to the wide range of available membranes and quality of the waste water are required,
modules, technically suitable systems for nearly every
type of problem in water treatment can be found. • toxic substances have to be removed,

A large number of scientific institutions, industrial enter- • hygienically excellent waste water quality is demanded.
prises, water suppliers and waste water boards have parti-
cipated in the development and application of membrane In Germany, the biomembrane filtration process has
technology. The Federal Government as well as the become competitive already today in the field of domestic
governments of the federal states support this technical and small waste water treatment plants as well as in ship
development. waste water treatment plants, and increasingly in muni-
cipal waste water treatment.
In Germany, membrane technology today represents a
proven alternative to classical processes of municipal and Membrane technology can be applied in diverse fields of
industrial waste water treatment. This pays off in terms industry, which is proven by a large number of references.
of ecology and economy because the usage of membrane In industrial waste water treatment, membrane technology
technology denotes fewer costs for water supply and is used for production-integrated pollution control.
waste water disposal as well as industrial production, and
also results in significantly less environmental stress.

4
Preface

With the help of membrane technology, water – the sol- This publication presents the membrane technology and
vent most frequently used in industry – can be cleaned its application in municipal and industrial waste water
to such an extent that it may be reused. The substances treatment in Germany according to the state of the art
filtered from the water may also be reused again for and science. Examples of installations realized in an in-
industrial processes. Although it’s impossible to realize a dustrial scale in municipalities and industrial enterprises
completely closed water circuit by membrane technology, demonstrate the range of application and the efficiency
the waste water quantity may be significantly reduced by of membrane installations – including planning, con-
multiplied usage of the water. Thus the enterprises save struction and operation as well as the related costs. Thus
costs. planners, municipalities responsible for waste water
disposal and licensing authorities are provided with a
fundamental basis for the decision whether membrane
technology might be a solution for their specific problem.

Eckhard Uhlenberg Sigmar Gabriel Prof. Dr. Andreas Troge


Minister for Environment and Federal Minister for the Environment, President of the Federal
Nature Conservation, Agriculture Nature Conservation and Nuclear Environmental Agency
and Consumer Protection of the Safety
federal state North Rhine-Westphalia

5
imprint

This scientific elaboration was supported by


the Ministry for Environment and Nature Conservation,
Agriculture and Consumer Protection
of the federal state North Rhine-Westphalia.

Responsible FiW Verlag


Dr. rer. nat. Harald Friedrich Mies-van-der-Rohe-Straße 17
Head of Department D-52074 Aachen
Waste Management, Soil Conservation, Water Management
Phone: +49 (0) 241- 80 2 68 25
Dr.-Ing. Viktor Mertsch Fax: +49 (0) 241- 87 09 24
Waste Water Disposal and Waste Water Technology E-Mail: verlag@fiw.rwth-aachen.de

Ministry for Environment and Nature Conservation,


Agriculture and Consumer Protection ISBN 3-939377-01-5
of the federal state North Rhine-Westphalia ISBN 978-3-939377-01-6

Revising the contents of this 2 nd updated edition Layout


FiW at the RWTH Aachen University ID-Kommunikation
M. Lange, Dr.- Ing. F.-W. Bolle, Dr.-Ing. S. Schilling, S 1, 1
S. Baumgarten (ISA, RWTH Aachen) D-68161 Mannheim

Revising the contents of the 1st edition 2003: Phone: +49 (0) 6 21 - 10 29 24
FiW and ISA, RWTH Aachen Fax: +49 (0) 6 21 - 10 29 91
M. Lange (chairperson), S. Baumgarten, F.-W. Bolle, E-Mail: info @idkommunikation.de
Dr.-Ing. T. Buer, J. Schunicht, Dr.-Ing. K. Voßenkaul

Team accompanying the 1st edition 2003: Cover photo


Dr. V. Mertsch, I. Dierschke, K. Drensla, A. Kaste, Erftverband
RBD A. Schmidt, Prof. Dr. W. Schmidt, S. Tenkamp,
Dr.-Ing. J. R. Tschesche, C. Wiedenhöft, T. Wozniak,
Dr. K. Zimmermann Print
Greiserdruck GmbH & Co. KG
Assessment of the 1st edition 2003: Karlsruher Straße 22
Prof. Dr.-Ing. P. Cornel, Dr.-Ing. W. Firk, D-76437 Rastatt
Dr.-Ing. J. Oles, Dr.-Ing. T. A. Peters, U. Voss
Phone: +49 (0) 72 22 - 105 -129
Translation: Fax: +49 (0) 72 22 - 105 -137
F. Pohl www.greiserdruck.de

German edition
A German edition titled
“Siedlungswasser- und Siedlungsabfallwirtschaft
Nordrhein-Westfalen: Membrantechnik
für die Abwasserreinigung”
is available with the following ISBN:
ISBN 3-939377-00-7
ISBN 978-3-939377-00-9

The translation was supported by:


Umweltbundesamt
Postfach 330022
D-14191 Berlin

6
List of contents 1

1 Basics of Membrane Technology 27


1.1 Basics of Material Separation by means of Membrane Technology 28
1.2 Membrane Processes in Waste Water Purification 29
1.2.1 Micro- and Ultrafiltration 32
1.2.2 NF Nanofiltration 33
1.2.3 RO Reverse Osmosis 34
1.3 Membrane Materials, Structure and Classification 35
1.3.1 Origin and Materials 35
1.3.2 Morphology, Structure and Manufacturing 36
1.4 Membrane Forms and Modules 38
1.5 Arrangement of Modules 46
1.6 Operating Modes 48
1.7 Formation of Covering Layers 50
1.8 Measures for Maintenance of the Filtration Capacity 52
1.9 Other Aspects Concerning the Use of Membrane Technology in Waste Water Treatment 55

2 Membrane Technology in Municipal Waste Water Treatment 61


2.1 The Membrane Bioreactor Process 66
2.1.1 Description of the Process and Fields of Application 66
2.1.2 Membrane Modules 70
2.1.3 Planning and Operation of Membrane Bioreactors 82
2.1.3.1 Design 82
2.1.3.2 Mechanical Design and Planning 87
2.1.3.3 Operation 89
2.1.4 Investments and Operating Costs 92
2.1.4.1 Investments 92
2.1.4.2 Operating and Maintenance Costs 94
2.2 Concrete Examples of Membrane Bioreactors 95
2.2.1 MF Waste Water Treatment Plants with Microfiltration Membrane Installations in Germany 98
2.2.1.1 MF Seelscheid Waste Water Treatment Plant and Training Centre 98
2.2.1.2 MF Büchel Pilot Plant 101
2.2.1.3 MF Richtheim Waste Water Treatment Plant 103
2.2.1.4 MF Eitorf Waste Water Treatment Plant (Commissioning) 104
2.2.1.5 MF Xanten-Vynen Waste Water Treatment Plant (Commissioning) 106
2.2.1.6 MF Piene Waste Water Treatment Plant (in Planning Stage) 107
2.2.1.7 MF Rurberg-Woffelsbach and Konzen Waste Water Treatment Plants (Commissioned) 108
2.2.1.8 MF Kohlfurth Waste Water Treatment Plant, Process Water Treatment 109
2.2.1.9 MF Dormagen Waste Water Treatment Plant, Process Water Treatment (Commissioned) 110
2.2.2 MF Installations Outside of Germany with Microfiltration Membranes 111
2.2.2.1 MF Glasgow Waste Water Treatment Plant, Scotland 112
2.2.2.2 MF Ebisu Prime Square Building Waste Water Treatment Plant, Japan 114
2.2.2.3 MF St. Peter ob Judenburg Waste Water Treatment Plant, Austria 115
2.2.3 UF Waste Water Treatment Plants in Germany with Ultrafiltration Membranes 116
2.2.3.1 UF Nordkanal Waste Water Treatment Plant 116
2.2.3.2 UF Monheim Waste Water Treatment Plant 118
2.2.3.3 UF Markranstädt Waste Water Treatment Plant 121

MF microfiltration UF ultrafiltration NF nanofiltration RO reverse osmosis

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List of contents

2.2.3.4 UF Rödingen Waste Water Treatment Plant 123


2.2.3.5 UF Schramberg-Waldmössingen Waste Water Treatment Plant 125
2.2.3.6 UF Knautnaundorf Waste Water Treatment Plant 127
2.2.3.7 UF Simmerath Pilot Plant 128
2.2.3.8 UF St. Wendel Golf Course 130
2.2.3.9 UF Glessen Waste Water Treatment Plant (Planning Stage) 132
2.2.4 UF Installations Outside of Germany with Ultrafiltration Membranes 133
2.2.4.1 UF Pilot Plants at the Beverwijk Waste Water Treatment Plant, The Netherlands 134
2.2.4.2 UF Varsseveld Waste Water Treatment Plant, The Netherlands 136
2.2.4.3 UF Brescia Waste Water Treatment Plant, Italy 137
2.2.4.4 UF Säntis Waste Water Treatment Plant, Switzerland 139
2.3 Small Waste Water Treatment Plants, Mobile Installations and
Ships Waste Water Treatment with Membrane Technology 140
2.3.1 MF Busse-MF Installation from the Company Busse 140
2.3.2 MF UltraSept Installation from the Company Mall 142
2.3.3 MF Small Waste Water Treatment Plant for 4 PE in North-Rhine Westphalia 143
2.3.4 UF Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW), Service Water Treatment 143
2.3.5 UF Small Waste Water Treatment Plant MembraneClearBox™ and Huber HoneyComb™
from the Company Huber AG 144
2.3.6 MF Mobile Installations for the Use in Military Camps 146
2.3.7 MF Ships’ Waste Water Treatment Plants with Membrane Technology 147
2.3.8 UF Cruise Liner Queen Mary 2 148
2.3.9 Grey and Black Water Treatment on Ships 150
2.4 Downstream Membrane Stage for Waste Water Disinfection 152
2.4.1 Process Description and Fields of Application 152
2.4.2 Membrane Modules Used 152
2.4.3 Operating Experience 153
2.4.4 UF Large-Scale Applications in Germany for Waste Water Disinfection by Ultrafiltration 153
2.4.4.1 UF Geiselbullach Waste Water Treatment Plant 154
2.4.4.2 UF Merklingen Waste Water Treatment Plant 155
2.4.4.3 UF Bondorf-Hailfingen Waste Water Treatment Plant 157
2.4.5 UF Large-Scale Applications Outside of Germany for Waste Water Disinfection by Ultrafiltration 159
2.4.5.1 UF Torreele, Belgium 159
2.4.5.2 UF Katowice Treatment Plant, Poland 161
2.4.5.3 UF Bedok Waste Water Treatment Plant, Singapore 162
2.5 Example for the Design of a Membrane Bioreactor 163
2.5.1 Design Basis 163
2.5.2 Interpretation of the ARA-BER Calculation According to the Design Recommendations for
Membrane Bioreactors 164
2.5.3 Design of the Membrane Filtration Stage 165
2.5.4 Printout of the Design Results with ARA-BER 166

MF microfiltration UF ultrafiltration NF nanofiltration RO reverse osmosis

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List of contents

3 Membrane Technology in Industrial Waste Water Treatment 167


3.1 Brief Overview 168
3.2 Objectives and Applications in Different Industrial Branches 170
3.3 Decision Criteria 172
3.4 Economic Efficiency of Membrane Installations in Industrial
Waste Water Treatment 174
3.5 Sample Applications of Plants in Germany 177
3.5.1 Food Industry 179
3.5.1.1 Potato Starch Production 180
3.5.1.1.1 RO Food Industry, Emsland Stärke GmbH 181
3.5.1.2 Malt Houses 182
3.5.1.2.1 RO Malthouse Durst Malz – H. Durst Malzfabriken GmbH & Co. KG 183
3.5.1.3 UF Food Industry, BEECK Feinkost GmbH & Co. KG 184
3.5.2 UF Printing Industry, Peter Leis 185
3.5.3 Paper Mills 186
3.5.3.1 NF Paper Mill Palm, Works Eltmann 187
3.5.4 Textile Industry 188
3.5.4.1 UF Textile Industry, Drews Meerane 189
3.5.4.2 MF Silk Weaving Mill PONGS 191
3.5.4.3 Textile Finishing Works Gerhard van Clewe GmbH & Co. KG 193
3.5.5 RO Fibre Industry, Vulcanized Fibre 195
3.5.6 UF Plastics Industry, Troplast 197
3.5.7 Laundries 198
3.5.7.1 Laundry Alsco 198
3.5.7.2 Textile Service Mewa GmbH 201
3.5.8 Metal Processing Industry 203
3.5.8.1 UF Metal Processing Industry, Rasselstein Hoesch GmbH 204
3.5.8.2 UF Metal Processing Industry, Faurecia Bertrand Faure Sitztechnik GmbH & Co. KG 205
3.5.8.3 Metal Processing Industry, Electroplating Enterprise Rudolf Jatzke 206
3.5.8.4 Metal Processing Industry, Wieland Werke AG 208
3.5.9 Treatment of Waste Water from Car Painting 210
3.5.9.1 UF Treatment of Waste Water from Car Painting, DaimlerChrysler AG 210
3.5.9.2 NF Treatment of Paint Waste Water from the Production of Spare Parts in the Ford Works,
Cologne 211
3.5.10 UF Pharmaceutical Industry, Schering 213
3.5.11 Miscellaneous 215
3.5.11.1 Landfill Leachate 215
3.5.11.1.1 RO Alsdorf-Warden Landfill 218
3.5.11.2 MF Fish Hatchery 220
3.5.11.3 UF Power Stations, Dresden Gas and Steam Turbine Heating Power Station (GuD) 221
3.5.11.4 UF De-oiling of Bilge Water 223
3.5.11.5 Swimming Pools 225
3.5.11.5.1 Swimming Pool, Aquana Freizeitbad GmbH & Co. KG 225
3.5.11.5.2 UF Swimming Pool, Freizeitbad Copa Ca Backum 227
3.6 Sample Applications of Plants Outside of Germany 229
3.6.1 Food Industry 230

MF microfiltration UF ultrafiltration NF nanofiltration RO reverse osmosis

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List of contents

3.6.1.1 UF Muesli Production at the Kellogg Company, Great Britain 230


3.6.1.2 UF Primary Starch Production at Raisio Chemicals, Belgium 232
3.6.1.3 UF Dairygold Food Products, Ireland 233
3.6.1.4 UF Dairy Crest Limited, Great Britain 235
3.6.1.5 UF Malthouse Sobelgra n. v., Belgium 236
3.6.2 RO
Laundry Massop, The Netherlands 239
3.6.3 MF Pharmaceutical Industry, Penicillin Production at the Company Sandoz /Biochemistry, Spain 240
3.6.4 Miscellaneous 242
3.6.4.1 UF Animal Carcass Disposal Plant of SARIA Bio-Industries, France 242
3.6.4.2 Mechanical-Biological Waste Treatment Plant 244
3.6.4.2.1 UF Waste Disposal at the Company TIRME, Spain 244

4 Instructions and Standards in Membrane Technology 247

5 Summary and Outlook 251

6 References 253

A Annex 263
A.1 Addresses (mentioned in the concrete examples) 264
A.1.1 Locations of the membrane systems in Germany 264
A.1.2 Planners and manufacturers of installations, membrane manufacturers, Consulting Engineers 268
A.1.3 Scientific assistance for the realization of this publication 272
A.1.4 Other institutions and persons having contributed to the contents 274
A.1.5 Other information sources in the field of membrane technology 275
A.2 Possibilities for promotion 276
A.2.1 Development programs and advisory service of the Federal Government 276
A.2.2 Development programs of the federal states 277
A.2.3 Development programs of the EU in the field of pollution control and water management 282
A.3 Short check lists for Figure 2-1 284
A.4 Short check lists for Figure 3-1 286
A.5 Work report of the ATV-DVWK working group
IG-5.5 “Membrane Technology”: Treatment of industrial waste water and
process water by membrane processes and membrane bioreactor processes 288
Part I Membrane processes 288
A.5.1 Introduction 288
A.5.2 Choice of a membrane process 291
A.5.2.1 Determination of the necessary molecular separation size 291
A.5.2.2 Determination of the membrane material 291
A.5.2.3 Determination of the membrane module 293
A.5.2.4 Determination of the operating mode of membrane installations 295
A.5.3 Examples for the use of membrane processes 296
A.5.4 Planning of membrane installations 296
A.5.4.1 Acquisition of basic data 296
A.5.4.2 Planning and design 296
A.5.4.2.1 Preliminary laboratory tests 296

MF microfiltration UF ultrafiltration NF nanofiltration RO reverse osmosis

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List of contents 1

A.5.4.2.2 On-site pilot tests 297


A.5.4.2.3 Planning of the installation 297
A.5.5 Assessment criteria for the choice of a membrane installation 298
A.5.5.1 Technical assessment of a membrane process concerning employment and completeness 298
A.5.5.1.1 Definition of the terms of reference 298
A.5.5.1.2 Material and mass fluxes during operation of a membrane installation 298
A.5.5.1.3 Utilization or discharge of the resulting products 299
A.5.5.1.4 Pretreatment 299
A.5.5.1.5 Technical realization 299
A.5.5.1.6 Redundancies 299
A.5.5.1.7 References/similar applications 299
A.5.5.2 Operating costs 299
A.5.5.2.1 Equipment 299
A.5.5.2.2 Auxiliaries 299
A.5.5.2.4 Service life and replacement of membranes 299
A.5.5.3 Change of the conditions during operation of the installation 300
A.5.5.4 Other items 300
A.5.5.4.1 Failures 300
A.5.5.4.2 Preliminary tests 300
A.5.6 Questionnaire for the acquisition of process data 300
A.5.6.1 Description of the separation problem to be solved with the help of a membrane process 300
A.5.6.2 Concerning the assessment or the integration of a membrane process into an
overall treatment concept 301
A.5.6.3 Sizing of the installation 301
A.5.6.4 Requirements for the construction of the membrane installation 301
Part II Aerobic membrane bioreactor processes 301
A.5.7 General information 301
A.5.8 Construction 302
A.5.8.1 Arrangement 302
A.5.8.1.1 Immersed membrane modules 302
A.5.8.1.2 Dry-arranged membrane modules 302
A.5.8.2 Control of the covering layer 303
A.5.8.2.1 Control of the covering layer in immersed systems 303
A.5.8.2.2 Covering layer control in dry-arranged systems 303
A.5.8.2.3 General facts 304
A.5.8.3 Cleaning strategies 304
A.5.9 Requirements for the influent 306
A.5.9.1 General information 306
A.5.9.2 Mechanical pretreatment 306
A.5.9.3 Mixing and equalizing tank 307
A.5.9.4 Calcium concentration 307
A.5.9.5 Iron and aluminium content 307
A.5.10 Instructions for the design of membrane bioreactors 307
A.5.10.1 General information 307
A.5.10.2 Space requirements 308
A.5.10.3 Elimination rates 308

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1 List of contents

A.5.10.4 Aeration 309


A.5.10.5 Hydraulics 309
A.5.10.5.1 Flexibility 309
A.5.10.5.2 Recirculation 309
A.5.10.6 Influence of the temperature 310
A.5.11 Specific features of membrane bioreactors 310
A.5.11.1 Sludge features 310
A.5.11.1.1 Characterization of the sludge 310
A.5.11.1.2 Rheological properties 310
A.5.11.1.3 Excess sludge production 311
A.5.11.1.4 Sludge treatment 311
A.5.11.1.5 Foam development 311
A.5.12 Economic efficiency 312
A.5.12.1 Definition of economic efficiency 312
A.5.12.2 Investment/capital costs 312
A.5.12.3 Operating costs 313
A.5.12.4 Comparison of cost-relevant factors 314
A.5.13 Examples in the field of industrial waste water (Europe) 315
A.5.14 Literature 315
A.6 2 nd Work report of the DWA Committee of Experts KA-7
“Membrane bioreactor process“ from 19th January 2005 317
A.6.1 Introduction 317
A.6.2 Description of the membrane bioreactor process 318
A.6.3 Instructions for planning and design 322
A.6.4 Sludge treatment 326
A.6.5 Chemical cleaning of the membrane modules 328
A.6.6 Energy demand 329
A.6.7 Upgrading of existing municipal waste water treatment plants 331
A.6.8 Instructions for start-up 332
A.6.9 Costs 333
A.6.10 Annual costs 336
A.6.10.1 Loan servicing and membrane replacement 336
A.6.10.2 Operating costs 336
A.6.11 Final remark 336
A.6.12 Advantages and risks of the membrane bioreactor process 337
A.6.12.1 General facts 337
A.6.13 Glossary 337
A.6.14 Literature 341
A.7 Large-scale membrane installations for drinking water treatment in Germany 343
A.8 Glossary 344
A.9 List of abbrevations 346

12
List of figures 1

1 Basics of Membrane Technology 27


Figure 1-1 Operating principle of micro- and ultrafiltration membranes 28
Figure 1-2 The different fields of application of membrane processes 29
Figure 1-3 Size of typical waste water constituents and the pore size of membranes applied 30
Figure 1-4 Idealized representation of a pore membrane and a solution-diffusion membrane
[according to MELIN 1999] 31
Figure 1-5 Classification of membranes [according to RAUTENBACH 1997] 35
Figure 1-6 Scanning electron micrographs of cross-sections of different membranes 37
Figure 1-7 Top view of the active layer of a polyethylene membrane (MF/UF) [AGGERVERBAND 2002] 37
Figure 1-8 Top view of the broken edge of a polyethylene membrane (MF/UF), the active layer is visible
[AGGERVERBAND 2002] 37
Figure 1-9 Membrane and module forms 38
Figure 1-10 Tube modules [photo: WEHRLE WERK AG] 40
Figure 1-11 Capillary or hollow-fibre modules [photo: KOCH MEMBRANE SYSTEMS] 41
Figure 1-12 Spiral-wound modules [schematic drawing: N. N. 2001], [photo: NADIR FILTRATION GMBH] 42
Figure 1-13 Cushion module [schematic drawing and photo: ROCHEM UF SYSTEME GMBH] 43
Figure 1-14 Disc-tube module (DT module) [PALL 2001] 44
Figure 1-15 New Multibore capillaries from the company inge AG [photo: INGE AG] 45
Figure 1-16 From the membrane element to the membrane stage 46
Figure 1-17 Series connection of modules [according to BAUMGARTEN 1998] 46
Figure 1-18 Parallel connection of modules [according to BAUMGARTEN 1998] 47
Figure 1-19 Arrangement of several modules according to the fir tree structure
[according to RAUTENBACH 1997] 47
Figure 1-20 Schematic representation of a membrane in cross-flow- and dead-end filtration
[according to MELIN 1999] 49
Figure 1-21 Filtration intervals in dead-end operation [according to RAUTENBACH 1997] 49
Figure 1-22 Schematic overview of the filtration resistances on the membrane surface and inside the membrane
[KRAMER, KOPPERS 2000] 51
Figure 1-23 Effect of membrane cleaning on the flow at constant pressure 53
Figure 1-24 Molar masses of selected natural organic constituents in domestic waste water 58
Figure 1-25 Molar masses of selected organic trace substances 59

2 Membrane Technology in Municipal Waste Water Treatment 61


Figure 2-1 Background – planning – operation of a municipal membrane bioreactor, contents of the chapter
“Membrane technology in municipal waste water treatment“ 63
Figure 2-2 Conventional waste water treatment according to the activated sludge process and possibilities for
the arrangement of a membrane stage at municipal waste water treatment plants [OHLE 2001] 64
Figure 2-3 Flow sheet of a waste water treatment plant with membrane bioreactor process and downstream
membrane stage 65
Figure 2-4 Comparison of the germ load in the effluent of waste water treatment plants [BAUMGARTEN,
BRANDS 2002] 68
Figure 2-5 Schematic representation of the space requirements of a conventional activated sludge plant
(edged in blue) and of a membrane bioreactor (edged in red), example: Nordkanal waste water
treatment plant [ERFTVERBAND 2002] 69

13
1 List of figures

Figure 2-6 ZeeWeed ® -module from the company ZENON 70


Figure 2-7 Arrangement of several ZeeWeed ® -modules ZW 1000 in a cassette [photo: ZENON 2004] 71
Figure 2-8 Plate module from the company Kubota 71
Figure 2-9 Basic schematic of the plate module “double-decker” from the company Kubota
[AGGERWASSER GMBH 2004] 72
Figure 2-10 PURON module and module component [photo: PURON AG] 73
Figure 2-11 Membrane module from Martin Systems AG 74
Figure 2-12 Huber VRM® process [photos: HANS HUBER AG, MARTIN SYSTEMS AG] 75
Figure 2-13 Huber VUM® process [HANS HUBER AG] 76
Figure 2-14 Membrane element and membrane module from the company Mitsubishi [photo: ENVICARE ® ] 76
Figure 2-15 Plate module from the company A3 GmbH [photo: A3 GMBH] 77
Figure 2-16 Membrane module from US Filter Corporation [photo: US FILTER CORPORATION 2004] 78
Figure 2-17 Membrane module from the Keppel Seghers Belgium [photo: KEPPEL SEGHERS BELGIUM NV] 78
Figure 2-18 Membrane system from Weise Water Systems GmbH & Co. KG
[WEISE WATER SYSTEMS GMBH & CO. KG] 79
Figure 2-19 Ceramic plate membranes from the company ItN Nanovation [photo: ItN NANOVATION] 80
Figure 2-20 Membrane module and configuration of the modules in the rack with underlying aeration device
[photos: ItN NANOVATION] 80
Figure 2-21 Basic layout sketch of the rotation disc filter 81
Figure 2-22 Modules of the rotation disc filter in laboratory scale [photo: FRAUNHOFER IGB] 81
Figure 2-23 Specific excess sludge production in membrane bioreactors [ATV-DVWK 2000a] 83
Figure 2-24 Oxygen transfer coefficient (-values) of the Rödingen and Markranstädt waste water treatment
plants with fine-bubble diffuser aeration [CORNEL ET AL. 2001] 86
Figure 2-25 View and principle of a screening facility for membrane bioreactors (Markranstädt waste water
treatment plant) [HUBER 2002, STEIN 2002a] 87
Figure 2-26 Energy demand of a membrane bioreactor (8,000 PE) with simultaneous aerobic sludge
stabilization [STEIN ET AL. 2001] 91
Figure 2-27 Development of membrane replacement costs [ISA 2002; CHURCHHOUSE, WILDGOOSE 2000] 94
Figure 2-28 Flow sheet of the Seelscheid waste water treatment plant [according to AGGERVERBAND 2004] 99
Figure 2-29 Membrane installation at the Seelscheid waste water treatment plant
[photos: AGGERVERBAND 2004] 99
Figure 2-30 Existing sand filter tanks, to be used for the training installations [photo: AGGERVERBAND 2004] 100
Figure 2-31 Flow sheet of the training installations [according to AGGERVERBAND 2004] 100
Figure 2-32 View of the Büchel pilot plant [photo: ISA RWTH AACHEN] 101
Figure 2-33 Flow sheet of the Büchel pilot plant [BAUMGARTEN 2001b] 101
Figure 2-34 Flow sheet of the membrane bioreactor [according to BAYERISCHES LANDESAMT FÜR
WASSERWIRTSCHAFT 2004] 103
Figure 2-35 Flow sheet of the Eitorf waste water treatment plant [according to GEMEINDEWERKE EITORF 2004] 104
Figure 2-36 Eitorf waste water treatment plant with covered membrane tanks between the buildings in the
foreground 105
Figure 2-37 Membrane installation in container construction for the Xanten-Vynen waste water treatment plant
[photo: A3 GMBH] 106
Figure 2-38 Flow sheet of the Xanten-Vynen waste water treatment plant, including the planned membrane
bioreactors [according to LINEG 2004] 106
Figure 2-39 Flow sheet of the membrane bioreactor [according to CITY OF GUMMERSBACH 2004] 107
Figure 2-40 Flow sheet of the Kohlfurth waste water treatment plant [according to WUPPERVERBAND 2004] 109

14
List of figures 1

Figure 2-41 Flow sheet of the Dormagen waste water treatment plant [according to CITY OF DORMAGEN 2004] 110
Figure 2-42 Aerial photograph of the Swanage waste water treatment plant [photo: AQUATOR GROUP] 111
Figure 2-43 Flow sheet of the Glasgow sludge treatment plant [according to AGGERWASSER GMBH 2004] 112
Figure 2-44 Top view of the sludge treatment plant and of a tank of the membrane installation
[photo: AGGERWASSER GMBH 2001] 113
Figure 2-45 Ebisu Prime Square Building [photo: AGGERWASSER GMBH 2004] 114
Figure 2-46 Waste water treatment plant in the basement of the Ebisu Prime Square Building
[photo: AGGERWASSER GMBH 2004] 114
Figure 2-47 Flow sheet of the waste water treatment plant [according to AGGERWASSER GMBH 2004] 114
Figure 2-48 Flow sheet of the St. Peter ob Judenburg waste water treatment plant
[according to ENVICARE 2002] 115
Figure 2-49 St. Peter ob Judenburg waste water treatment plant [photos: ENVICARE] 116
Figure 2-50 Rotary screen of the fine screen installation 117
Figure 2-51 Flow sheet of the Nordkanal waste water treatment plant [according to ERFTVERBAND 2004] 117
Figure 2-52 Membrane installation at the WWTP Nordkanal 118
Figure 2-53 Monheim waste water treatment plant [photo: BAYERISCHES LANDESAMT FÜR
WASSERWIRTSCHAFT (Bavarian Office for Water Management) 2004] 119
Figure 2-54 Flow sheet of the Monheim waste water treatment plant [according to BAYERISCHES
LANDESAMT FÜR WASSERWIRTSCHAFT 2004] 119
Figure 2-55 Module cassettes during in-air cleaning [photo: CITY OF MONHEIM 2004] 120
Figure 2-56 Process stages at the Markranstädt waste water treatment plant [STEIN 2002a]. 121
Figure 2-57 Process stages at the Markranstädt waste water treatment plant [STEIN 2002a] 122
Figure 2-58 Flow sheet of the Rödingen waste water treatment plant 124
Figure 2-59 View into the two filtration lines during fitting of the ZeeWeed ™ cassettes [photo: ERFTVERBAND] 124
Figure 2-60 Schramberg-Waldmössingen waste water treatment plant [photo: STADTWERKE SCHRAMBERG
(municipal utilities) 2004] 125
Figure 2-61 Flow sheet of the Schramberg-Waldmössingen waste water treatment plant [according to
STADTWERKE SCHRAMBERG 2004] 126
Figure 2-62 Membrane installation at the Schramberg-Waldmössingen waste water treatment plant
[photos: STADTWERKE SCHRAMBERG 2004] 126
Figure 2-63 Flow sheet of the Simmerath demonstration plant [according to WVER 2004] 128
Figure 2-64 Membrane installation at the Simmerath waste water treatment plant [photos: PURON AG 2003] 129
Figure 2-65 Flow sheet of the golf course St. Wendel waste water treatment plant [according to ST. WENDEL] 130
Figure 2-66 Module rack at the golf course St. Wendel waste water treatment plant [photos: ItN NANOVATION] 131
Figure 2-67 Flow sheet of the Glessen waste water treatment plant [according to ERFTVERBAND 2004] 132
Figure 2-68 Aerial photograph and flow sheet of the Lowestoft waste water treatment plant [ZENON 2002] 133
Figure 2-69 Photos of the pilot installations and membrane modules at the test field of the Beverwijk waste
water treatment plant [DHV 2004] 135
Figure 2-70 Flow sheet of the Varsseveld waste water treatment plant [according to DHV 2004] 136
Figure 2-71 Flow sheet of the Brescia waste water treatment plant [according to ZENON GMBH 2004] 137
Figure 2-72 Aerial photograph of the Brescia waste water treatment plant [photo: ZENON GMBH 2004] 138
Figure 2-73 View and flow sheet of the membrane bioreactor according to the ZenoGem™ process on the Säntis
[ZENON 2002] 139
Figure 2-74 View of the Busse MF small waste water treatment plant (formerly BioMIR™ ) [BUSSE 2002] 140
Figure 2-75 Flow sheet of a Busse-MF installation [BUSSE 2002] 141

15
1 List of figures

Figure 2-76 Schematic representation of the UltraSept installation from the company Mall [MALL 2002] 142
Figure 2-77 Grey water treatment plant at KfW 143
Figure 2-78 Membrane installation for the treatment of service water in the cellar of KfW
[WEISE WATER SYSTEMS GMBH] 144
Figure 2-79 Plot plan of a small waste water treatment plant with membrane technology installed in a
multicompartment septic tank [HUBER AG 2004] 145
Figure 2-80 Small waste water treatment plant MembraneClearBox™ from Huber AG [photos: HUBER AG 2004] 145
Figure 2-81 Transportation of the container plant by an emergency vehicle and schematic representation of
the plant [A3 GMBH 2004] 146
Figure 2-82 View of a MEMROD ship’s waste water treatment plant according to the membrane bioreactor
process for 250 persons [VA TECH WABAG 2002] 148
Figure 2-83 Ultrafiltration module Pleiade™ for waste water treatment on Queen Mary 2
[photo: ORELIS SA 2004] 148
Figure 2-84 Photo of the Queen Mary 2 149
Figure 2-85 Flow sheet of the waste water treatment plan of Queen Mary 2 [according to ORELIS SA 2004] 149
Figure 2-86 Flow sheet of waste water treatment according to the two-stream solution
[according to ROCHEM UF 2004] 150
3
Figure 2-87 Membrane bioreactor BioFilt with three lines at 4.5 m of permeate per day each [ROCHEM UF 2004] 151
Figure 2-88 Low-pressure reverse osmosis for grey water treatment for 600 m3 of permeate per day
[photo: ROCHEM UF 2004] 151
Figure 2-89 Flow sheet of the Geiselbullach waste water treatment plant [according to AMPERVERBAND 2004] 154
Figure 2-90 Treatment installation at the Geiselbullach waste water treatment plant
[photos: AMPERVERBAND 2002] 155
Figure 2-91 Flow sheet of the Merklingen waste water treatment plant [according to RP TÜBINGEN 2004] 155
Figure 2-92 Pressure tubes of the ultrafiltration plant at the Merklingen waste water treatment plant
[RP TÜBINGEN 2004] 156
Figure 2-93 Flow sheet of the Bondorf-Hailfingen waste water treatment plant [according to BONDORF-
HAILFINGEN WASTE WATER UNION 2004] 158
Figure 2-94 Membrane installation at the Bondorf-Hailfingen waste water treatment plant under construction
[photos: BONDORF-HAILFINGEN WASTE WATER UNION 2004] 158
Figure 2-95 Flow sheet of the Torreele treatment plant [according to ZENON GMBH 2004] 160
Figure 2-96 Flow sheet of the ultrafiltration installation for process water treatment in Katowice
[according to ZENON GMBH 2004] 161
Figure 2-97 Flow sheet of the treatment plant [according to ZENON GMBH 2004] 162
Figure 2-98 General view of the treatment plant [photo: ZENON GMBH 2004] 163
Figure 2-99 Ultrafiltration membrane installation [photo: ZENON GMBH 2004] 163

3 Membrane Technology in Industrial Waste Water Treatment 167


Figure 3-1 Motive – planning – operation of a membrane installation, overview of the contents of the chapter
“Membrane technology in industrial waste water treatment” 169
Figure 3-2 Objectives and economic interests for the use of a membrane installation in industrial waste water
treatment 170
Figure 3-3 How to proceed in the planning of an installation for industrial waste water treatment 173
Figure 3-4 Factors influencing the economic efficiency of membrane installations 175
Figure 3-5 Flow chart of potato starch production 180

16
List of figures 1

Figure 3-6 Flow chart of the treatment of process- and potato pulp water at Emsland Stärke GmbH
[according to LOTZ 2000] 181
Figure 3-7 Reverse osmosis installation at Durst Malzfabriken GmbH & Co. KG, Gernsheim [LINDEMANN 2001] 183
Figure 3-8 Flow chart of the waste water treatment at BEECK Feinkost GmbH [according to
KOCH-GLITSCH GMBH 2001] 184
Figure 3-9 Ultrafiltration installation at the Grafische Handelsvertretung Peter Leis [LEIS IN EFA 2000] 186
Figure 3-10 Nanofiltration installation at the paper mill Palm, works Eltmann (left) [SCHIRM 2001] and detail of
the tube module arrangement as feed-and-bleed structure (right) [according to SCHIRM 2001] 188
Figure 3-11 Flow sheet of the waste water treatment and processing plant [according to ZENON GMBH 2004] 190
Figure 3-12 Conversion of the waste water treatment plant at PONGS Textil GmbH 191
Figure 3-13 Flow sheet of the membrane bioreactor of the company PONGS [according to A3 GMBH 2004] 192
Figure 3-14 Ultrafiltration installation at the textile finishing plant van Clewe [BÖTTGER 2001] 194
Figure 3-15 Flow sheet of the process water treatment at the vulcanized fibre works GmbH & Co. KG
[AMAFILTER 2001] 195
Figure 3-16 Reverse osomosis installation at the vulcanized fibre works Ernst Krüger GmbH & Co. KG
[photo: AMAFILTER] 196
Figure 3-17 Ultrafiltration installation at the company HT Troplast AG [photo: HT TROPLAST] 197
Figure 3-18 Flow sheet of the waste water treatment process in the laundry ALSCO [according to
WEHRLE UMWELT GMBH 2004] 199
Figure 3-19 Membrane installation in the laundry Alsco [photos: WEHRLE UMWELT GMBH 2004] 200
Figure 3-20 Flow sheet of the treatment plant of Textile Service Mewa GmbH [according to ENVIRO CHEMIE 2004] 201
Figure 3-21 Ultrafiltration plant at Textile Service Mewa [photo: ENVIRO CHEMIE 2004] 202
Figure 3-22 Nanofiltration plant at Textile Service Mewa [photo: ENVIRO CHEMIE 2004] 202
Figure 3-23 Ultrafiltration installation at the company Rasselstein Hoesch [photo: MFT GMBH] 204
Figure 3-24 Ultrafiltration installation at the company Faurecia, Bertrand Faure Sitztechnik GmbH & Co. KG
[KASTEN 2001] 205
Figure 3-25 Mode of operation of the electrolysis membrane [SCHMIDT 2002] 207
Figure 3-26 Ultrafiltration installation at the works Werk Langenberg of Wieland Werke AG [MUNLV 2001] 209
Figure 3-27 Ultrafiltration installation in the DaimlerChrysler works at Düsseldorf [HARMEL 2001] 210
Figure 3-28 Flow sheet of paint-spraying [IMB + FRINGS WATERSYSTEMS GMBH 2004] 211
Figure 3-29 Nanofiltration plant at the Ford works Cologne [photo: IMB + FRINGS WATERSYSTEMS GMBH 2004] 212
Figure 3-30 Aerial photograph of the waste water treatment plant at Schering AG [photos: SCHERING AG 2004] 213
Figure 3-31 Flow sheet of the waste water treatment plant [according to SCHERING AG 2004] 214
Figure 3-32 Optical inspection of a membrane module [photo: SCHERING AG 2004] 215
Figure 3-33 Process combination according to the state of the art for the treatment of landfill leachate without
using membrane processes [ROSENWINKEL, BAUMGARTEN 1998] 216
Figure 3-34 Process combination according to the state of the art for the treatment of landfill leachate using
membrane processes with and without biological pretreatment [completed according to
ROSENWINKEL, BAUMGARTEN 1998] 216
Figure 3-35 Reverse osmosis installation at the landfill Alsdorf-Warden [MAURER 2001] 218
Figure 3-36 Structure of the composite membrane [MAURER 2001] 219
Figure 3-37 Flow sheet of a circuit installation for the treatment of waste water from fish hatchery
[UMWELTBUNDESAMT 2004] 221
Figure 3-38 Flow sheet of the RÖKU process [according to DPC 1997] 222
Figure 3-39 Ultrafiltration unit for the RÖKU process [photo: THERM-SERVICE] 223
Figure 3-40 Flow sheet of bilge de-oiling [according to DEUTSCH 2001] 224

17
1 List of figures

Figure 3-41 Water recirculation and treatment at the Aquana Freizeitbad [according to DEGEBRAN ® ] 226
Figure 3-42 Water treatment at the Freizeitbad Copa Ca Backum [according to L. V. H. T. 2001] 228
Figure 3-43 Flow sheet of the waste water treatment plant at the Kellogg Company in Manchester
[according to WEHRLE UMWELT GMBH 2004] 231
Figure 3-44 Cross-flow ultrafiltration at the Kellog Company in Manchester [photo: WEHRLE UMWELT
GMBH 2004] 231
Figure 3-45 Flow sheet of the membrane bioreactor at Raisio Chemicals [according to HUBER AG 2004] 232
Figure 3-46 Huber VRM ® process (rotating modules) [photos: HUBER AG 2004] 232
Figure 3-47 Flow sheet of the waste water treatment plant at Dairygold Food Products, Ireland
[according to WEHRLE UMWELT GMBH 2004] 234
Figure 3-48 Complete plant at Dairygold Food Products with the membrane installation in the foreground
[WEHRLE UMWELT GMBH 2004] 234
Figure 3-49 Flow sheet of the waste water treatment at Dairy Crest, Great Britain [according to
WEHRLE UMWELT GMBH 2004] 236
Figure 3-50 Aerial photograph of the malthouse Sobelgra in the Antwerpen harbour [photo: PURON AG] 237
Figure 3-51 Flow sheet of the company-owned waste water treatment plant of the company Sobelgra
[according to PURON AG] 238
Figure 3-52 Schematic representation of the membrane bioreactor (left) and membrane modules (right)
[photo: PURON AG] 238
Figure 3-53 Reverse osmosis installation at the laundry Massop, Kerkrade [ROTH 2001] 239
Figure 3-54 Flow sheet of the membrane bioreactor in Barcelona [according to AGGERWASSER GMBH 2004] 241
Figure 3-55 Membrane bioreactor and membrane modules under construction at the company Sandoz in Spain
[photos: AGGERWASSER GMBH 2004] 241
Figure 3-56 Flow sheet of the membrane bioreactor at SARIA Bio-Industries in Bayet [according to
ZENON GMBH 2004] 243
Figure 3-57 General view of the membrane bioreactor of the animal carcass disposal plant in Bayet
[photo: ZENON GMBH 2004] 243
Figure 3-58 Container with fitted modules at SARIA Bio-Industries in Bayet [photo: ZENON GMBH 2004] 243
Figure 3-59 Flow sheet of the waste water treatment plant at the company TIRME, Spain [according to
WEHRLE UMWELT GMBH 2004] 245
Figure 3-60 Waste water treatment plant at the company TIRME [photos: WEHRLE UMWELT GMBH 2004] 245

A Annex 263
Figure A-1 Schematic representation of the basic principle of a membrane process 289
Figure A-2 Classification of membrane and filtration processes 289
Figure A-3 Cross-section of a phase-inversion membrane, example: UF hollow-fibre membrane 292
Figure A-4 Composite membrane 292
Figure A-5 Front view of a tube module with 5.5 mm tubular membranes [photo: X-FLOW] 294
Figure A-6 View of a cushion module [type ROCHEM FM] 294
Figure A-7 Principle of a spiral-wound module 295
Figure A-8 Material and mass fluxes during operation of a membrane installation 298
Figure A-9 Schematic comparison of the conventional activated sludge process with the membrane
bioreactor process 302
Figure A-10 Arrangement of the immersed membrane modules in the aerobic section of the
activated sludge tank 303
Figure A-11 Arrangement of the immersed membrane modules in an external filtration tank 303

18
List of figures 1

Figure A-12 Membrane modules in dry arrangement 303


Figure A-13 Qualitative relationship between necessary membrane surface area, energy demand and flow 304
Figure A-14 Membrane filtration in dry arrangement 318
Figure A-15 Ways of configuring an immersed membrane filtration 319
Figure A-16 Schematic representation of different module constructions 320
Figure A-17 Typical operating modes of the membrane modules 321
Figure A-18 Influence of the solids concentrations on the -value for fine-bubble pressure aeration installations 325
Figure A-19 Specific energy consumption of the Markranstädt WWTP [STEIN, KERKLIES 2003] 330
Figure A-20 Specific energy consumption of the KA Monheim WWTP [WEDI 2003] 331
Figure A-21 Example for the distribution of construction costs of a membrane bioreactor for approximately
300 m3/h [WEDI 2003] 334
Figure A-22 Orienting net cost guide values for the ready-for-use membrane filtration installation without
structural part [WEDI 2003] 335

19
1 List of tables

1 Basics of Membrane Technology 27


Table 1-1 Pressure-driven membrane processes in waste water purification 31
Table 1-2 Characteristic features of micro- and ultrafiltration 32
Table 1-3 Characteristic features of nanofiltration 33
Table 1-4 Characteristic features of reverse osmosis 34
Table 1-5 Characteristic values, advantages and disadvantages of module types with tubular membranes 39
Table 1-6 Characteristic values, advantages and disadvantages of module types with flat membranes 39
Table 1-7 Formation of covering layers in membrane filtration [according to BAUMGARTEN 1998] 51
Table 1-8 Methods for reduction and removal of covering layers 52
Table 1-9 Examples of cleaning chemicals and their applications 54
Table 1-10 Molecular separation size and transmembrane pressure of pressure-driven membrane processes 55
Table 1-11 Data on the size of viruses and bacteria 56
Table 1-12 Molar masses of selected natural organic constituents in domestic waste water
[KOPPE, STOZEK 1999] 57
Table 1-13 Molar masses of selected organic trace substances [MUNLV 2004] 59

2 Membrane Technology in Municipal Waste Water Treatment 61


Table 2-1 Advantages of the membrane bioreactor process compared to the conventional activated sludge process 66
Table 2-2 Performance data of membrane bioreactor plants compared to conventional activated sludge plants
[DOHMANN ET AL. 2002] 67
Table 2-3 Cleaning methods 90
Table 2-4 Savings potentials and additional costs concerning the investments of membrane bioreactors
compared to conventional activated sludge plants 93
Table 2-5 Data of the large-scale membrane bioreactors treating municipal waste water in Germany,
as of December 2004 96
Table 2-6 Membrane bioreactors under construction or in planning stage in Germany, as of December 2005 97
Table 2-7 Minimum requirements, discharge consent and operating values of the Seelscheid waste water
treatment plant [according to AGGERVERBAND 2004] 98
Table 2-8 Input values for the design of the Eitorf membrane bioreactor [according to
GEMEINDEWERKE EITORF (municipal utilities) 2004] 104
Table 2-9 Demands on the effluent quality of the Rurberg-Woffelsbach and Konzen waste water treatment
plants [according to WVER 2004] 108
Table 2-10 Raw waste water and permeate quality [according to AGGERWASSER GMBH 2004] 114
Table 2-11 Influent and effluent concentrations of the waste water treatment plant 115
Table 2-12 Minimum requirements and discharge consent of the Nordkanal waste water treatment plant
[ERFTVERBAND 2004] 116
Table 2-13 Minimum requirements, discharge consent and operating values of the Monheim waste water
treatment plant [BAYERISCHES LANDESAMT FÜR WASSERWIRTSCHAFT 2004] 120
Table 2-14 Minimum requirements, discharge consent and operating values of the Markranstädt waste water
treatment plant [STEIN 2002a] 121
Table 2-15 Minimum requirements and discharge consent of the Rödingen waste water treatment plant
[according to ENGELHARDT ET AL. 2001] 123
Table 2-16 Discharge consent of the Simmerath waste water treatment plant [WVER 2004] 128
Table 2-17 Operating values of the membrane bioreactor in Simmerath [WVER 2004] 129
Table 2-18 Minimum requirements, discharge consent and operating values of the golf course St. Wendel
waste water treatment plant [CITY OF ST. WENDEL 2005] 130

20
List of tables 1

Table 2-19 Demands on the effluent quality of the Glessen waste water treatment plant
[according to ERFTVERBAND 2004] 132
Table 2-20 Key features of the individual pilot installations [DHV 2004] 134
Table 2-21 Raw waste water concentration, operating values and requirements of the Brescia waste water
treatment plant [ZENON GMBH 2004] 138
Table 2-22 Requirements for the effluent quality of small waste water treatment plants and measured effluent
values of the Busse-MF installation 141
Table 2-23 Characteristic values of different membrane modules for the filtration of effluents from the test
installations of Berliner Wasserbetriebe and the test installations at the Geiselbullach, Halfingen
and Merklingen waste water treatment plants 152
Table 2-24 Membrane installations for waste water disinfection in Germany 153
Table 2-25 Demands on the effluent quality and operating values of the Bondorf-Hailfingen waste water
treatment plant [BONDORF-HAILFINGEN WASTE WATER UNION 2004] 157
Table 2-26 Quality of the effluent of the Wulpen waste water treatment plant [ZENON GMBH 2004] 159
Table 2-27 Waste water quality at the inlet and outlet of the ultrafiltration installation for treatment of the
effluent of the Katowice WWTP after secondary clarification up to process water quality
[ZENON GMBH 2004] 161
Table 2-28 Design results according to the approach of the University Group (HSG) for a conventional waste
water treatment plant with TSBB = 12 g/l 164
Table 2-29 Determination of the necessary volumes, taking into account different requirements for the
design of membrane installations 164

3 Membrane Technology in Industrial Waste Water Treatment 167


Table 3-1 Objectives for the utilization of membrane technology in industrial waste water treatment 171
Table 3-2 Sequence of planning for a membrane installation [according to THEILEN 2000; PETERS 2001] 174
Table 3-3 Sample applications for the use of membrane technology in industrial waste water treatment
in Germany 178
Table 3-4 Quality of the recycling water 2 [ENVIRO CHEMIE 2004] 203
Table 3-5 Inflow values, effluent requirements and operating values of the plant [SCHERING AG 2004] 214
Table 3-6 Sample applications for the use of membrane technology in industrial waste water treatment
outside of Germany 229

A Annex 263
Table A-1 Contacts for development programs of the federal states and selected development programs
concerning “waste water avoidance, closed process water circuits“ 278
Table A-2 Membrane processes and their fields of application 291
Table A-3 Overview of the most current membrane materials for the different membrane processes 293
Table A-4 Features and fields of application of different module types 294
Table A-5 Membrane installations in West European industry 314
Table A-6 Characteristic data of designed membrane bioreactors [WEDI 2002a] 324
Table A-7 Studies on the dewaterability of excess sludge on a large-scale centrifuge 327
Table A-8 Membrane-specific annual cost shares 336

21
1

22
Introduction

What is membrane technology? Membrane processes in waste water treatment

Membrane technology is a physical process for the sepa- Due to high efficiency and the possibility of saving costs,
ration of material mixtures in which the membranes membrane processes currently represent a proven alter-
function like a filter. The separated substances are neither native to classical procedures for many applications in
thermally nor chemically nor biologically modified. In the waste water treatment.
waste water treatment membrane technology is also used
in combination with other purification methods, e. g. The high purification efficiency of membrane processes,
biological procedures. in particular the combination of an activated sludge stage
with downstream micro- or ultrafiltration, makes it pos-
Fields of application sible to meet the requirements of tertiary waste water
treatment that are legislated for the protection of surface-
World-wide the field of application of membrane techno- and groundwater. Without membrane technology, these
logy is becoming more and more broad. While its begin- requirements can often only be met by a combination of
nings lay in the field of water purification in the desali- different process stages (e. g. activated sludge stage, con-
nation of sea and brackish water in arid zones, it is used ventional filtration, disinfection). By using membrane
for decades also for the separation of valuable materials technology, it is possible in certain cases to reduce the
from small water volumes, e. g. in biotechnology, in the costs of water supply and waste water treatment as well
pharmaceutical and chemical industry, the metal-work- as production costs.
ing industry and in the food and beverage industry.

In addition, membrane technology got accepted as effi- Objectives in waste water treatment
cient and economic procedure for the treatment of high-
strength industrial waste water. Membrane technology In municipal and industrial waste water treatment, mem-
has been tested and applied for the last ten years for the brane processes are applied to satisfy the following objec-
treatment of comparably low-loaded and big water volu- tives:
mes in drinking water treatment as well as in municipal
waste water treatment (membrane bioreactor process). • retention
(e. g. of solid matter including biomass, of hazardous
Membrane processes are used in drinking water treatment material, of dissolved matter by reverse osmosis)
to improve the retention of particles and to remove micro- • purification
organisms. Ultrafiltration is predominantly used in this (e. g. for industrial water treatment, for disinfection by
field because not only germs but also viruses are safely retention of bacteria)
retained. Membrane processes for drinking water prepara- • concentration
tion are not treated in detail in this publication. Existing (e. g. for the recycling of valuable substances)
plants with membrane technology are listed in Annex A7. • fractionation
(e. g. for separation into two or more components)
The membrane processes microfiltration, ultrafiltration,
nanofiltration and reverse osmosis are classified accord-
ing to the size or molar mass of the separated substances.
Their different molecular separation sizes allow for the
choice of the suited process for the particular task. For
more complex tasks, the combination with other proces-
ses, e. g. biological or chemical processes, is a possibility.
In the same way, two membrane processes may be com-
bined.

23
Introduction

Advantages of membrane technology in waste With view to possibly increasing requirements for the
water treatment waste water treatment technology, the attractiveness of
the membrane bioreactor process (micro- or ultrafiltra-
The membrane bioreactor process with immersed mem- tion) combined with a downstream nanofiltration or
branes can be used for industrial as well as municipal reverse osmosis installation will grow. Due to the high
waste water treatment. Compared to conventional waste attainable sludge age and the downstream membrane
water treatment processes (activated sludge stage, secon- stage, the membrane bioreactor process is also suited for
dary treatment, filtration, disinfection), it has many the removal of some organic trace substances.
advantages which also have economic effects:
Structure and contents of this publication
• saving of the process stages secondary stage, sand filtra-
tion, UV disinfection, This publication gives an overview of the present use of
• the very compact design; compared to the activation membrane processes in municipal and industrial waste
process, the necessary activation volume is only water treatment, in Germany in particular. Membrane
approx. 30 %, technology is still being developed and the number of
• the higher purification efficiency by complete reten- application possibilities continues to increase.
tion of particles and bacteria, and, depending on the
membrane process, also viruses, This publication is intended for both specialists and lay-
• better removal of organic trace substances by a higher men. It is less a comprehensive textbook or manual for
sludge age and the establishing of special micro-orga- the solution of all problems concerning design, building
nisms and operation of a membrane installation than rather an
• the possibility to arrange downstream an additional instrument, which sensitizes the reader to these ques-
membrane stage (nanofiltration or reverse osmosis) to tions and offers solutions. The reference to practice and
retain organic trace substances and possibly also dis- the relevance of membrane technology to waste water
solved substances. treatment becomes clear by the description of installa-
tion examples from the municipal and industrial field in
Prospects Germany and outside of Germany. The locations of the
installations described are shown in the following figure.
Further development and application of membrane tech-
nology in the field of water and waste water treatment
will continue in the next years. The growth forecasts
concerning world-wide application of membrane proces-
ses are approx. 10 – 15 % per year for waste water treat-
ment and about 20 % per year for drinking water treat-
ment (including sea water desalination). (Plants for drink-
ing water treatment existing in Germany are compiled in
Annex 7). Due to continuous development of membrane
materials and module constructions as well as process
design and process engineering, a still broader range of
applications is opened up.

Moreover, the cost-effectiveness of membrane processes


continuously improves compared to other waste water
treatment processes, since the water and waste water costs
generally rise and the specific membrane prices go down.

24
Introduction

Sites of the waste water treatment plants with membrane technology in Germany described in this publi-
cation

! municipal plants with microfiltration industrial plants with reverse osmosis


! municipal plants with ultrafiltration or the combination UF/RO
industrial plants with microfiltration industrial plants with the combination
industrial plants with ultrafiltration UF/NF
industrial plants with nanofiltration industrial plants with the combination
MF/UF/NF/RO

25
Introduction

The contents of this publication is subdivided into several


partial chapters, each of them representing a complete
unit. Therefore they can be read independently from each
other and allow the reader to orient himself according to
the focus of his interests. The following overview sum-
marizes the contents of the individual chapters and shows
the reader the way through the publication.

Structure and contents of this publication

Guideline

Chapter 1: Basics

Membrane technology in waste water treatment

Chapter 2: Chapter 3:
Municipal waste water treatment Industrial waste water treatment

Chapter 4: Instructions and standards

Annex: Contacts, possibilities for promotion

26
Basics of Membrane Technology 1
1 Basics of Membrane Technology

1.1
Basics of Material Separation by means of
Membrane Technology

Material separation by means of membrane technology is The driving force for the separation process is the pres-
a physical separation process. Compared with other sepa- sure difference between the feed and permeate side, the
ration technologies, this technology has the advantage so-called transmembrane pressure difference or
that the separated materials are neither thermally nor transmembrane pressure. It is applied by overpressure on
chemically or biologically modified. The fields of applica- the side of the feed or low pressure on the side of the
tion of membrane processes stretch from simple filtration permeate. Dependent on the membrane employed, the
of solids, e. g. separation of activated sludge in municipal transmembrane pressure is between 0.1 bar and 70 bar,
waste water treatment, up to the separation of materials in special cases it is up to 120 bar.
within the molecular range, e. g. retention of dissolved
salts in seawater desalination. The characteristics selectivity and capacity are of deci-
sive importance for the economic efficiency of a mem-
The operating principle of a membrane can be described brane process. The selectivity describes the ability of a
in the wider sense like that of a filter. As shown in Figure membrane to differentiate between the components of a
1-1, a substance mixture, called feed or raw solution (e. g. mixture and thus to separate one phase from the other.
raw waste water) is separated by the membrane. The part By capacity of a membrane, we understand the flow
which passes through the membrane almost unhindered is under specific operational conditions. The flow is defined
called permeate or filtrate. To waste water purification as the volumetric flow rate per unit surface area (unit:
the permeate represents the treated phase. The portion L/(m2 · h)).
retained by the membrane is the brine or concentrate.

Figure 1-1
Operating principle of micro- and ultrafiltration membranes

large particles
small particles

raw solution, brine,


waste water, feed concentrate

membrane permeate,
filtrate

28
Basics of Membrane Technology 1

Another important feature of a membrane is described by In an industrial company, the employment of a mem-
the parameter permeability. It is defined as the quotient brane process for waste water purification may be fea-
from flow and the accompanying transmembrane pres- sible, particularly if a useful integration into the produc-
2
sure (unit: L/(m · h · bar)). The permeability of a mem- tion process is possible. Besides the treatment of the
brane is influenced by the membrane condition and the waste water, it is also frequently aimed at reusing the per-
filtration characteristics of the waste water (see chapter meate and possibly the concentrate, so that these can be
1.7). The latter depend on the material composition and recycled into the production process.
the characteristics of the waste water mixture, e. g. tem-
perature, particle-size distribution and viscosity. In municipal waste water purification, the membrane
processes microfiltration (MF) and ultrafiltration (UF) are
1.2 used. For industrial waste water purification, nanofiltra-
Membrane Processes in Waste Water Purification tion (NF) and reverse osmosis (RO) are also of impor-
tance. These four processes are therefore described in the
There are various membrane processes which differ in following.
their molecular separation size and the driving force
which has to be expended. Which process is employed Figure 1-2 indicates the molecular weight and the size of
depends on the waste water composition and the separa- the materials which can be separated by microfiltration
tion goal. (MF), ultrafiltration (UF), nanofiltration (NF) and reverse
osmosis (RO).
The separation goal in municipal waste water purification
is above all the separation of the cleaned waste water The size of some waste water constituents and the pore
from the biomass in order to meet the effluent standards. size of the membranes applied are presented in Figure 1-3.

Figure 1-2
The different fields of application of membrane processes

filtration
microfiltration
ultrafiltration
nanofiltration
reverse osmosis

1.000.000 500.000 200.000 100.000 20.000 10.000 200

molecular weight organic acids


[g/mol] or [Dalton]
acetic acid •
no scale
simazine • salt (NaCl) •
mercury • glycine •
nonylphenol • phenol •
bisphenol A •
benzo-a-pyren •
EDTA •
poliomyelitis virus • diclofenac •
influenza virus • saccharrose •
mumps virus • amoxicilline •
herpes virus •
bacillus subtillis •
escherichia coli •

bacteria viruses

activated sludge flocs

100 10 1 0,1 0,01 0,001


aproximate size
logarithmic scale

29
1 Basics of Membrane Technology

Figure 1-3
Size of typical waste water constituents and the pore size of membranes applied

microfiltration ultrafiltration
pore size: 0,1 – 5 µm pore size: 0,005 – 0,1 µm

typical typical
pore size: pore size:
0,4 µm 0,04 µm

membrane

membrane
activated sludge flocs influenza virus low-molecular weight
organic substances

monovalent ion
escherichia coli macro-molecular weight
organic substances polyvalent ion

Table 1-1 provides an overview of the membrane proces- The concentration process of a component to be separa-
ses presented, with driving force and application possibil- ted by a membrane is represented in an idealized manner
ities. Further details about the individual processes are for a pore membrane and a solution-diffusion membrane
given in the following sections 1.2.1 to 1.2.3. in Figure 1-4. With the pore membrane, the component
to be separated is retained by the membrane due only to
Two mechanisms are essentially responsible for the mass its size. In the course of concentration, a sharp separa-
transfer in membrane processes: transfer by pores and tion on the membrane surface can be recognized. When
transfer due to diffusion. In real membranes both trans- entering into the membrane, the concentration of the
fer modes can occur in parallel; however, the idealized component in the feed drops down to the concentration
classification of membranes is as follows: in the permeate.

• pure pore membranes (“porous” membranes) and However, with a solution-diffusion membrane a
• pure solution-diffusion membranes (“dense” mem- reduction of the concentration also takes place within
branes) the membrane due to the transportation mechanisms.

Separation by pore membranes (MF, UF) is based on a


sieving effect, while differences in solubility and diffusi-
vity are responsible for the selectivity of solution-diffu-
sion membranes (NF, RO) [RAUTENBACH 1997].

30
Basics of Membrane Technology 1

nanofiltration reverse osmosis


pore size: 0,001 – 0,01 µm pore size: 0,0001 – 0,001 µm

typical typical
pore size: pore size:
0,004 µm
membrane 0,0004 µm

membrane
Table 1-1
Pressure-driven membrane processes in waste water purification

Membrane process Phase separation Driving force Application

Microfiltration liquid/solid pressure difference 0,1 – 3 bar separation of solid matter from suspensions

Ultrafiltration liquid/liquid pressure difference 0,5 – 10 bar separation of macromolecular or colloids, disinfection

Nanofiltration liquid/liquid pressure difference 2 – 40 bar separation of dissolved organic molecules and polyvalent inorganic ions

Reverse osmosis liquid/liquid pressure difference 5 – 70 bar separation of organic molecules and of all ions

in special cases up to 120 bar

Figure 1-4
Idealized representation of a pore membrane and a solution-diffusion membrane [according to MELIN 1999]

pore membrane solution-diffusion-membrane

wiF wiF

permeate
feed permeate side
side feed
side side
wiF concentration of the waste water
wiP constituents in the feed
wiP wiP concentration of the waste water
constituents in the permeate

31
1 Basics of Membrane Technology

1.2.1 MF UF

Micro- and Ultrafiltration

Microfiltration (MF) and ultrafiltration (UF) belong to the Municipal waste water treatment
pressure-driven membrane processes. Concerning operat- • separation of activated sludge and water
ing pressure and molecular separation size, they are cate- • disinfection
gorized between nanofiltration and filtration (e. g. sand • pretreatment prior to a reverse osmosis plant
filtration). The separation mechanisms of the Mf and UF • phosphate removal after precipitation
membranes are similar and the fields of application may
strongly overlap (Figure 1-2), so that both are described Industrial waste water treatment
in this chapter. • Waste water recycling and reuse as process water
for different purposes
According to the principle of a porous filter, by MF • Treatment of landfill leachate combined with a
and UF all those particles that are larger than the mem- biological stage
brane pores are retained completely. The particles held • Recovery of water-based paint from spray booth
back can develop a covering layer on the membrane sur- effluents by concentration
face. This layer then holds back smaller particles which, • e. g. in the metal-working industry:
without a covering layer, would pass through the mem- · Prolongation of the service life of electro-dipcoat
brane (process controlled by the covering layer). bathes
· Concentration of water-oil emulsions
Characteristic features of micro- and ultrafiltration are · Recycling of degreasing baths
summarized in Table 1-2.

In waste water purification, micro- and ultrafiltration are


used for the separation and retention of particulate and
emulsified waste water constituents. Typical applications
include:

Table 1-2
Characteristic features of micro- and ultrafiltration

Mikrofiltration (MF) Ultrafiltration (UF)

Operation mode (see Chapter 1.6) cross-flow- and dead-end-operation cross-flow- and dead-end-operation

Operating pressure 0,1 – 3 bar (transmembrane) 0,5 – 10 bar (transmembrane)

Separating mechanism screening controlled by covering layer, if necessary screening controlled by covering layer, if necessary

Molecular separation size solids > 0,1 µm (see figure 1-2) colloids: 20.000 – 200.000 Dalton*,

solids > 0,005 µm (see figure 1-2)

Membrane types predominantly symmetric polymer or ceramic membranes asymmetric polymer composit or ceramic membranes

(see chapter 1.3) (see chapter 1.3)

Module types spiral-wound, hollow-fibre and tube modules, spiral-wound, hollow-fibre and tube modules,

plate or cushion modules plate and cushion modules

* [Dalton], numerically equivalent to the molecular weight (MW) in [g/mol]

32
Basics of Membrane Technology 1

1.2.2 NF

Nanofiltration

Nanofiltration (NF) is a pressure-driven membrane pro- Up to now nanofiltration has not been used in municipal
cess which is preferentially used for the recycling of waste water treatment.
aqueous solutions. Concerning operational pressure and
separation size, nanofiltration is categorized between Industrial waste water treatment
reverse osmosis and ultrafiltration. By means of NF mem- • Relief of ion exchangers or downstream reverse osmosis
branes, the retention rate for particles with a molecular units
mass greater than 200 g/mol is high; this corresponds to • Removal of colour in the waste water of the textile and
a molecule diameter of approx. 1 nm. the pulp and paper industry
• Demineralization of waste water containing surfactants
Typical of NF membranes is their ion selectivity. The
retention of a dissolved salt is determined by the valency In general:
of the anion. Therefore most salts with monovalent • Retention of multivalent ions (e. g. SO42-, Cd2+, Cr2+),
anions (e. g. Cl-) can pass through the membrane, where- but permeation of monovalent ions (e. g. Cl-, Na+)
2-
as multivalent anions (e. g. SO4 ) are retained [RAUTEN- • Retention of organic compounds
BACH 1997]. Characteristic features of nanofiltration are • Separation of components with lower and higher mole-
represented in Table 1-3. cular weight in aqueous solutions

Table 1-3
Characteristic features of nanofiltration

Nanofiltration

Operating mode (see chapter 1.6) cross-flow-operation

Operating pressure 2 – 40 bar (transmembrane)

Separation mechanism solubility/diffusion/charge (ion selectivity)

Molecular separation size dissolved matter: 200 – 20.000 Dalton* solids > 0.001 µm (see Figure 1-2)

Membrane types asymmetric polymer or composite membrane (see chapter 1.3)

Module types spiral-wound, tube, and cushion modules

* [Dalton], numerically equivalent to the molecular weight (MW) in [g/mol]

33
1 Basics of Membrane Technology

1.2.3 RO

Reverse Osmosis

Reverse osmosis (RO) serves to separate components of a Reverse osmosis has no importance in municipal waste
solution. It is based on a pressure-driven process, the water treatment. Fields of application are [RAUTENBACH
driving force resulting from the difference of the electro- 1997]:
chemical potential on both sides of the membrane. The
non-porous RO membranes can retain dissolved material Industrial waste water treatment
with a molecular weight of less than 200 g/mol com- • Concentration of drainage water from mines contain-
pletely, so that reverse osmosis achieves a higher separa- ing CaSO4
tion efficiency than nanofiltration. Since dissolved salts • Dewatering of flushing water from photo laboratories
are retained to a very high extent, RO has a history for silver recovery
as a proven membrane procedure, which is already state • Treatment of waste water from textile dyeing (cotton
of the art for example in the desalination of sea- and and polyester dyeing)
brackish water. Characteristic features of reverse osmosis • Concentration of cellulose washing water
are compiled in Table 1-4. • Recovery of phosphoric acid
• Treatment of waste water from bleacheries
• Treatment of landfill leachate

Table 1-4
Characteristic features of reverse osmosis

Reverse Osmosis (RO)

Operating mode (see chapter 1.6) cross-flow-operation

Operating pressure 5 - 70 bar (transmembrane), in special cases up to 120 bar

Separation mechanism solubility/diffusion

Molecular separation size dissolved matter: < 200 Dalton* (see Figure 1-2)

Membrane types asymmetric polymer- or composite membrane (see chapter 1.3)

Modul types spiral-wound, tube, plate, cushion or disc-tube modules

* [Dalton], numerically equivalent to the molecular weight (MW) in [g/mol]

34
Basics of Membrane Technology 1

1.3
Membrane Materials, Structure and Classification

Membranes are classified according to different features


(Figure 1-5), which are briefly explained in the following:
• Origin
• Material
• Morphology and structure
• Manufacturing process

Figure 1-5
Classification of membranes [according to RAUTENBACH 1997]

membrane

origin synthetic biological

liquid solid

organic inorganic
material

morphology non-porous porous porous

1.3.1
Origin and Materials

Membranes can be of biological and synthetic origin and Depending on waste water composition and characteris-
differ according to structure, functionality and material tics as well as operational requirements, different ma-
transfer. While biological membranes, e. g. cell mem- terials are used for membranes. Membrane materials are
branes, are indispensable for human and animal exist- organic (e. g. cellulose, polymer membranes) or inorganic
ence, in waste water purification only synthetic, solid (e. g. ceramic membranes).
membranes are used.

35
1 Basics of Membrane Technology

Organic membranes 1.3.2


Morphology, Structure and Manufacturing
At present synthetic polymer membranes are used predo-
minantly because it is possible to select a polymer suita- Concerning the morphology of membranes, we distin-
ble for the specific separation problem from the existing guish between pore mem-branes and solution-diffusion
huge number of synthetic polymers. Moreover, compared membranes (see Figure 1-5 and chapter 1.2). Inorganic
to other materials, polymer membranes are often chea- membranes are always pore membranes.
per.
The structure of a membrane may be symmetric or
For the separation of a constituent, the structural charac- asymmetric. While symmetric membranes have a nearly
teristics of the polymers used, like thermal, chemical and homogeneous structure all over the thickness of the
mechanical stability, and the permeability are decisive. membrane, asymmetric membranes are made up of two
Examples of organic polymer membranes are for example layers.
polysulfone (PS), polyacrylonitrile (PAN), polyethersul-
fone (PES), polypropylene (PP), polyvinylidene fluoride The layer on the side of the feed (active layer) determines
(PVDF), acetylcellulose, and polyamide (PA) membranes. the separation behaviour of the membrane, while the
porous layer below serves as support. The supporting lay-
Inorganic membranes er ensures the mechanical stability of the membrane and
hinders the permeate flow only little. The aim of asym-
In the recent past inorganic membranes have gained metric membrane design is to keep the active layer as
more and more importance. They are used especially if thin as possible and, with this, minimize the filtration
the employment of polymer membranes is excluded resistance of the membrane. With solution-diffusion
because of the characteristics of the raw waste water or membranes it is therefore possible to obtain flows which
if the organic membrane surfaces have to be cleaned are 50 to 100 times higher than with comparable symme-
frequently and intensively due to the waste water com- tric membranes [MELIN 1999].
position.
Today asymmetric organic membranes are usually manu-
Inorganic membrane materials are ceramics, aluminum, factured as phase inversion or composite membranes.
high-grade steel, glass and fiber-reinforced carbon, of The active layer and supporting layer of the phase inver-
which ceramic membranes at present have the greatest sion membranes are made from the same material.
importance in waste water purification. Compared to However, in the case of composite membranes, the active
organic membranes, the advantages of ceramic mem- layer and supporting layer consist of different materials,
branes are high resistance against heat and chemicals, so that both layers can be optimized with a view to cus-
with correspondingly a high regeneration capacity, as tomizing the characteristics required in each case.
well as reduced aging and long service lives. Disadvan-
tages are above all the higher investments due to the Figure 1-6 shows scanning electron micrographs of phase
membrane material and more expensive module con- inversion membranes (a), (b) as well as of a composite
structions. membrane (c). Figure 1-7 and Figure 1-8 represent the
active layer of a polyethylene membrane at different
resolutions.

36
Basics of Membrane Technology 1

Figure 1-6 Figure 1-7


Scanning electron micrographs of cross-sections of Top view of the active layer of a polyethylene
different membranes membrane (MF/UF) [AGGERVERBAND 2002]

denitrifica-
tion

symmetric
membrane-
layer

200 µm

symmetric polymer membrane (MF) [N.N. 2002a]

active
layer
Figure 1-8
supporting
layer Top view of the broken edge of a polyethylene
membrane (MF/UF), the active layer is visible
[AGGERVERBAND 2002]
7 µm

asymmetric composite membrane


(RO) [FRIMMEL, GORENFLO 2000]

active
layer

supporting
layer

7 µm

asymmetric polymer phase inversion membrane


(UF) [N.N. 2001a]

37
1 Basics of Membrane Technology

1.4
Membrane Forms and Modules

Depending on the manufacturing process, we distinguish capillary and hollow-fibre module. For flat membranes
two basic membrane forms: we distinguish plate, spiral-wound, cushion and disc-tube
modules.
• tubular membranes and
• flat membranes The different module forms can be characterized regard-
ing the arrangement of the separation layer, the compo-
These membranes are arranged in an engineered unit, nent density and, with the tubular diaphragms, regarding
the module. Besides the membrane itself, the module is the diameter (free flow cross-section) (Table 1-5, Table 1-6).
of decisive importance for the efficiency of a membrane Due to the different characteristics related to performan-
stage. There are a huge number of different module con- ce and operation (e. g. operating mode, susceptibility to
structions because the modules are adapted in their con- blockage, simple backwashing etc.) and the surface-speci-
struction to meet the requirements of the end use. fic module costs, certain module types are preferentially
used depending on the waste water to be treated. A prere-
The basic membrane forms, which depend on the condi- quisite for module selection is in each case the selection
tions of production, are assigned to the module forms of the membrane process and/or the membrane which is
represented in Figure 1-9. In some special cases this strict suitable for the separation problem. Table 1-2 (MF and
allocation is not permissible, e. g. if some membranes UF), Table 1-3 (for NF) and Table 1-4 (for RO) can be used
used in tube modules were manufactured by the tubular to identify which module types are used in the different
processing of flat membranes. Concerning tubular mem- membrane processes.
branes, we distinguish as module constructions the tube,

Figure 1-9
Membrane and module forms

membrane form tubular flat

tube modul spiral-wound module


module form
capillary module cushion module

hollow-fibre module plate module

disc-tube module

38
Basics of Membrane Technology 1

Table 1-5
Characteristic values, advantages and disadvantages of module types with tubular membranes

Tubular membranes

Tube module Capillary module Hollow-fibre module

Arrangement of the inside outside/inside outside/inside

separation layer

Inside diameter 5,5 ... 25 mm 0,25 ... 5,5 mm 0,04 ... 0,25 mm

Component density < 80 m2/m3 < 1.000 m2/m3 < 10.000 m2/m3

Operating mode cross-flow dead-end/cross-flow dead-end

Advantages hardly susceptible to blockage high component density extremely high component density

low pressure loss operation controlled cheap production backwashing possible favourable specific membrane costs

by covering layer is possible on the permeate side high pressure resistance

Disadvantages low component density low pressure resistance susceptible to blockage pressure loss

Table 1-6
Characteristic values, advantages and disadvantages of module types with flat membranes

Flat membranes

Plate module Spiral-wound module Cushion module

Arrangement of the outside outside outside

separation layer

Component density 40 ... 100 m2/m3 < 1.000 m2/m3 ca. 400 m2/m3

Operating mode cross-flow dead-end/cross-flow dead-end/cross-flow

Advantages membranes can be changed separately cheap production few seals little pressure losses on the permeate side

hardly susceptible to blockage high component density hardly susceptible to fouling

Disadvantages many seals long flow path on the permeate side low component density

low component density mechanical cleaning not possible many seals

risk of blockages

The following figures present module forms which are


used particularly in industrial waste water treatment.
They are described with the help of pictures and/or flow
sheets. Further examples and explanations concerning
e. g. the plate and capillary modules used in municipal
waste water treatment are given in chapter 2.1.2.

39
1 Basics of Membrane Technology

Tube modules

Inside a jacket or a pressure tube, several supporting


tubes of smaller diameter which are perforated or perme-
able to the permeate, are combined. The tubular mem-
brane layer is applied on the inside of the tubes. The feed
is pumped through these tubes and is collected in the
outside space between the pressure tube and supporting
tubes and is then withdrawn at a connecting piece on
the pressure tube.

Figure 1-10
Tube modules [photo: WEHRLE WERK AG]

permeate

feed

feed
permeate
permeate collector

brine connection
thread
sealing rings
membrane-supporting tube
membrane

40
Basics of Membrane Technology 1

Capillary or hollow-fibre modules

In a pressure tube, a large number of capillary and/or case, filtration takes place from outside to inside and the
hollow-fibre membranes are combined into a module. permeate is withdrawn on the inside of the capillaries/
Comparable to multichannel tube modules, the capilla- fibres.
ries and/or fibres can be fed with the feed stream so that
filtration takes place from inside to outside. More capillary module forms are described in chapter 2.1.2.

In addition there is a construction for which membrane


capillaries/fibres with an outer coating are used. In this

Figure 1-11
Capillary or hollow-fibre modules [photo: KOCH MEMBRANE SYSTEMS]

feed: inside feed: outside


permeate feed

feed permeate

permeate feed

hollow fibre pressure tube bonding (resin)

41
1 Basics of Membrane Technology

Spiral-wound modules

This module consists of one or more membrane bags the permeate to flow between the membranes. The cylin-
which are wound helically with one spacer each (feed dric module resulting from the whirl is supplied to the
spacer) around the permeate collecting pipe. The mem- front with the feed, which flows through the module in
brane bags are closed at three sides and at the open side an axial direction. While the feed flows through the
the bags are attached to the perforated permeate collec- space outside of the membrane bags resulting from the
tion pipe. The inside of the membrane bags is filled with feed spacer, the withdrawn permeate flows inside the
a porous plastic textile (permeate spacer), which allows membrane bags helically to the permeate collection pipe.

Figure 1-12
Spiral-wound modules [schematic drawing: N.N. 2001], [photo: NADIR FILTRATION GMBH]

feedspacer
central tube

membrane
w
d flo
fee

permeate-
flow in the
central tube

permeate in the
permeate chanal
permeate spacer

42
Basics of Membrane Technology 1

Cushion modules

Cushion modules are constructed by analogy to spiral- As can be seen in the figure, several cushions can be inter-
wound modules from membrane bags with intermediate connected via the permeate openings. The cushion packa-
woven fabric fleece. In this case all sides of the bags are ges are then inserted into a pressure tube with modular
closed and the permeate is withdrawn through one or character. In its wall is the permeate collection pipe with
more openings, provided with round seals, in the cushion connections and seals for the corresponding permeate open-
provided. ings of the cushion packages as well as for the following
components of the pressure tube.

Figure 1-13
Cushion module [schematic drawing and photo: ROCHEM UF SYSTEME GMBH]

permeate channel (permeate discharge)


permeate-drainage pin

membrane pressure tube


cushion stack

spherical shell

spacer

raw water
membrane

drainage fleece on
permeate side

support plate
spacer
drainage fleece on
1 – 3 mm
permeate side
(variable channel height)
membrane
permeate drainage permeate
pin channel

43
1 Basics of Membrane Technology

Disc-tube module (DT module)

The disc-tube module (Figure 1-14) is made of supporting The preassembled disc-membrane stack is fitted into a
discs and membrane cushions which are alternately pressure tube. The raw water is fed between the inside
stacked on a tie rod, so that open flow channels result wall of the pressure tube and the sealing rings at the edge
between the discs and the membrane cushions on the of the discs to the annular gap in the first disc of the
side of the raw water. The supporting discs of the DT disc-membrane stack and filtered from outside to inside
module are provided at their outer edge with a sealing through the membrane cushions.
ring which juts out evenly at both sides. An annular gap,
formed by ribs, through which the raw water flows The permeate is withdrawn via the round lead-through
during operation, a slot for sealing between membrane in the center of the membrane cushions, the discharge
cushion and supporting discs, and a lead-through for the slots in the supporting discs and a drill-hole in the end
tie rod with permeate discharge slots are arranged centri- piece of the membrane stack. The open annular gaps and
cally. The membrane cushions are made of flat mem- the flow paths between the membrane cushions and the
branes with internal woven fabric fleece and are welded discs also allow for the treatment of liquids with higher
at the outside. colloids or solids loads.

Figure 1-14
Disc-tube module (DT module) [PALL 2001]

44
Basics of Membrane Technology 1

The membrane system from the company inge AG

Another development is the module from the company water, comparable to the single capillary modules with
inge AG with new, so-called, Multibore capillaries. As inside flow. In the case of capillary membranes with in-
Figure 1-15 shows, these capillaries have seven drillings side flow and small feed channel dimensions, higher
each, which have approximately the inside diameter of solid contents frequently cause blockages. Therefore, the
conventional single capillaries. Thus, the mechanical preferred field of application of the Multibore capillaries
integrity of the membrane capillaries is increased and is drinking water processing.
capillary breaks occur more rarely than with single capil-
laries.

The Multibore capillaries are operated according to the


inside-outside principle, i. e. supplied from their inside
with the raw water to be filtered. Thus they are applica-
ble only in the case of small solid contents in the raw

Figure 1-15
New Multibore capillaries from the company inge AG [photo: INGE AG]

45
1 Basics of Membrane Technology

1.5 in series, so that according to Figure 1-17, the concentrate


Arrangement of Modules flow of a module serves as feed for the next module and
the permeate of the single modules is brought together.
A membrane stage is a unit functioning in itself, which
consists of modules, pumps, valves etc. Besides the selec- With parallel connection (Figure 1-18), the feed is dis-
tion of a membrane or a membrane module suitable for tributed to the individual modules connected in parallel.
the waste water mixture to be separated, the arrangement The number of modules in parallel connection depends
and/or connection of the modules is critical to the per- on required the capacity of the membrane stage. The
formance of a membrane stage (Figure 1-16). In waste modules in parallel connection are called a block. The
water treatment, the volumetric flow to be separated and waste water-specific permeate yield or the concentration
the permeate quality or permeate yield to be obtained are within a block corresponds to the yield or concentration
important. that is attained with one module.

We distinguish two basic connections of modules: While in municipal waste water treatment pure parallel
• series connection and connection dominates, combinations of both basic con-
• parallel connection nection types are used in industrial waste water treat-
ment in order to achieve the desired purification goal or
Series connection is used if the permeate yield from one the maximum concentration:
module is not sufficient. Several modules are connected

Figure 1-16
From the membrane element to the membrane stage

membrane element module modul connection membrane stage

desired
feed effluent
quality

concentrate

Figure 1-17
Series connection of modules [according to BAUMGARTEN 1998]

feed

concentrate

permeate

46
Basics of Membrane Technology 1

• fir tree structure (Figure 1-19) block is reduced so that, e. g. with tube modules, the
• feed-and-bleed structure overflow conditions are adapted to the requirements also
in the downstream membrane elements.
Figure 1-19 shows an example of the fir tree structure
which is frequently used (e. g. in the seawater desalina- If the fir tree structure cannot be used because the feed
tion). The modules within blocks one and two are con- flow rate is smaller than is necessary for the module ap-
nected in parallel and all three blocks among themselves plied, the feed-and-bleed structure or the recircula-
in series. With this structure, the concentrate flow is con- tion cycle is used within each block. With this structure
tinuously concentrated or minimized from block to block the feed flow rate is increased by mixing the concentrate
and the permeate yield is correspondingly increased. Since with a part of the feed by internal recirculation. Thus a
the permeate is withdrawn from each block, the volume- higher concentration or higher permeate yield can be
tric flow to be treated reduces from block to block. There- achieved with one module. This is used for example in
fore, the number of modules required in the following landfill leachate treatment.

Figure 1-18
Parallel connection of modules [according to BAUMGARTEN 1998]

feed concentrate

permeate

Figure 1-19
Arrangement of several modules according to the fir tree structure
[according to RAUTENBACH 1997]

1st block permeate

2nd block

feed
3rd block

concentrate

47
1 Basics of Membrane Technology

1.6
Operating Modes

In principle, we distinguish two filtration operating In cross-flow operation the formation of a covering layer is
modes: diminished because there is a continuous flow over and
parallel to the membrane. Thus, a state of equilibrium at
• dead-end or static filtration and the membrane surface between development and remo-
• cross-flow or dynamic filtration val of the covering layer is achieved by the shear forces.
The overflow is typically generated by pumps. However,
Cross-flow operation is used in nanofiltration and reverse other systems may also be used, such as generating the
osmosis. In ultra- and microfiltration both operating overflow by introducing gas below the modules, i. e. by
modes are possible. the ascending gas-feed mixture, or the movement of the
membranes themselves (see chapter 2.1.2). A disadvan-
In the cross-flow mode (cross-current filtration) the feed tage of cross-flow operation compared to dead-end opera-
is pumped parallel to the membrane surface and the per- tion is the higher energy demand as a result of the over-
meate is withdrawn diagonally to it. In dead-end ope- flow energy which has to be continuously applied.
ration the membrane is fed orthogonally, comparable to
a “coffee filter”. Figure 1-20 illustrates the differences bet- The term “semi-cross-flow” or “semi-dead-end pro-
ween the two operating modes. cess” is also increasingly used. In this case, process ele-
ments of the two operating modes cross-flow and dead-
Due to the retention of suspended material, a covering end are combined in order to reduce the energy con-
layer develops on the feed side, which diminishes the fil- sumption in contrast to the pure cross-flow process. An
tration capacity. As a result, the permeate flow decreases example of a semi-cross-flow operation is intermittent
with progressive process duration. As preventive measure, overflow of the membrane according to the cross-flow
the entire module is submitted in intervals to backwashing. principle combined with backwashing intervals so that
the developing covering layer can be removed.
Figure 1-21 shows the decrease of the permeate flow, VP,
at a constant feed pressure, pF, as set target (left) and the
increase of the feed pressure at a constant permeate flow
as set target (right) over the filtration interval. By remo-
val of the covering layer during the backwashing inter-
val, ideally the original filtration capacity will be reached
again.

48
Basics of Membrane Technology 1

Figure 1-20
Schematic representation of a membrane in cross-flow- and dead-end filtration [according to MELIN 1999]

cross-flow operation dead-end operation

feed
feed

permeate permeate

Figure 1-21
Filtration intervals in dead-end operation [according to RAUTENBACH 1997]

filtration backwashing filtration backwashing


interval interval interval interval
permeate flow Vp

permeate flow Vp

feed pressure pF
feed pressure pF

time t time t

set target : set target :


constant feed presure pF constant permeate flow Vp

49
1 Basics of Membrane Technology

1.7
Formation of Covering Layers
The formation of covering layers can have different cau-
Municipal and industrial waste waters contain organic ses, which also determine the composition of the layer.
and inorganic matter. During purification of these waste We distinguish [BAUMGARTEN 1998]:
water by means of a membrane, the constituents of the
feed concentrate and a separation of particles at the • biological fouling (briefly: biofouling)
membrane surface occurs due to the selective effect of • colloidal1) fouling
the membrane. With increasing operating time, this • scaling
results in the development of a covering layer. Covering
layers can be used to a certain extent in a beneficial way Biofouling
for filtration (e. g. in order to increase the purification
degree), but often they are undesirable because they Biofilm formation on the membrane surface is caused by
diminish the permeate flow and thus the performance of adhesion and the growth of micro-organisms [FLEM-
the membrane. MING 1995]. Biofouling means that the biofilm causes a
reduction of the performance of the membrane system
The reducing performance of the membrane is based on by decreasing the specific membrane flow [FLEMMING
an increase in the filtration resistance, which increases 2000]. Plant shut-downs should be treated with caution,
the output membrane resistance (Rm) (Figure 1-22). since under these conditions the number of bacteria on
the membrane surface may increase dramatically [BAKER
Concerning the micro- and ultrafiltration membranes, ET AL. 1998].
the increased covering layer resistance results from ad-
sorption (RA), pore blockage (Rp) and the covering layer Colloidal fouling
formation itself (Rc). However, the increase of the filtra-
tion resistance of the tight nanofiltration and reverse From the accumulation of colloids results a kind of film
osmosis membranes is due to a concentration polarisa- or mucus on the membrane surface, which leads to a
tion (RCP) of dissolved matter, the concentration of which reduction of the filtration capacity.
rises with increasing filtration duration.
Scaling
Increased resistances due to adsorption (Ra) and pore
blockage (Rp) normally cannot be reduced by measures Scaling can be described as coatings on the membrane
such as backwashing or the like, so that during severe formed by inorganic precipitations (crystallization). Usu-
pore blockage another membrane material should be ally they only occur with NF and RO membranes if, for
used. On the other hand covering layer formation can be example, the solubility limit of dissolved salts is exceeded
decreased or undone by increasing the overflow velocity by excessive concentration on the membrane surface.
or backwashing the membrane with permeate in inter-
vals [PANGLISCH ET AL. 1996]. Table 1-7 summarizes the substances which can cause the
three types of covering layer presented.
Measures against covering layer formation and thus for
maintenance of the filtration capacity are treated in the
following chapter.

1) colloidal = finely spread out, finely dispersed

50
Basics of Membrane Technology 1

Figure 1-22
Schematic overview of the filtration resistances on the membrane surface and inside the membrane
[KRAMER, KOPPERS 2000]

feed side permeate side

Rp

Ra

Rm
Rc

Rcp

Table 1-7
Formation of covering layers in membrane filtration [according to BAUMGARTEN 1998]

Covering layer formation

Fouling Scaling (crystallization)

Biofouling Colloidal fouling

• germs • colloidal silicic acid and silicates CaSO4

• bacteria growth due to nutrient supply in the feed • colloidal hydroxides (e. g. Fe and Mn) CaF2

• formation of mucus by micro-organisms • organic colloids (e. g. humic substances, proteins) BaSO4

SiO2

Mg(OH)2

51
1 Basics of Membrane Technology

1.8
Measures for Maintenance of the Filtration Capacity

The utilization of membranes in waste water treatment is are considered during construction and operation of the
practically feasible only if the covering layer formation membrane plant (Table 1-8):
(chapter 1.7) is controlled so that safe and economic ope-
ration can be ensured. • pretreatment measures
• process configuration
The development of covering layers due to fouling or • membrane and module characteristics
scaling can be avoided or reduced if the following aspects • cleaning

Table 1-8
Methods for reduction and removal of covering layers

reduction, prevention, removal of covering layers


pretreatment optimisation of the constructional design cleaning

process configuration

sieve process design membrane material cleaning agent

prefiltration overflow structure cleaning interval

cooling flushing method module design concentration

neutralisation module conception

preprecipitation

Pretreatment measures Optimization of the process configuration

In municipal waste water treatment, the pretreatment for The formation of covering layers is determined essential-
the membrane bioreactor (chapter 2.1.3.2) takes place in ly by the operating mode – dead-end or cross-flow opera-
the mechanical stage (e. g. rake, grit chamber, primary tion – and the process control. By operational measures,
settlement tank). In this stage material which would such as increasing the backwashing volume or the back-
disturb the filtration process, such as coarse particles, fats washing time in dead-end operation, or increasing the
and fibres, are removed. overflow velocity in cross-flow operation, covering layer
formation can be reduced.
Material contents and composition of industrial waste
water vary considerably. The pretreatment measures for a However, due to increased energy demand for higher
membrane plant have to be chosen according to the re- overflow velocity and because of the permeate loss due
quirements of the waste water composition. Mechanical, to more frequent backwashing, these measures are not
physical, biological and chemical procedures can be used. very economical and can only be optimized during the
Examples are mentioned in Table 1-8. operation of a plant.

52
Basics of Membrane Technology 1

Structural design

Membrane material and membrane structure have the modification of their characteristics [LINDAU ET AL.
largest influence on the formation of covering layers 1998; PIERACCI ET AL. 1998; LINDAU, JÖNSSON 1999;
since the membranes interact directly with the covering AMANDA ET AL. 2000].
layer forming materials at the inlet. Depending on mate-
rial properties and the charge of a membrane, contami- For example, the module configuration determines how
nation at the membrane is adsorbed less or more strongly. large a pressure increase can be applied to overcome the
filtration resistance caused by the covering layer. This
The most important structural characteristics regarding pressure increase is allowed only within the scope of the
the covering layer formation are the roughness of the module-specific maximum operating pressure. It must
membrane surface, the pore diameter, porosity (share of also be considered in light of the economic operation of
the hollow space2)), and the pore size distribution. The the membrane stage.
smoother the surface and the smaller the pore diameter,
the smaller the susceptibility to blockage. Also, the ten- Cleaning
dency for membrane contamination is, in general, smal-
ler with a homogeneous pore distribution [KRAMER, If the desired permeate flow is no longer realizable eco-
KOPPERS 2000]. In recent years numerous efforts have nomically, a cleaning plan established by the membrane
been made to increase the efficiency of membranes by manufacturer is applied. Restoration or increase of the

2) Porosityin [%] is defined as the volume of the hollow space in a mem-


brane layer compared to the total volume of the membrane layer

Figure 1-23
Effect of membrane cleaning on the flow at constant pressure

cleaning interval irreversible


fouling
flow

cleaning
with
cleaning

constant pressure without


cleaning

time

53
1 Basics of Membrane Technology

permeate flow is brought about by cleaning with a mem- The effectiveness of cleaning does not only depend on
brane-compatible cleaning agent. The course of the flow the cleaning agents applied and their chemical activity,
over time at a constant transmembrane pressure with and but is also determined by factors such as temperature, pH
without chemical cleaning is represented in Figure 1-23. value, contact or reaction time, concentration of the ac-
Despite the significant improvement of the flow capacity tive substance, and mechanical forces. The cleaning result
by the chemical cleanings, the flow decreases with in- improves with higher temperatures or longer cleaning
creasing filtration time. This phenomenon is explained times. At higher temperatures the cleaning time can be
by irreversible fouling, which cannot be eliminated by reduced, or the temperature can be lower with a longer
cleaning. cleaning time. In order to adjust the pH value, it is neces-
sary to consider not only the compatibility with the
For membrane cleaning, chemical cleaning agents are membrane- or the module material, but also the specific
used in combination with backwashing (permeate side) effectiveness of the cleaning agent in dependence on the
or flushing (feed side). In principle, we distinguish three pH.
types of cleaning:
For handling the cleaning chemicals, the references on
1. backwashing/flushing of the membrane possible hazards of the respective safety data sheets must
2. interim cleaning using chemicals in lower concentra- be considered. This is of special importance in cases where
tion, e. g. weekly the personnel are not familiar (or only to a limited extent)
3. intensive cleaning using chemicals in higher concen- with the use of hazardous materials, e. g. at waste water
tration, e. g. biannually treatment plants.

The cleaning agents used for intensive cleaning have a Moreover it has to be considered that some cleaning che-
higher concentration than those used for interim clean- micals, after having been used for cleaning, may have
ing. The cleaning agent is chosen depending on the sub- undesirable effects on the permeate quality. After clea-
stances in the covering layer (Table 1-9). ning these cleaning solutions have to be collected, if
necessary, and disposed of separately.

Table 1-9
Examples of cleaning chemicals and their applications

Covering layer substance Cleaning agents applied

Calcium-, magnesium scaling Acids, e. g. citric acid, acetic acid

Metal hydroxide, inorganic colloids Acids, e. g. citric acid

Organic substances Anionic surfactants, oxidants, e. g. hypochlorite, hydrogen peroxide,

alkaline cleaning agents, e. g. caustic soda solution

Bacteria, germs Disinfectants, e. g. hypochlorite; biocides

54
Basics of Membrane Technology 1

1.9 waste water treatment, pressure-driven immersed mem-


Other Aspects Concerning the Use of Membrane brane systems with micro- or ultrafiltration membranes
Technology in Waste Water Treatment are predominantly used. The pore size of these mem-
branes ensures the retention of solids and of macromole-
Molecular separation size and transmembrane cular or colloidal substances up to the size mentioned in
pressure Table 1-10. The separation of smaller particles or substan-
ces with lower molecular weight requires nanofiltration
The choice of a membrane process depends on the waste or reverse osmosis membranes.
water composition and the separation task. In municipal

Table 1-10
Molecular separation size and transmembrane pressure of pressure-driven membrane processes

Membrane process Size of the particles, colloids or molecules to be separated Transmembrane pressure

Microfiltration solids > 0,1 µm 0,1 – 3 bar

Ultrafiltration 200.000 – 20.000 D * 0,5 – 10 bar

Nanofiltration 20.000 – 200 D * 2 – 40 bar

Reverse osmosis < 200 D * 5 – 70 bar

* Dalton, numerically equivalent to the molecular weight in [g/mol]

The driving force or the transmembrane pressure, which ring effect is normally improved, so that in some cases it
is necessary for the filtration process, has to overcome is possible to attain with a micro-filtration membrane the
the resistance to filtration. It consists of the resistance of separation result of an ultrafiltration process.
the membrane, the resistance by adsorption and clogging
of the pores in the membrane, the covering layer at the In many cases, the structure and thickness of the cover-
feed side and concentration polarization [KRAMER 2000]. ing layer is of higher importance for material separation
The transmembrane pressure of immersed membrane than the membrane itself. In particular with microfiltra-
systems in municipal applications is between 0.05 and tion processes, the formation of a reversible covering lay-
0.2 bar in normal operation. The pressure is generated by er formation is even wanted, as long as the flow is not
pumps installed at the permeate side. If the tanks with too strongly reduced, because inside membrane clogging
the membranes are arranged above the permeate collec- by smaller particles is avoided. It is of importance that a
ting tank, it is possible to use the difference of the water steady operation results in which covering-layer-forming
levels, i. e. the hydrostatic pressure, as transmembrane and covering-layer removing effects are compensated.
pressure.
Even with microfiltration membranes, the covering layer
Influences on the filtration process and maintenance is able to retain, for example, a high percentage of viruses,
of the performance of the filtration operation which are much smaller compared to bacteria, although
a retention by the membrane pores is not expected
In the filtration process, a covering layer is formed by [MELIN, RAUTENBACH 2004]. Since the size of bacteria
particles which are retained by the membrane and accu- is approx. 0.2 µm up to 10 µm and of viruses approx.
mulate on its surface. Thus the resistance to filtration 0.02 µm up to 0.250 µm, viruses are retained completely
increases and the permeate flow is reduced, but the filte- only by ultrafiltration membranes.

55
1 Basics of Membrane Technology

Table 1-11
Data on the size of viruses and bacteria

Name Length [µm] Width [µm] Diameter [µm]

Bacteria [STARR ET AL. 1981]

Bacteriodes pneumosintes 0,2 < 0,1

Mycoplasma spp. 0,25 0,1

Bacillus subtilis 2,5 0,75

Escherichia coli 2 0,6

Achromatium oxaliferum 100 5

Cristipira pectinis 36 – 72 1,5

Viruses [SCHLEGEL 1976]

Smallpox virus 0,3 0,2

Influenza 0,1

Poliomyelitis 0,02

Table 1-11 gives an overview of the size of bacteria and hypochlorite or hydrogen dioxide, has proven successful.
viruses. To realize chemical cleaning, it is necessary to install a
dosing station for chemicals which is correspondingly
To attain stable operation of a membrane installation, equipped. Cleaning (in situ or on air) can be automated
not only coverin-layer-forming and covering-layer-remov- to a great extent.
ing effects have to be compensated, but the development
of fouling must also be limited. Preparation and realization of chemical cleaning require
increased staff employment. For cleaning of the modules
Fouling results from bacteria producing extracellular in a separate cleaning chamber, even more staff is needed.
polymeric substances (EPS) which mainly consist of poly- The membrane modules under cleaning are not available
saccharides with incorporated proteins and accumulate for the filtration process. This has to be considered in the
around the cells as mucous capsules. The manifold rea- design of the installation (larger membrane surface area).
sons for the development of these mucous capsules are According to current knowledge, a precautionary opera-
not yet completely clarified. Bacteria species producing ting and cleaning strategy, which is adapted to the hy-
mucous EPS are necessary for the development of the draulic load, is technically and economically useful. This
activated sludge floc. By forming a mucous matrix on the includes planning of a sufficient membrane surface area
membrane, EPS have a negative effect on the filtration and operation of the membranes at moderate transmem-
process. Therefore the process control has to be designed brane pressure differences.
in such a way that the development of EPS is minimized
as far as possible. Within the scope of an optimized operating concept,
buffering of hydraulic peak loads in an upstream balanc-
In practice, chemicals are used to counteract the fouling ing tank may be useful to reduce the membrane surface
process. The utilization of an acid, e. g. citric acid, and a area.
cleaning chemical with oxidative effect, e. g. sodium

56
Basics of Membrane Technology 1

Performance of micro- and ultrafiltration membranes Activated sludge flocs consist of colonies of different bac-
teria species. The species pseudomonas, archobacter, ba-
The model for material transport in micro- and ultrafil- cillus, micrococcus, aerobacter and in particular zoogloea
tration membranes is based on the idealized pore model, are found most frequently. Indications on the size of acti-
i. e. bigger particles, activated sludge flocs and bacteria, vated sludge vary, e. g. with diameters of 50 to 200 µm
substances with a molar mass of more than 20,000 g/mol [HARTMANN 1983] or 5 to 30 µm [KRIEBITZSCH 1999],
are not able to pass through the membrane capillaries i. e. sized which are also retained by microfiltration mem-
because of their size. Dissolved substances such as acetic branes.
acid or urea cannot be retained, unless they are adsorbed
at substances which are retained. By ultrafiltration mem- Performance of nanofiltration and reverse osmosis
branes, substances with a molar mass of at least 20,000 membranes
g/mol can be retained.
To separate organic components from aqueous solutions,
In municipal waste water treatment, the membrane bio- a nanofiltration or reverse osmosis membrane has to be
reactor process (a combination of activated sludge pro- used. Nanofiltration membranes achieve considerable
cess and membrane process) is used in order to remove retention performances for substances with a molar mass
also dissolved, biodegradable constituents. Degradation of 200 g/mol and more, while reverse osmosis membranes
of organic matter with development of biomass and con- also retain dissolved organic components with a molar
version processes such as nitrification and denitrification mass of 100 – 150 g/mol nearly completely. Table 1-12
take place in the same way as in the conventional acti- and Figure 1-24 show the molar masses of some selected
vated sludge process. The substances adsorbed at the acti- waste water constituents.
vated sludge flocs are retained safely by micro- or ultrafil-
tration membranes.

Table 1-12
Molar masses of selected natural organic constituents in domestic waste water [KOPPE, STOZEK 1999]

Name Chemical formula Molar mass [g/mol]

Natural organic constituents

Makropollutants

Acetic acid C2H4O2 60

Citric acid C6H8O7 112

Sucrose C12H22O11 342

Glycine C2H5O2N 75

Urea CH4ON2 60

Mikropollutants

Estradiol C18H24O2 272

Toluol C7H8 92

Synthetic organic constituents

Trichloroethene C2HCL3 132

Dichloro benzene C6H8CL10 435

Sorbic acid C6H8O4 144

57
1 Basics of Membrane Technology

Figure 1-24
Molar masses of selected natural organic constituents in domestic waste water

nanofiltration

reverse osmosis

100 200 300 400 500

molecular
weight
[g/mol]
• acetic acid
• urea
• glycine
• toluol
• citric acid
• trichloroethene
• sorbic acid
• estradiol
• saccharose
• dichloro benzene

A special feature of nanofiltration membranes is their ion • “Group 1: Substances present in low concentrations
selectivity. Negatively charged ion groups on or in the in the waste water” (e. g. Atrazin)
membrane retain dissolved salts with polyvalent anions, • “Group 2: Substances which are detected in the
while monovalent anions are able to pass through the inflow and partly in the effluent above the detection
membrane nearly unhindered. In industrial applications limit and whose concentrations are considerably re-
this feature is used to recover valuable material from the duced between inflow and effluent“ (e. g. naphtalin,
process waste water (e. g. treatment of waste water from nonylphenols, bisphenol A)
car painting, recovery of dyes in paper mills or in the • “Group 3: Substances which are detected in the
textile industry). inflow and partly in the effluent above the detection
limit and whose concentrations are not or only slightly
For municipal waste water treatment, nanofiltration reduced” (e. g. diclofenac)
membranes open a special perspective for the retention
of organic trace substances. In Table 1-13 and, some organic trace substances are
selected whose retention can be expected on account of
As resulted from investigations, it is useful to classify the their molar mass. The real, quantifiable retention perfor-
organic trace substances into three groups with view to mance has to be determined by practical tests. At present
their concentrations in the waste water and their degra- intensive studies are realized concerning this subject.
dation behaviour [MUNLV 2004].

58
Basics of Membrane Technology 1

Table 1-13
Molar masses of selected organic trace substances [MUNLV 2004]

Name Chemical formula Molar mass [g/mol]

Bisphenol A C15H20O2 228

EDTA C10H16N2O2 292

Trifluralin C13H16F3N3O4 335

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons C22H12 276

Nonylphenol C15H24O 220

Organic trace substances of group 3

Organophosphates

TCEP C6H12O4P1Cl3 285

TCPP C9H18Cl3O4P 327

Pharmaceuticals

Clofibric acid ClC6H4OC(CH3)2CO2H 214

Carbamazepine C15H12N2O 236

Naproxen C14H14O3 230

Diclofenac C14H11Cl2NO2 296

Figure 1-25
Molar masses of selected organic trace substances

nanofiltration

reverse osmosis

200 300 400

molecular weight
• clofibric acid
• nonylphenol
[g/mol]
• bisphenol A
• naproxen
• carbamazepin

• polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons


• TCEP
• EDTA
• diclofenac
• TCPP
• trifluralin

59
1 Basics of Membrane Technology

For operation with high sludge ages, membrane biorec- Demands on the operating personnel
tors need considerably smalller activation volumes, com-
pared to conventional plants. It can be assumed that A membrane bioreactor differs from a conventional acti-
under these conditions an adaptation of the biomass vated sludge plant with view to operation and process
takes place which allows increased removal of hardly engineering. At present there is still need for training of
removable waste water constituents (cf. e. g. substances of the operating personnel of membrane installations. Con-
groups 2 and 3). Complete removal of substances which cerning the membrane bioreactor process, the Erftver-
possibly are not removed in the membrane biorector band offers a training series at the waste water treatment
(e. g. substances of group 3) can be attained by direct plant Nordkanal. In cooperation with MUNLV NRW, the
downstream arrangement of a nanofiltration stage or a Aggerverband currently installs a training facility on the
reverse osmosis. Interconnection of another treatment membrane bioreactor process at the site of the waste
stage, as required in conventional activated sludge water treatment plant Seelscheid.
plants, is not necessary.

60
Membrane Technology in Municipal 2
Waste Water Treatment
2 Membrane Technology in Municipal Waste Water Treatment

Membrane technology has been used for decades in In the beginning of the chapter the relevant process
industrial waste water treatment. In municipal waste engineering is explained in more detail. There exist two
water treatment, however, it has been applied only ways of arranging the membrane stage in a municipal
for several years. waste water treatment plant (Figure 2-2):

The main drivers for the recent increased application • integration of the membrane stage into the
of membrane technology in the municipal waste water activated sludge plant, and
treatment market are the new engineering approach con- • downstream arrangement of the membrane
cerning membrane modules which are directly immersed stage into the effluent of a conventional biological
into the activated sludge tank, and further development waste water treatment plant.
of membranes (micro- and ultrafiltration membranes). It
is because of these developments that this technology is In Germany, the integration of the membrane stage
now able to compete with well-established treatment as combination of activated sludge process and membrane
processes (e. g. the conventional activated sludge process) filtration – the socalled membrane bioreactor pro-
and that the purification efficiency has clearly improved. cess (chapter 2.1) – is of greatest importance. This pro-
During the last decades considerable efforts have been cess is used
made in the field of waste water treatment, which has
resulted in a significant positive effect on the quality of • in waste water treatment plants (chapter 2.2), as well as
water bodies. However, further improvement in water • in small sewage treatment plants and ship’s sewage
pollution control has to be realized in the future, specifi- treatment plants (chapter 2.3).
cally, measures for the removal of germs, bacteria and
viruses from waste water as well as for retention or degra- The membrane bioreactor process can be explained as
dation of micro-pollutants (e. g. substances affecting the follows: The membrane stage is used inplace of a secon-
endocrine system or residues from medicaments) must be dary clarifier tank to separate the biologically treated
addressed. water from the biomass. Depending on the module
system applied, one can distinguish between internal
The following pages provide an overview of the potential membrane modules (i. e. fitted into the activated sludge
of membrane technology in the municipal waste water tank, Figure 2-2, 2a) and external membrane modules
market. The drivers for existing plants to apply membrane (i. e. installed outside tanks, Figure 2-2, 2b).
technology will be discussed. The following chapters deal
with these examples as well as with technical and econo- Membrane stages arranged downstream of bio-
mic conditions and aspects of planning and operation. logical treatment stages (Figure 2-2, 3) are used to obtain
Figure 2-1 serves as guide to the chapter so that the complete retention of solids and farreaching disinfection
reader may choose directly the subjects in which he is of the effluent (see chapter 2.4).
interested most.

62
Membrane Technology in Municipal Waste Water Treatment 2

Figure 2-1
Background – planning – operation of a municipal membrane bioreactor, contents of the chapter
“Membrane technology in municipal waste water treatment“

Procedure Example Information

p. 286 New construction, upgrading, Concrete examples p. 95 ff.


extension of activated sludge
Motive stages Associations

Further measures
Target
p. 66 ff. p. 69 p. 266 ff.

p. 286
Purification requirements Consulting engineers

Analysis of the Local situation


actual situation
...

p. 64 p. 270 ff.

p. 286 p. 70 ff
Integration of existing tanks Membrane modules

New construction of tanks Economic efficiency


Study of variations
Membrane modules
...
p. 70 ff. p. 92 ff.

p. 286 f. p. 163 p. 95 ff.


Design of the membrane Concrete examples
bioreactor
Planning, Consulting engineers
design, Plant configuration
configuration Plant manufacturers
...
p. 82 p. 87 p. 270 ff.

p. 287 p. 95 ff.
Cleaning Concrete examples

Operation Energy consumption Plant operators

Staff

p. 89 f. p. 89 f. p. 266 ff.

63
2 Membrane Technology in Municipal Waste Water Treatment

Figure 2-2
Conventional waste water treatment according to the activated sludge process and possibilities for the
arrangement of a membrane stage at municipal waste water treatment plants [OHLE 2001]

conventional process engineering in municipal waste water treatment

raw waste water effluent


RE/SFF VK BB BB NK

if nec. more far-


reaching measures
e.g.: NN, SF, UV
1

integration of the membrane stage in municipal waste water treatment

raw waste water effluent


RE/SFF VK BB M

2a If nec. FS optional

raw waste water effluent


RE/SFF VK BB BB M

2b If nec. FS optional

downstream arrangement of the membrane stage in municipal waste water

raw waste water effluent


RE/SFF VK BB BB NK M

RE⁄SFF screen, grit and grease trap BB activated sludge tank M membrane stage
VK primary settlement tank NK 2nd settlement tank UV UV treatment
FS fine screen SF sand filter NN post-nitrification stage

64
Membrane Technology in Municipal Waste Water Treatment 2

With view to water pollution control, membrane techno- membrane stage (nanofiltration or reverse osmosis), the
logy represents a future-oriented solution. Thanks to the elimination of organic trace substances can also be
high attainable sludge age and another downstream expected. Figure 2-3 shows such a process combination.

Figure 2-3
Flow sheet of a waste water treatment plant with membrane bioreactor process and downstream
membrane stage

membrane Stage I
(MF/UF)

denitrification nitrification
stage stage membrane stage II
grit and (NF/UO)
fine screen grease
rake (optional) trap outflow
raw water inflow

optional
recirculation process
supplement

excess sludge

65
2 Membrane Technology in Municipal Waste Water Treatment

2.1 stage can be operated at much higher biomass concentra-


The Membrane Bioreactor Process tion than in conventional plants. With the latter, bio-
mass concentrations of MLSS < 5 g/l are typical, while the
2.1.1 membrane bioreactors working at present are operated at
Description of the Process and Fields of Application MLSS concentrations of 9 – 16 g/l. Thus it is possible to
reduce the aeration tank volumes at equal sludge loading
The membrane bioreactor process is a combination of by up to 75 % compared to conventional plants.
biological waste water treatment according to the activa- Table 2-1 summarizes the main advantages of the use of
ted sludge process and the separation of the sludge-water the membrane bioreactor process in municipal waste
mixture by membrane filtration. Waste water treatment water treatment.
in the true sense takes place by metabolic and conversion
processes in the biological stage (activated sludge pro-
cess). Simplifying we can say that the carbon and nitro- Table 2-1
gen compounds present in dissolved form in the waste Advantages of the membrane bioreactor process
water are converted to CO2 and N2 and integrated into compared to the conventional activated sludge
the biomass. This task is done by micro-organisms which process
are found as suspended sludge flocs in the activated sludge
Advantages
tank.
• complete retention of solid matter:

- improved effluent quality concerning the parameters COD and BOD5


To separate the treated waste water from the suspended
- far-reaching disinfection of the effluent, i. e. secondary settling, filtra-
biomass, membrane stages with pressure-driven micro-
tion and disinfection plant are replaced
or ultrafiltration membranes are used. The membranes
- no influence on the effluent quality by floating or bulking sludge nor
ensure a complete retention of solids and biomass, so
scum formation (possibly lower demand for auxiliary agents)
that a secondary settling tank for phase separation down-
• smaller aeration tank volumes due to higher biomass concentration
stream of the activated sludge tank is not necessary. The
• existing plant components can be used for plant expansions
result is a treated waste water which is free of solids and,
• less space required for the waste water treatment plant
to a far-reaching extent, disinfected. Therefore the em-
• expansion of plants by addition of modules
ployment of a membrane stage in municipal waste water
treatment is particularly interesting if higher demands on
the quality of the treated waste water are made.
Considering the aspects mentioned in Table 2-1, today
For the membrane bioreactor process, one distinguishes the membrane bioreactor process proves to be, from the
between internal and external arrangement of the mem- economic point of view, an advantageous option com-
brane modules. Internal arrangement means that the pared to other process techniques, under the following
membrane modules (Figure 2-2, 2a) are immersed within general conditions:
the bioreactors into the mixed liquor (immersed system).
With external arrangement the mixed liquor is with-
drawn from the bioreactors and the membrane modules,
usually tubular modules, are fed in cross-flow operation
(Figure 2-2, 2b). For financial reasons only immersed
membrane systems are used in municipal waste water treat-
ment (chapter 2.1.2).

Since the efficiency of phase separation by the membrane


bioreactor process is to a great extent independent of the
settling characteristics of the mixed liquor, the aeration

66
Membrane Technology in Municipal Waste Water Treatment 2

Demands on the effluent quality

If higher demands are made on the discharge parameters reactors represent an economically interesting solution.
(standard monitoring or hygienic parameters) (e. g. for As shown by Table 2-2, the effluent quality is clearly better
the discharge into “weak“ receiving waters, drinking than that of conventional waste water treatment plants.
water protection areas or bathing water), membrane bio-

Table 2-2
Performance data of membrane bioreactor plants compared to conventional activated sludge plants
[DOHMANN ET AL. 2002]

Parameter Conventional Membrane bioreactor

activated sludge plant

Solids (filterable solids) mg/L 10 – 15 0

COD mg/L 40 – 50 < 30

Ntot mg/L < 13 < 13

Ptot (with simultaneous precipitation) mg/L 0.8 – 1.0 < 0.3

Microbiological quality hygienically alarming bathing water quality

Dry matter content in the g/L <5 < 20

activated sludge tank

Specific energy consumption kWh/m3 0.2 – 0.4 0.7 – 1.5

Studies on the hygienic quality of the effluent have shown plant [BAUMGARTEN, BRANDS 2002] is compared in
that by using membrane bioreactors it is possible to com- Figure 2-4 to that of the Büchel pilot plant (in each case
ply with the standards of the EU Directive on Bathing mean values from multiple sampling). Concerning the
Waters without further treatment measures. To illustrate hygienic effluent parameters, it is evident that the mem-
the high effluent quality of membrane bioreactors, brane plant is superior to conventional plants.
the germ load of a conventional waste water treatment

67
2 Membrane Technology in Municipal Waste Water Treatment

Figure 2-4
Comparison of the germ load in the effluent of waste water treatment plants
[BAUMGARTEN, BRANDS 2002]

conventional WWTP membrane bioreactor EU guide value EU limit value

1.000.000

100.000

10.000

1.000

100

10

1
E. coli total coliforms faecal streptococci salmonellae coliphagae total number of germs
[MPN/100 ml] [MPN/100 ml] [MPN/100 ml] [MPN/100 ml] [PFU/l] [colony-forming unit]

Sewer system Local situation

If the catchment area is mainly drained by a separate Due to higher biomass concentrations in membrane bio-
sewer system, the membrane surface area to be installed reactors, it is possible to reduce the aeration tank vol-
into the aeration stage of the waste water treatment plant umes by 50 to 75 % compared to conventional plants. If
is much smaller than in plants where waste water from the surface area available requires compact construction,
combined systems is treated. Thanks to lower hydraulic a membrane bioreactor may represent suitable technical
fluctuations, the membrane stage is optimally used and solution. This is shown in Figure 2-5 by way of example
thus is competitive with alternative technical methods for for the comparison of variations for the new construc-
waste water treatment, even if no higher demands on the tion of the Kaarst waste water treatment plant.
effluent quality are made.

However, an increase in sewer infiltration water requires


more membrane surface area. Therefore, membrane pro-
cesses should be used preferentially in applications with
low amounts of sewer infiltration water compared to the
waste water volume.

68
Membrane Technology in Municipal Waste Water Treatment 2

Figure 2-5
Schematic representation of the space requirements of a conventional activated sludge plant (edged in
blue) and of a membrane bioreactor (edged in red), example: Nordkanal waste water treatment plant
[ERFTVERBAND 2002]

Rebuilding or expansion of installations

Existing installations which have to be rebuilt or expanded technology in their efficiency calculations for new pro-
(e. g. because of higher demands on the effluent quality or jects or even to give it priority in planning, clearly indica-
increased waste water volumes) can be readily converted tes its competitiveness compared to conventional techno-
to membrane bioreactors. The membrane stage can be logy. According to KWL, even a change towards mem-
integrated at low cost into existing components of the brane technology is expected which will not come out on
plant, so that demolition or new construction of aeration top because of enhanced purification requirements, but
tanks is not necessary. This is especially advantageous if only because of economic aspects – taking into account
an expansion of the surface of the plant to be upgraded is further reductions of the membrane costs as well as pro-
not possible due to the local situation. cess optimizations [WALTHER 2001].

Since in future the costs for installed membrane surfaces


will decrease (chapter 2.1.4), it can be expected that the
economic efficiency of the membrane process will further
increase. The decision of the water boards (Aggerverband,
Erftverband, Kommunale Wasserwerke Leipzig (KWL)),
which have already gained experience with large-scale
application of membrane technology, to include membrane

69
2 Membrane Technology in Municipal Waste Water Treatment

2.1.2 Capillary module from the company ZENON, Canada


Membrane Modules
The hollow fibre module presented in Figure 2-6 (product
For a long time it has been known that membranes are name: ZeeWeed ®) consists of hundreds of tubular mem-
able to separate activated sludge from water. However, branes with a diameter of 3 mm oriented vertically be-
during only the last ten years, module systems have been tween two plastic blocks (top and bottom header). The
developed which are a relevant process variation, com- capillary tubes (pore size ~ 0.04 µm) are charged from
pared to sedimentation, in municipal waste water treat- the outside with the mixed liquor; the permeate flows
ment because of low capital and operating costs. into the interior of the capillary tubes and is discharged
by a collecting channel integrated into the top header.
Until now the so-called low pressure processes using To minimize the formation of a covering layer, coarse to
immersed modules have been the most widespread. Micro- medium bubble air is introduced at the bottom header
or ultrafiltration modules are immersed directly into the which generates an up-flow movement of the mixed
mixed liquor and withdraw the biologically treated water liquor and causes the capillary tubes to move between
as filtrate at transmembrane pressures of < 0,5 bar in low- the headers. Additional covering layer removal is possible
pressure or submergence operation (“gravity flow“). At by cyclic backwash of the modules at the filtrate side in
present, capillary modules from the company ZENON the so-called backpulse mode. Filtration of six minutes
and plate modules from the company Kubota have a high and a backwash time of 30 seconds is a common operat-
share in the modules being used worldwide on an indus- ing mode.
trial scale. These modules as well as the latest national
and international developments are presented in the fol-
lowing sections.

Figure 2-6
ZeeWeed®-module from the company ZENON ,
left: schematic presentation from the operating principle of a module [OHLE 2001],
right: photo of the technical realization as module cassette [photo: ZENON]

air intake

backwash
permeate
discharge
top header with integrated
permeate collecting channel

membrane permeate channel


bundle
supporting layer

membrane

rising mixed liquor

support frame with integrated


air tube

bottom header

blower

support frame

70
Membrane Technology in Municipal Waste Water Treatment 2

During the last years, the module configuration from the Figure 2-7
company ZENON has been continuously optimized. A Arrangement of several ZeeWeed ®-modules
rather compact configuration has been obtained with the ZW 1000 in a cassette [photo: ZENON 2004]
current capillary module, ZW 500 d (Figure 2-6). The
module cassette presented in Figure 2-7, ZW 1000 (pore
size of the membranes: 0.02 µm), had been designed ori-
ginally for drinking water treatment, but is also used e. g.
for tertiary treatment or for the treatment of the effluent
of a final clarifier or a sand filtration unit.

Plate module from the company Kubota, Japan

The plate modules (Figure 2-8) consist of a support plate


on which the membrane sheet (pore size: ~ 0.4 µm) is
welded at both sides. A drainage and backing fleece is
fixed between the plate and the membrane. The support
plate is provided with drainage channels which come
together in a suction branch for permeate withdrawal.
The individual plates are combined vertically with a
distance of 6 mm parallel to each other to create a plate
package that is fitted into a support frame (Figure 2-8).
The sides of the support frame are closed. The support
frame is installed in an up-flow channel, at the bottom

Figure 2-8
Plate module from the company Kubota,
left: schematic presentation of the operating principle [according to KRAFT, MENDE 1997],
right: photo of the technical arrangement of the plate modules as plate package [photo: KUBOTA]

filtrate collecting filtrate


channel

suction branch
membrane- collecting channels
package
drainage fleece

membrane
support

membrane

up-flow-
channel

pressure
aerator

air

suspension

71
2 Membrane Technology in Municipal Waste Water Treatment

Figure 2-9
Basic schematic of the plate module “double-decker“ from the company Kubota [AGGERWASSER GMBH 2004]

membrane package at the top

membrane package at the bottom

aeration device

of which is arranged a device for exhaustive pressure mixture, can be used twice. Therefore the energy demand
aeration. Due to the injected air, the mixture of sludge, for module aeration is considerably reduced
water and air rises and flows over the membrane, en-
suring removal of the covering layer. The filtrate is dis- Module system from the company PURON AG
charged by low pressure at the filtrate side or by the
hydrostatic pressure of the active water head (“gravity A new immersed module system consisting of capillary
flow") via the filtrate collecting channel which is connec- membranes with a pore size of 0.1 µm was developed
ted with the suction branches of each plate. The covering about five years ago at the RWTH Aachen University and
layer on the plate is not removed by backwashing on the is now available for application in water and waste water
permeate side. Filtration is instead interrupted in inter- treatment. Production and marketing of the new mem-
vals while the modules are continuously aerated [KRAFT, brane filters are realized by the company PURON which
MENDE 1997]. The break interval for expansion of the belongs to the KOCH-GLITSCH group.
membranes and removal of the covering layer varies ac-
cording to the waste water composition. In some munici- The patented basic idea of the PURON module is confi-
pal installations, filtration of nine minutes followed by a guring membrane fibres as bundles which are only fixed
break of one minute has proven to be efficient. at the bottom, while their closed top ends move freely in
the mixed liquor to be filtered (Figure 2-10).
As a further development of the combination of up-flow
channel and plate package design, the so-called double- In the centre of each fibre bundle of a module, a nozzle
decker is now offered for large-scale applications (Figure is arranged to introduce air for movement and cleaning
2-9). Two plate packages are arranged on top of each of the membranes. The air flows up through the mem-
other, so that the air introduced, i. e. the activated sludge brane fibre bundle from the inside to the outside. Mem-

72
Membrane Technology in Municipal Waste Water Treatment 2

Figure 2-10
PURON module and module component [photo: PURON AG]

PURON-module module component


filtrate filtrate

air air bubbles membrane fibre

membrane fibres

fibre holder

filtrate

• central air intake


module row
• single-sided fixation of membranes
air conduit • assembly from single membrane bundles

brane coatings or fouling material are discharged from “Kompetenznetzwerk Wasser NRW“ (competence net-
the module. Hair and fibrous compounds are also slipped work water North-Rhine Westphalia). This pilot study
off to the top, which helps to prevent the problem of allows individual components of the membrane module
their accumulation and sticking to the membrane even to be operated under real conditions, i. e. with changing
with relatively coarse prescreening. Due to defined air loads. The experiences from this first pilot study were the
intake, the aeration time of the modules is reduced to basis for the construction of a technical installation at
5 – 10 % of the filtration time, and thus the energy de- the Simmerath waste water treatment plant for 750 PE in
mand for overflow is reduced. NRW. This technical installation has been operating since
the end of 2002 within the scope of a research and devel-
In the technical module of PURON a multitude of these opment project.
module components are arranged in parallel. The total
membrane surface area of the PURON module is 504 m2.
The fittings and connections of the module are designed
to be compatible with existing module systems.

Pilot tests have been run since August 2001 at the Aachen-
Eilendorf waste water treatment plant within the scope
of a field study on membrane bioreactors promoted by

73
2 Membrane Technology in Municipal Waste Water Treatment

Module system from Martin Systems AG

The Martin Systems AG markets a new module system side and on top of each other. For example, one siClaro®
called siClaro®. According to information from the manu- membrane module of the type FM 643 ready for connec-
facturer, the innovations of this system are the structure tion (see Figure 2-11, right) consists of 12 module blocks
of the filter and the operating mode of the system. with a total membrane surface area of 72 m2.

For the modules, flat membranes with a pore width of By using fine-bubble membrane tube aerators below the
35 nm are used. Each membrane is welded on a support- module package, higher oxygen input is attained. Thus
ing scaffold with an open grate structure. A drainage the air input which is additionally necessary to supply
fleece is not necessary. The supporting scaffolds with the the micro-organisms is reduced. Backwashing with filtrate
spacers necessary for effective cleaning of the membrane is not necessary because the membranes are fixed trans-
surface are welded to module blocks. Filtrate collectors versally to the cleaning water-air mixture.
are welded on top and bottom of each module block
transversally to the supporting scaffold. Thanks to this Figure 2-11 shows a scheme of the module (left) and a
self-supporting construction, the material thickness of module package (right).
the supporting scaffold is rather small. This allows for a
large number of variations in combining the module
blocks to a connectable module package. For technical
application, several module blocks are connected side by

Figure 2-11
Membrane module from Martin Systems AG, left: schematic representation of a module block,
right: connectable module package [photo: MARTIN SYSTEMS AG]

74
Membrane Technology in Municipal Waste Water Treatment 2

VRM® process with rotation plate modules and VUM


process from Huber AG, Germany

The VacuumRotationMembrane system (Huber VRM® area of few square metres are used. The individual filter
process) has been used since 2001 already on an industri- plates in the module are covered with ultrafiltration
al scale at the Knautnaundorf, Saxony, waste water treat- membranes and arranged in parallel. The VUM® mod-
ment plant. The modules (pore size ~ 0.04 µm) consist of ules are submerged into the liquid to be filtered, and the
plate segments (plate packages) arranged in parallel, each filtrate is drawn off directly across the flat membranes
of which is provided with a connection to draw off the with a pore size of 0.04 µm. The mixed liquor is generated
permeate (Figure 2-12). The structure of the plate seg- in a flush box below the module. It flows diagonally to
ments is similar to that of the Kubota plates. The plate the filtration flow direction in order to remove the cover-
packages are arranged around a rotating hollow shaft and ing layers from the filtering surfaces. The modules can be
are connected by permeate collecting pipes by which the stacked and combined as a module package so that com-
permeate is withdrawn continuously at low pressure. pact filtration units can be easily adapted to each indivi-
In the centre of the plate package, air is continuously dual case.
introduced radially and rises between the plates. Due to
the rotation of the plate package, the complete mem-
brane surface is overflown by the rising activated sludge
mixture, so that the covering layer is removed.

Huber AG markets the vacuum upstream membrane®


process (VUM® process) (Figure 2-13) primarily for small
and decentralized waste water treatment plants. In this
process, small plate modules with a membrane surface

Figure 2-12
Huber VRM® process [photos: HANS HUBER AG, MARTIN SYSTEMS AG], left: view of a filtration unit,
right: filtration unit installed at the Knautnaundorf waste water treatment plant

75
2 Membrane Technology in Municipal Waste Water Treatment

Figure 2-13
Huber VUM ® process [HANS HUBER AG], left: view of a module package in two-storey arrangement,
right: view of a module

Figure 2-14
Membrane element and membrane module from the company Mitsubishi [photo: ENVICARE® ]

76
Membrane Technology in Municipal Waste Water Treatment 2

Module system from Mitsubishi AG

Mitsubishi, known among other things for its car produc- fibres are arranged perpendicular to the up-flow sense of
tion, also produces membranes for the filtration of water the activated sludge mixture. In practical operation the
and waste water and distributes them packaged in a membrane surface is kept free of fouling matter as far as
®
module under the designation Sterapore-SUN (see Figure possible by an air flow which is constantly introduced. In
2-14). The hollow-fibre membranes are made from poly- addition, periodic backwashing of the membranes with
ethylene with a pore size of 0.4 µm. They are fixed hori- permeate is provided. Up to three membrane modules can
zontally between the permeate-collecting channels and be arranged on top of each other, the relative air require-
immersed into the activated sludge. Thus, the hollow ments being lower for three modules than for two.

Membrane system from the company A3 Abfall-


Abwasser-Anlagentechnik GmbH

Another membrane development from NRW is from the backwashed on the permeate side. Experience with the
company A3 Abfall-Abwasser-Anlagentechnik GmbH/ use of the membrane material has been acquired for
Hese Umwelt GmbH. The system is based on the principle several years in the following fields:
of plate membranes (pore size ~ 0,4 µm) which can be • filtration of compost leachate
produced at rather low costs by choosing special material • filtration of liquid manure
and employing sophisticated construction principle. • filtration of fermentation residues from biogas installations
Figure 2-15 shows the view of a prototype and a con- • filtration of activated sludge from textile waste water
struction example. Due to a new configuration of the treatment plants
membrane plate, the membranes developed by the com- • filtration of activated sludge from municipal waste
pany A3, unlike the Kubota plate membranes, can be water treatment plants

Figure 2-15
Plate module from the company A3 GmbH [photo: A3 GMBH],
left: photo of the one-storey construction, right: top view of a plate module

77
2 Membrane Technology in Municipal Waste Water Treatment

Module system from US Filter Corporation Figure 2-16


Membrane module from US Filter Corporation
The company US Filter produces and distributes an [photo: US FILTER CORPORATION 2004]
immersed membrane system with the product name
MemJetTM that is comparable to the systems from the
companies ZENON and PURON. The membrane modules permeate

consist of bundled capillary membranes (pore size ~


0.2 µm) which are fixed at both ends (Figure 2-16). A
mixture of air and activated sludge is introduced by a
two-phase nozzle at the bottom of the module. Accor-
ding to information from the manufacturer, this arrange-
ment is especially designed to efficiently control the
reversible covering layer and to ensure good intermixing mixed
liquor
in the membrane reactor so that deposits and fouling on
air
the membranes are counteracted. The permeate is with-
drawn at the top header of the module. Figure 2-16
shows a schematic presentation and a photo of the mem-
brane module.

Membrane system from Keppel Seghers Belgium Figure 2-17


Membrane module from the Keppel Seghers
The membrane system produced and distributed by Belgium [photo: KEPPEL SEGHERS BELGIUM NV]
Seghers Keppel under the product name Unibrane ® is
comparable in form to that of the company Kubota.
The membrane module consists of plate membranes
with a nominal pore size of 0,1 µm manufactured by
the company Toray.

The modules can be installed as one- or two-storey con-


struction, adapted to the conditions of the respective
application. Figure 2-17 shows a top view of the modules
submerged in clear water.

78
Membrane Technology in Municipal Waste Water Treatment 2

Membrane system of Weise Water Systems


GmbH & Co. KG

The MicroClear filter module consists of immersed ultra- the covering layer, filtration is interrupted in intervals
filtration modules in which membranes with a pore while the modules are continued to be aerated. The raw
size of 0.05 µm are fitted. According to the concrete water is filtered from outside to inside via the membranes
application, the module consists of 26 – 40 single filter and the permeate is discharged using a vacuum at the
plates (see Figure 2-18) arranged in parallel. The filter front side of the module by a collecting tube. Depending
plates are available with varying space, depending on the on the necessary capacity, between 1 and 100 MicroClear
raw water quality. Coarse to medium bubble air is intro- filters can be stacked in a frame on top of each other or
duced periodically into the modules according to the side by side (Figure 2-18).
needs, so that the activated sludge mixture flows up.
Thus shear forces occur at the membrane surface which
help to control the reversible covering layer. To remove

Figure 2-18
Membrane system from Weise Water Systems GmbH & Co. KG [WEISE WATER SYSTEMS GMBH & CO. KG],
left: structure of a filter element, right: filter system in two-storey arrangement

filter plate

membrane

spacer

filtrate outlets

79
2 Membrane Technology in Municipal Waste Water Treatment

New membrane module developments in Germany Figure 2-19


Ceramic plate membranes from the company ItN
Module system from ItN Nanovation Nanovation [photo: ItN NANOVATION]
The membrane system from the company ItN Nanova-
tion consists of immersed modules mounted from cera-
mic plate membranes (Figure 2-19). According to the
manufacturer, the membrane material is -Al2O3 for the
supporting layer and -Al2O3, TiO2 or ZrO2 for the active
separating layer. The membranes are available with dif-
ferent molecular separation sizes in the fields of micro-
and ultrafiltration.

One module comprises 86 membrane plates with a spac-


ing of 7 mm between the plates. The active membrane
surface area of a module is approx. 11 m2. Eight modules
can be combined maximally to a rack.

Figure 2-20
Membrane module and configuration of the modules in the rack with underlying aeration device
[photos: ItN NANOVATION]

The aeration device consists of tube aerators provided the ceramic membranes, the manufacturer expects high
with slots. thermal and chemical resistance as well as long service
life, thus a broader range of application.
To control the covering layer, the membrane modules are
aerated during the filtration of activated sludge from the Module system from Fraunhofer IGB, Stuttgart
bottom with coarse-bubble air. As special advantages of The rotation disc filter from Fraunhofer Institut für Grenz-

80
Membrane Technology in Municipal Waste Water Treatment 2

flächen- und Bioverfahrenstechnik (IGB) (Fraunhofer tional speed varies between 200 and 500 revolutions per
Institute for Interface and Bioprocess Technology) con- minute, according to the type and the concentration of
sists of a cylindric case in which a membrane disc stack is the waste water constituents. The rotation disc filter can
fitted on a rotating hollow shaft (Figure 2-21). The rota- be arranged dry or operated as immersed system.

Figure 2-21
Basic layout sketch of the rotation disc filter

rotating hollow shaft

membrane filter discs

cylindric casing

solid outlet

filtrate

inflow

The membranes are made from a ceramic material Figure 2-22


and can achieve relatively high permeate flows. At pres- Modules of the rotation disc filter in laboratory
ent ceramic discs with an outside diameter of 152 or scale [photo: FRAUNHOFER IGB]
312 mm and in six molecular weight separation sizes are
commercially available. Figure 2-22 shows a dry-arranged
lab-scale module with pressure casing.

In immersed arrangement, the rotation disc filter is used


without the pressure casing. The permeate passes the
separating layer on the membrane disc from outside to
inside and is withdrawn by the hollow shaft. The cover-
ing layer is controlled by centrifugal force that causes the
laminar boundary layer sticking to the filtering disc to
flow radially to the outside. The result is continuous
renewal of the covering layer.

81
2 Membrane Technology in Municipal Waste Water Treatment

The results from pilot plant operation have shown that deviations from design, planning and operation of con-
the rotation disc filter is insensitive to clogging and accu- ventional activated sludge stages are focused on in this
mulation and sticking of fibrous material which reduce section. The following items are discursed:
the performance of membranes. Therefore, it is also sui-
ted for the filtration of digested waste water sludge diges- • pretreatment of the raw waste water (mechanical waste
tion. At present a demonstration plant for filtration of water treatment)
waste water sludge is operated at the Heidelberg waste
water treatment plant. In 2005, a large-scale installation • process design and calculation of the biological and
for sludge filtration will be built at the Tauberbischofs- membrane filtration stages (reactor volume and mem-
heim waste water treatment plant. At both plants, cera- brane surface area)
mic membranes with a pore size of 0.2 µm are used.
• design of the aeration equipment
Other module systems for the separation of
activated sludge and water • design of sludge treatment
Besides the module systems described in the previous sec-
tions, there are others that, like some of those mentioned • operation of the membrane stage including membrane
above, are not yet applied on a large scale in municipal cleaning and
waste water treatment in Germany. However, some
manufacturers have references in Europe, America, and • variations in boundary conditions and safety in the
Asia (e. g. the modules for immersed systems from the case of disturbances
companies Rhodia and Norit). For several years the num-
ber of manufacturers and new module developments has 2.1.3.1
been steadily increasing. Design

2.1.3 The design of a membrane bioreactor can be realized


Planning and Operation of Membrane Bioreactors according to the design principles for conventional acti-
vated sludge stages, i. e. to the standard ATV-DVWK-A 131
The “new” membrane filtration process has important [ATV-DVWK 2000c] or to the approach of the University
design-specific, constructive and operational differences Group [DOHMANN ET AL. 1993]. In addition, the Insti-
compared to conventional waste water treatment. The tute for Environmental Engineering of the RWTH Aachen
most important aspects are summarized in this section. University will author in the first half of the year 2005
They are based on the findings from the first years’ of an upgrade of the design tool “ARA-BER”, whose devel-
operation of large-scale installations, a large number of opment is financed by the Land North-Rhine Westphalia.
lab-scale and semi-technical studies, including findings
from The Netherlands (field test Beverwijk) [V.D. ROEST In conventional design, an iterative process is used to
ET AL. 2002], and the publications of the ATV-DVWK design the volumes of activated sludge tanks and secon-
committee of experts KA 7 – Membrane Bioreactor Pro- dary settlement tanks because of the interactions bet-
cesses [ATV-DVWK 2000a, DWA 2005]. ween both process steps. This is not necessary in the case
of membrane bioreactors. Under the boundary condi-
This committee with representatives of operators, manu- tions listed in the following sections it is possible to
facturers and scientists, elaborates a standard for mem- design the membrane stage and the activated sludge
brane bioreactors analogous to with the standard ATV- tanks to a great extent independent from each other.
DVWK-A 131, so that a binding regulation can be expect- Chapter 2.5 contains an example for the design of a
ed after some years. In anticipation of this standard, the membrane bioreactor based on the following recommen-
dations.

82
Membrane Technology in Municipal Waste Water Treatment 2

For sludge ages < 30 days, the activated sludge tanks tors” [ATV-DVWK 2000a], presented in Figure 2-23, have
are designed according to the proven design method of to be considered since, due to the higher sludge age, the
ATV or the University Group approach mentioned above. usual approach for determining the excess sludge produc-
For higher sludge ages, the recommendations of the ATV- tion is not valid.
DVWK committee of experts KA 7 “Membrane Bioreac-

Figure 2-23
Specific excess sludge production in membrane bioreactors [ATV-DVWK 2000a]

1.4

1.2
excess sludge [kg TS/kg BOD5]

1.0
1.2
1.0
0.8 0.8

0.6
0.6 0.4
TS0/BOD5
design range
0.4
minimal excess sludge production nutrient removal tTS = 15d

0.2

0
0.001 0.01 0.1 1
sludge loading [kg BOD5 /(kg ·TS · d)]

In Germany, up to now all existing and planned large- However, in practice TSBB design values in the range of
scale membrane bioreactors for municipal waste water 10 – 15 g/l have proven to be well-suited to the opera-
treatment are designed for sludge loadings of BTS, BOD5 tion of membrane bioreactors, because in this range the
 0,08 kg BOD5/kg ,TS·d. This design value is chosen to mixed liquor has good filterability characteristics, and
achieve nitrogen removal at simultaneous aerobic sludge the oxygen input can be managed in an economic way.
stabilization (sludge age > = 25 d). The sludge volume index, SVI, has no relevance for
membrane bioreactors.
In the design of activated sludge tanks, the total solids
content (TSBB) and the sludge volume index (SVI) in the As a result of the higher TSBB content of 10 – 15 g/l in
activated sludge stage are considered in dimensioning membrane bioreactors, according to module types and
the volumes of the activated sludge and secondary settle- recommendations of the manufacturers, at equal sludge
ment tanks. For membrane bioreactors this is not the loadings, the activated sludge tank volumes are three to
case. In principle, the TSBB can be independently chosen four times smaller, compared to conventional activated
to determine the volume of the activated sludge tank. sludge stages, at equal sludge loadings. The smaller volume

83
2 Membrane Technology in Municipal Waste Water Treatment

of the activated sludge tanks as well as the volume of the The critical load case may occur during combined water
final clarifiers which does not exist in the case of mem- flow as a result of flushing water hammers with NH4-N
brane installations are relevant to the buffering capacity peak concentrations occurring in parallel in the inflow.
and the degradation efficiency because of shorter hydrau- However, if there are no such peak concentrations at
lic retention periods. combined water flow, but only peak concentrations at
dry weather flow depending on the time of the day, the
In order to comply with discharge standards for nitrogen, critical load case has to be explained with the help of
it is therefore necessary to maintain for the critical design concentration hydrographs recorded during a representa-
case a minimum retention period in the activated tive period.
sludge tank. The recommendation of a necessary minimum
retention period of 6 h (or 8 h for more far-reaching The recommendation of a minimum retention time of
demands) at a design temperature of 10 °C for the critical 6 h for the decisive load case and at a design temperature
design case can be undercut, if the necessary volume of of 10 °C represents the current state of knowledge. With
the membrane installation would be larger than the the help of the knowledge acquired with the operation
volume of the activated sludge tanks which results in of membrane bioreactors, the current recommendations
conventional design with a volume allowance of up to for the design of membrane bioreactors are further devel-
50 % (with a chosen TSBB = 10 – 15 g/l in the activated oped.
sludge stage). It has to be considered absolutely that the
nitrification volume of the membrane installation (with The smaller reactor volume of membrane bioreactors has
VDeni, MBR / VNitri, MBR = 1), due to the volume limitation an effect not only on possible breaking through of peak
(VMBR, max = 1,5 · VBB, conventional, 10-15 g TS/l ), will not be smaller inflows, but also on the capacity of the denitrification
than the necessary nitrification volume with conventional stage. In large-scale membrane bioreactors, typical facili-
design (at a chosen TSBB = 10 – 15 g/l in the activated ties are constructed up to now with upstream denitrifica-
sludge stage). The necessary tank volumes can be provided tion tanks. As a result of the smaller activated sludge
by designing larger activated sludge tanks or by designing tank volume, undesired effects may occur, e. g. increased
supplemental balancing tanks. The recommendations oxygen carry-over from the nitrification or filtration zone
concerning the necessary retention period, the relation to the denitrification zone. This effect is reinforced by
between nitrification and denitrification volume of the high recirculation rates from the filtration zone.
membrane installation as well as the volume limitation
to the 1.5-fold volume of the activated sludge tanks with In order to reduce the effects of increased oxygen carry-
conventional design (at a chosen TSBB = 10 – 15 g/l in the over, the volume of the denitrification zone has to be
activated sludge stage) are based on simulation studies equated with that of the nitrification zone (VDN : VN = 1),
carried out at the Institute of Environmental Engineering in contrast to the design of conventional activated sludge
of RWTH Aachen University. The effluent concentrations stages. In order to take different operating states into
of a fictitious conventional waste water treatment plant account, part of the denitrification zone should be design-
and a ficititious membrane bioreactor with a connection ed as a variable zone. This zone with a size of approx.
size of 100,000 PE were modelled with varying membrane 30 – 50 % of the denitrification zone, must be arranged
bioreactor volume. Assuming that the standard parameter in the activated sludge tank according to the require-
set (e. g. BORNEMANN ET AL. for the Activated Sludge ments of operation. It is also possible to credit the filtra-
Model No. 1) is also valid for membrane bioreactors and tion zone for the nitrification volume. In this case it is
considering a fluctuation factor of 1.7 and a given design necessary to consider the operating mode of module
load, the resulting effluent concentrations of both simu- aeration as well as the lower oxygen input value (refer to
lated waste water treatment plants were comparable, at a section “Demand for aeration of the membrane modules”).
membrane bioreactor volume which leads to a hydraulic
retention period of 6 h for the critical load case.

84
Membrane Technology in Municipal Waste Water Treatment 2

To avoid oxygen carry-over into the denitrification zone The membrane surface should be dimensioned in such a
and to optimize oxygen utilization in the nitrification way that the surface-specific flows allow for a constant
zone, relaxation zones should be provided upstream of operation of the membrane modules, even in the case of
the sludge recirculation flow. peak flows. Short events, i. e. for a few hours, where the
maximum flow is exceeded, are possible but should be
If the filtration zone is separated from the other zones, it avoided with a view to long-term maintenance of a
might be useful not to recycle the return sludge into the high permeability. With new or cleaned membranes,
nitrification tanks rather than the denitrification tanks. the permeability rates are usually in a range of more than
In this configuration it is possible to control both inter- 150 – 200 L/(m2 · h · bar). In-tensive cleaning is normally
nal cycles – recirculation sludge from the nitrification necessary at a permeability < 100 L/(m2 · h · bar).
stage into the denitrification stage and return sludge from
the membrane stage – independently from each other. If the design concept for the installation is that one or
more module cassettes or filtration lines are permanently
The measures mentioned may contribute to reduce the in a cleaning cycle (e. g. in larger installations), the sur-
VDN/VN ratio. faces being cleaned must be excluded when dimensioning
the membrane surface area.
In order to obtain phosphorus effluent values according
to the discharge standards, phosphate precipitation When determining the necessary membrane surface area,
should be carried out according to the proven recom- internal process water quantities, e. g. from screen clean-
mendations (e. g. ATV-DVWK-A 131, N. N. 2000b]). Nor- ing, have also to be considered.
mally a precipitant is dosed into the activated sludge
stage, i. e. simultaneous precipitation takes place. The Experience acquired with membrane bioreactors in ope-
increased specific excess sludge volume resulting from ration has shown that it is possible, with the membrane
simultaneous phosphate elimination by precipitating modules commercially available, to apply a net design
salts can be determined according to the ATV standard flux of 25 L/(m2 · h ) at temperatures of the mixed liquor
A 202 [OHLE 2001]. of 8° C, based on the effluent flow of the complete instal-
lation. With a design temperature of 10° C this range may
Design of the membrane filtration stage be higher by 15 % [ATV-DVWK 2000a].

By analogy with the conventional activated sludge pro- Design of the aeration equipment
cess, the phase separation, i. e. the membrane stage, has
to be dimensioned for membrane bioreactors. In con- With the membrane bioreactor process, the higher TS
trast to conventional activated sludge stages, the typical content in the activated sludge tank leads to higher
membrane bioreactor design total solids content TSBB of viscosity of the mixed liquor compared to conventional
10 – 15 g/l has a non-quantifiable influence on the activated sludge stages. This has an influence on the
dimensioning of the membrane surface to be installed. material transfer and the oxygen transfer coefficient ,
The following factors have to be taken into account in as shown by Figure 2-24.
dimensioning and calculation of the membrane
stage and the membrane surface area required:

• maximum inflow to the membrane bioreactor and the


maximum effluent flow
• the performance data of the membrane modules utilized
(surface-specific flow) depending on the features of the
medium to be filtered (temperature, viscosity, etc.)

85
2 Membrane Technology in Municipal Waste Water Treatment

Figure 2-24
Oxygen transfer coefficient (-values) of the Rödingen and Markranstädt waste water treatment
plants with fine-bubble diffuser aeration [CORNEL ET AL. 2001]

Markranstädt Rödingen

1.0

0.8
alpha value[-]

0.6

0.4

0.2

0
5 10 15 20

TS content [g/l]

This factor has to be considered in the design of the tions of the aeration demand of membrane stages can be
aeration equipment for oxygen transfer. Oxygen transfer expected as a result of improved module concepts (see
measurement in the activated sludge stages of the Mark- chapter 2.1.2).
ranstädt and Rödingen waste water treatment plants have
shown a decrease in the -value with rising solid matter The oxygen transfer taking place together with the
content (Figure 2-24). -values of 0.75 have been measured aeration of the membrane modules can be credited for
with a TS content of 7 g/l, they decreased to 0.4 with a the biological degradation. The respective -value should
TS content of 17 g/l. be assessed as 0.17 – 0.20 (TSBB = 16 – 10 g/l) [SEYFRIED
2002].
If TSBB = 12 g/l is selected as the basis for the calculation
of a membrane bioreactor, an -value of 0.6 should be Sludge treatment
chosen for the oxygen transfer. This corresponds approxi-
mately to the -values of conventional installations with First experiences acquired with the treatment of sludge
fine bubble aeration [CORNEL ET AL. 2001]. from membrane bioreactors have shown that the sludge
qualities do not differ very much from aero-bically stabi-
The necessary blower power for the overflow of the lized sludge from conventional installations. Tests for
membrane modules can be estimated as 7.5 – 25 W dewatering aerobically stabilized sludge at the Rödingen
per m2 of membrane surface installed, depending on the waste water treatment plant and the Büchel pilot plant
module. Since the demand for aeration as well as the have shown that dried solid matter contents of 25 – 30 %
aeration strategies (coarse or medium bubbles, perma- can be obtained with the usual aggregates (chamber filter
nent, intermittent) strongly depends on the concepts of press, centrifuge), under equal operating conditions and
the module manufacturers, the design of the aeration is with a comparable demand for flocculants [ENGEL-
normally realized by the manufacturers. Further reduc- HARDT ET AL. 2001; N. N. 2003c; DICHTL, KOPP 1999;

86
Membrane Technology in Municipal Waste Water Treatment 2

BRANDS ET AL. 2000; VAN DER ROEST 2001; DRENSLA sand and grease trap is sufficient because they show less
ET AL. 2001]. tendency to accumulation and sticking of fibrous matter
[N. N. 2000c].
Concerning the digestibility of sludge from membrane
bioreactors, similar values as for sludge from conventio- In order to meet the requirements for pretreatment for
nal plants have been determined for simultaneous membrane bioreactors, the screen manufacturers have
aerobic sludge stabilization with the help of the specific already developed new products. An example is the
digester gas production [BRANDS ET AL. 2000; VAN DER membrane screen offered by the company Huber AG
ROEST 2001]. (Figure 2-25) for finest screening of the raw waste water
in the inlet to a membrane bioreactor stage.
2.1.3.2
Mechanical Design and Planning

Concerning mechanical design and planning, membrane Figure 2-25


bioreactors do not differ considerably from conventional View and principle of a screening facility for
activated sludge plants. This is also true for possible failure membrane bioreactors (Markranstädt waste water
scenarios which have to be considered e. g. for approval treatment plant) [HUBER 2002, STEIN 2002a]
planning. Therefore only those aspects that additionally
have to be taken into account compared to conventional
municipal waste water treatment plants are mentioned in
the following.

Mechanical pretreatment

For the membrane bioreactor process, mechanical treat-


ment of the inflowing waste water is especially important.
From experience with large-scale installations it is known
that the membrane modules used are susceptible to accu-
mulation and sticking of fibrous material and therefore
to clogging [BAUMGARTEN 2001a]. This results in an
insufficient flow across the membrane surface which leads
to a reduction of the performance or may even cause
damage of the membranes [ENGELHARDT ET AL. 2001].

Therefore all undesired material such as grease, hair or


other coarse matter has to be removed from the raw
waste water. This has to be done much more carefully
than in conventional activated sludge plants. The quality
of pretreatment does not only depend on the features of
the influent, but also on the membrane module used. For
capillary membranes, mechanical pretreatment consist-
ing of a fine screen in the inlet zone (3 – 5 mm), follo-
wed by a sand and grease trap as well as a fine sieve with
a slit width of < 1 mm is recommended [MEYER 2001;
DRENSLA 2001]. Experiences with plate membranes have
shown that pretreatment with a 3 mm screen as well as a

87
2 Membrane Technology in Municipal Waste Water Treatment

Design of the installation with view to failure Design of the installation with view to the arrange-
scenarios ment of membrane surfaces and reactors

Compared to conventional activated sludge plants, in the In the case of new constructions, the membrane stage
case of membrane bioreactors failures have to be consi- should be designed in principle in two lines which are
dered which affect the performance of the membrane hydraulically uncoupled, i. e. separate tanks including the
stage. Total breakdown of the membrane stage is the worst peripheral equipment, in order to allow for separate opera-
case scenario for these installations, similar to the failure tion of each line for the complete inflow from the activated
of the secondary settlement tanks in conventional plants. sludge tank. The system has to be dimensioned hydrauli-
cally for these inflow volumes. Allowances for the permeate
Therefore the pretreatment stages (screen, sand and grease capacity of the membranes are necessary if the capacity
trap and, if necessary, separator for light density material) reserves of the membranes have already been completely
of membrane bioreactors, being critical to the long-term utilized in the design of the installation for Q max.
functioning of the membranes, have to be designed with
careful attention to breakdowns caused by common failure The same is true for installations with three or four lines,
scenarios that can be excluded in the design of conven- for which the operational breakdown of one line has to be
tional municipal plants. Accidents in the catchment area considered in planning. Concerning multiple-line (> 4)
of the waste water treatment plant must also be considered. installations, the membrane stages should be calculated
in such a way that the maximum water volumes can be
In the case of critical influents due to accidents in the treated, under design conditions, by 80 % of the membrane
catchment area of waste water treatment plants, the inlet surface area available.
of the membrane bioreactor stage has to be closed, if
necessary, to avoid intoxication of the biomass as well as The mechanical design of the membrane stages should be
damage to the membranes. This can be realized by special realized in such a way that in the case of necessary mem-
sensors (e. g. conductivity sensors) in the inlet zone of the brane replacement, the above mentioned minimum mem-
waste water treatment plant so that sewers with storage brane surface in waste water treatment plants < 10,000 PE
capacity and overflow, and stormwater overflow tanks (corresponding to a combined water flow of Q m < approx.
(e. g. unused primary settlement tanks) can be activated 246 m3/h, i. e. a daily in-flow of Q d < approx. 2,250 m3/d)
in the case of accidents. The storage volume should be can be quickly removed and installed, replaced or cleaned,
calculated in such a way that in the case of combined if necessary. The membrane suppliers have to ensure that
waste water flow, the influent to the membrane bioreac- the membrane surfaces required are available and ready for
tor can be stored for two hours. In this case the mixing installation within two or three working days. Concerning
and equalizing tank volume mentioned in chapter 2.1.3.1 single-line installations, it must be possible to install the
can be taken into account with a view to maintaining membrane surfaces during operation (filled tanks).
the minimum retention period. However, the impound-
ment or storage volume which is necessary to comply For plants with more than 10,000 PE (corresponding to a
with the standards for combined water treatment (ATV combined water flow of Q m > approx. 246 m3/h or a daily
standard A 128) must not be set off with the buffer vol- inflow of Q d > approx. 2,250 m3/d)1), both requirements
ume to be installed. mentioned in the last sections are of secondary importance
because even with indirect discharges caused by failures,
It is also possible to build scum-boards and discharge damaging of the complete membrane stage is rather im-
devices so that in the case of critical and unauthorized probable as a result of dilution effects. Moreover, larger
indirect discharges, e. g. oil, petrol etc., a direct charge of installations can be designed with multiple lines if suffi-
the membranes can be prevented. cient capacity reserves are available.

1) Assumptions according planning standard ATV-DVWK-A 131 [ATV-DVWK 2000c]: x s = 14 h/d, x f = 24 h/d, specific infiltration water flow = 0.5·Q S ,

Q m = 2·Q S +Q f

88
Membrane Technology in Municipal Waste Water Treatment 2

Measurement, control and regulation technique Since the cleaning agents to be used have caustic, oxidiz-
ing or corrosive effects, requirements concerning the
Besides the measurement, control and regulation techni- choice of materials for tanks (e. g. plastic sealings) and
que applied today at municipal waste water treatment aggregates (e. g. high-grade steel, PE) as well as for safety
plants, additional parameters to be measured have to be at work (e. g. discharge devices for gases (chlorine), accord-
considered when using membrane technology. In parti- ing to the recommendations of GUV or DVGW for MAC
cular, the permeability of the membranes has to be ob- values) have to be considered in planning.
served and recorded separately for each line. This is neces-
sary in order to ensure that cleanings are carried out in Appropriate tanks or stockrooms have to be provided for
time so that a sufficient permeate capacity is maintained. the storage of the chemicals necessary for the cleaning
solutions.
Within the scope of these measurements, suction pressure
and flow have to be recorded online, considering con- 2.1.3.3
struction measures and hydrostatic influences on the Operation
pressure measuring. Inhibiting influences in flow measure-
ment have to be excluded. Measures for maintenance of the filtration capacity

For operation and cleaning of the modules, the require- For safe operation of a membrane bioreactor, the mainte-
ments according to the recommendations of the manu- nance of a sufficient filtration capacity is of similar im-
facturers (e. g. pause control, backwash periods and volume portance as the maintenance of the settlement features
flows, alarm in the case of module aeration failure) have of activated sludge in a secondary settlement tank. While
to be taken into account. in conventional plants the settlement features of the acti-
vated sludge can be influenced only to a limited extent
Power supply (e. g. floating sludge, bulking sludge or problems with
foaming), the filtration capacity of membrane bioreactors
For possible power failures, a stand-by power supply can be maintained by regular operational measures, i. e.
should be provided similar to conventional plants, in membrane cleanings.
case a two-side current input to the waste water treat-
ment plant is not possible. Anyway the process control Cleaning is necessary for all membranes available on the
technique as well as the permeation have to be supplied market, since in spite of sufficient pretreatment and module
with power, and the power demand for minimum module aeration, the permeability of the membrane modules and
aeration (about 25 – 30 % of the design value) has to be thus the flow performance at constant transmembrane
ensured. pressure, starting from a design flow rate of e. g. 25 L/(m2·h),
decreases continuously during operation. This reduction
Buffer tanks or reserves in the freeboard height are also of the performance is due to an increase in the resistance
possible which allow for impoundment operation during to filtration by organic and inorganic covering layers on the
a short period. membrane surface and clogging of the membrane pores,
which cannot be avoided by operational measures such
Membrane cleaning as overflow and possible backwash of the membranes.

To maintain the filtration capacity, regular cleaning of For maintenance or intensive cleanings, acid, alkaline
the membrane modules is necessary, which may take place and oxidative cleaning agents are used which are suited
either in the activated sludge tank/filtration tank or in to restore the original filtration capacity.
separate tanks. Depending on the concept of the mem-
brane manufacturers, heating for the separate tank or the In each case the instructions of the membrane or module
cleaning solution has to be provided. manufacturer have to be observed, since the cleaning

89
2 Membrane Technology in Municipal Waste Water Treatment

methods may vary considerably according to the specific installed modules, cleaning takes place in the activated
module. sludge, in cleaning solution or on air. In this case the
filtration tanks are emptied so that the modules are
Maintenance cleanings are performed in situ in the suspended freely.
activated sludge. They take place regularly once or twice
a week using low concentrations of cleaning agents (e. g. External cleaning (ex situ) is realized at cleaning solution
150 mg/L of active chlorine). They are used for example temperatures of 30 – 35 °C. For better mixing, the mem-
TM
for ZeeWeed and Puron modules. During an extended brane can be aerated during the cleaning process, so that
backwashing phase, the cleaning agent is added to the the chemicals are distributed more evenly. External clean-
permeate and pumped into the modules which are ing provides the best result, but this method requires
immersed into the mixed liquor. higher operating expense [DRENSLA, SCHAULE 2004].
Table 2-3 summarizes the cleaning methods for immersed
Intensive cleanings with higher concentrations of membrane systems.
chemicals (e. g. 500 – 2,000 mg/L of active chlorine) have
to be performed every 3 to 6 months, depending on the Due to the high concentrations of chemicals, intensive
degree of contamination. By analogy to maintenance cleanings may damage organic membrane materials and
cleanings, the modules are cleaned while they are im- thus have negative effects on the membrane service life.
mersed (in situ) or in separate tanks (ex situ). With

Table 2-3
Cleaning methods

Membrane modules installed (in situ) Membrane modules removed (ex situ)

in the activated sludge The chemicals are dosed from the permeate side.

in the cleaning solution The tanks are emptied and filled with the cleaning Cleaning in a separate cleaning cell, the

solution, the cleaning solution is dosed from the chemicals are dosed from the feed side at

feed side. temperatures of 30 – 35 °C.

on air The water level is lowered, the chemicals are

dosed from the permeate side.

At present the use of sodium hypochlorite as cleaning methods are being developed which shall reduce the AOX
agent provides the best results. However, high concen- concentration in the rinsing waters and avoid foaming in
trations of cleaning agents may have negative effects the waste water treatment plant [DRENSLA, SCHAULE
such as damage of the biomass and foaming of the acti- 2004].
vated sludge stage, so that overdosing must be avoided.
Especially in the case of in-situ cleanings, negative effects At present less critical cleaning agents such as hydrogen
on the effluent quality may occur due to e. g. increased peroxide or citric acid are being tested in some mem-
AOX concentrations in the permeate. But this can be pre- brane bioreactor installations, so that soon alternatives
vented by permeate recycling into the biological stage. In for sodium hypochlorite will be available.
the course of studies on the pretreatment of rinsing
waters from extensive external cleaning, pretreatment

90
Membrane Technology in Municipal Waste Water Treatment 2

Energy demand

In existing membrane bioreactors, specific energy con- Figure 2-26 presents by way of example the specific
3
sumption rates of 0.8 to 2.0 kWh/m of permeate were energy consumption rate of the Markranstädt waste
determined. Approximately 50 – 80 % of this value is water treatment plant as a function of the throughput.
used for module aeration, which, however, provides most The energy consumption rate of the membrane stage
of the oxygen transfer necessary for biological treatment. (suction pumps and module blowers), the recirculation
The throughput of the installation, the TS content (oxy- pumps, the agitators, the fine-bubble blowers, and the
gen transfer coefficient) and the waste water temperature inlet structure have been considered.
have been identified as the main factors influencing the
specific energy demand. At present, the specific energy While the energy consumption of recirculation pumps,
demand of membrane bioreactors is still higher than that agitators and inlet pump station are nearly independent
of conventional waste water treatment plants, but the of the throughput, clear dependencies exist for the opera-
effluent quality concerning hygiene-relevant parameters tion of the membrane stage and the fine-bubble aeration.
is better. For the Markranstädt and Monheim waste water It has been shown that with larger waste water flows
treatment plants, the specific energy demand related to to be treated, the specific energy consumption rate of the
the average inflow volume in the range of 0.8 kWh/m3 – membrane stage is 22 % lower than for a smaller through-
3
0.9 kWh/m [DWA 2005]. The fluctuation ranges for dif- put. The same tendency is observed for the specific ener-
ferent parts of the specific energy demand (e. g. cross-flow gy demand of the fine-bubble aeration. In this case the
aeration, permeate/recirculation, additional demand for energy demand can be reduced by 48 %. Energy is saved
aeration) are indicated in the DWA working report [DWA by increasing the performance of the fine-bubble aera-
2005] (see Annex 6). tion and switching off the coarse-bubble aeration during

Figure 2-26
Energy demand of a membrane bioreactor (8,000 PE) with simultaneous aerobic sludge stabilization
[STEIN ET AL. 2001]

1.6 membrane stage


(suction pumps)
1.4 and module aeration
specific energy demand [kWh/m3]

recirculation pumps
1.2
agitators
1.0 0.88
fine-bubble aerators

0.8 inflow pumping station


0.85
0.6 0.69
0.16
0.4
0.05

0.21
0.2 0.14 0.11
0.01 0.01 0,01 0.01
0.12 0,09 0.1
0
1,000 - 1,500 2,000 - 2,500 > 3,000
3
plant throughput [m /d]

91
2 Membrane Technology in Municipal Waste Water Treatment

filtration pauses, or by reducing the performance of the 2.1.4


fine-bubble aeration at continuous coarse-bubble aeration Investments and Operating Costs
during filtration [STEIN ET AL. 2001].
2.1.4.1
Due to ongoing optimizations in plant operation as well Investments
as module design and overflow, further reduction of the
energy consumption rate can be expected. Early develop- The investments for the construction of a membrane bio-
ments such as the introduction of intermittent aeration, reactor consist of the costs for the components of mecha-
two-storey arrangement of modules on top of the air nical pretreatment, biological waste water treatment and
injection device, and operation of rotating membranes biomass separation and, if necessary, for excess sludge
has already resulted in a reduction of overflow-specific treatment. From the experience acquired to-date, the
energy costs by approx. 50 %. The Kommunale Wasser- savings potentials and additional costs for the investments
werke Leipzig (municipal waterworks) expect that the compared to conventional waste water treatment techno-
energy consumption for MBR treatment will ultimately logy can be summarized as follows in Table 2-4.
be reduced to the range of conventional plants [STEIN
ET AL. 2001]. Starting from the typical costs for conventional waste
water treatment technology [BOHN 1993; GÜNTHERT,
Manpower requirements and qualification REICHERTER 2001], the savings made in process engineer-
ing (smaller tank volumes, secondary settlement and pos-
Besides training and sensitization of personnel for addi- sibly more tertiary treatment steps become unnecessary)
tional problems which result from the operation of a with the membrane bioreactor process can be divided
membrane bioreactor (e. g. concerning membrane opera- among the investments for additional expenditures as well
tion, cleaning, emergency operation in case the measure- as for the membrane separation stage itself. According to
ment, control and regulation systems break down), there RAUTENBACH ET AL. [2000], the savings potential for the
are no extra demands on staff qualification. components of a membrane bioreactor which are not part
of the membrane stage were 20 – 30 % for a plant size of
Experiences from the Rödingen waste water treatment 100,000 PE (compared to a conventional activated sludge
plant (3,000 PE) have shown that the personal expendi- plant with secondary settlement and sand filtration).
ture after start-up, repair of faults and a training period is Assuming a typical specific cost at that time of 200 euro per
at present approximately 0.5 man-days per day. This m2 of membrane surface installed (including peripheral
value is in the range of conventional plants of comparable equipment such as pipes, suction pumps, measurement,
size run by the Erftverband [DRENSLA 2001]. control and regulation equipment), nearly the same total
investment for both variations were required.
During the start-up period of the Markranstädt waste
water treatment plant (8,000 PE), the necessary working The results of the tender process for the construction of
time expenditure was assessed as unsatisfactorily high. the Kaarst waste water treatment plant (80,000 PE) in 2001
This was due in particular to failures of the peripheral have turned out favourably for membrane technology. The
equipment of the membrane stage. After improvement of offers submitted for membrane technology (20.3 – 22.1
the operational stability, the working time expenditure is million euro) were 1.7 – 3.4 million euro lower than those
now in the range of conventional activated sludge plants for a comparable conventional plant without advanced
or only slightly greater with a maximum of one additional treatment (23.7 million euro) [ENGELHARDT 2002].
working hour per day [STEIN 2002a].
Based on the costs of membrane bioreactors built to-date
and on the results of tenders for new projects, the follow-
ing categories can be used to assess the investment:

92
Membrane Technology in Municipal Waste Water Treatment 2

Table 2-4
Savings potentials and additional costs concerning the investments of membrane bioreactors compared to
conventional activated sludge plants

Process stage Savings potential Additional costs

Mechanical pretreatment finer mechanical pretreatment

• hollow-fibre membranes ≤ 1 mm

• plate membranes ≤ 3 mm

necessary to protect the membrane modules

Biological treatment activated sludge tank volumes 3 to 4 times smaller because

of operation at increased TS content of 12 to 16 g/L

Biomass separation/ secondary settlement tank not necessary downstream costs for the membrane stage are higher than for con-

advanced treatment processes for further treatment of the biologically treated ventional secondary settlement tanks due on the one

waste water at higher demands on the effluent (sand hand to the costs of the membrane modules themselves

filtration, disinfection) not necessary and on the other hand to peripheral equipment (measure-

ment, control and regulation equipment, piping, suction

pumps, compressors, cleaning facilities etc.)

Sludge treatment usually no anaerobic sludge stabilization (digester) because higher energy costs due to aerobic sludge stabilization,

the biomass is aerobically stabilized no utilization of digester gas from primary and secon-

dary sludge (with plants > 50.000 PE)

The inhabitant-specific costs have to be assessed be- At present, specific module costs for the first invest-
tween 250 and 1,400 euro. This margin is mainly due to ment (including peripheral equipment) of 75 – 150 euro
different drainage systems. With combined systems, the per m2 of membrane surface can be assessed. These values
complete installation has to be dimensioned for the com- vary according to membrane manufacturers and the surface
bined waste water flow (usually 2·Q T). Conversely, the used. Based on the developments made in the course of
membrane stage of plants with separate systems only need the last years, an increase in the number of module system
half of the membrane surface area compared to a com- suppliers can be expected. Rising sales as well as increased
bined system. Moreover, the surface-specific costs of the competitive pressure will also have positive effects on the
membrane modules decrease with increasing installation module costs. Figure 2-27 shows the development of the
size, and therefore have to be considered in direct depend- membrane replacement costs over the last decade and
ence on the total investments. a forecast for the year 2005 according to CHURCHHOUSE,
WILDGOOSE [2000]. In addition, the module-specific
The share of investments for the membrane stage costs on the basis of the tender results of different German
(including peripheral equipment, machinery and piping) waste water treatment plants are listed. According to this
in the total costs is in the range of 30 – 60 %. This wide cost curve, more significant cost reductions can be expec-
range also depends on the drainage system. Additional ted in future. For the Monheim waste water treatment
influencing factors are the underlying membrane and plant, for example, membrane replacement costs of 58 or
module costs, which during the last years have shown a 50 euro/m2 after a membrane service life of 7.5 or 8 years,
downward trend. Moreover, in the course of further tech- respectively, have been assessed [RESCH 2002; STEIN
nical development an increase in the performance of the 2002b].
modules can be expected, so that the membrane surface
area to be installed, and thus the specific costs for the
membrane stage, will decrease.

93
2 Membrane Technology in Municipal Waste Water Treatment

Figure 2-27
Development of membrane replacement costs [ISA 2002; CHURCHHOUSE, WILDGOOSE 2000]

according to Churchhouse (2000) gathering ISA RWTH (2003)


450

400
membrane replacement costs o/m2

350

300

250
KA Rödingen1
3.000 PE
200

150
GKW Nordkanal1
80.000 PE
100
KA Markranstädt1
8.000 PE
50
KA Monheim KA Markkleeberg2
9.700 PE 30.000 PE
0
1990 1995 2000 2005
year
1
Specific net costs for installed membrane surface area (without peripheral equipment, first installation), calculated back on the basis of the
results of the call for tenders; according to information from the manufacturers, low costs can be expected for membrane replacement.

2
Estimation of the operator [STEIN 2002b]

2.1.4.2
Operating and Maintenance Costs

The annual operating and maintenance costs related to 2. Membrane cleaning:


waste water volumes or the population connected consists To maintain the filtration capacity, the membranes
of different cost types. Compared to the costs of conven- have to be cleaned regularly. Therefore, the costs for
tional waste water treatment processes, the following dif- chemicals (about 0.25 – 1.00 euro/(m3· a) and additio-
ferences result for the membrane bioreactor process: nal labour costs have to be taken into account.

1. Energy costs: 3. Maintenance:


Operation of a membrane stage requires more energy The typical cost for the maintenance of conventional
than that of conventional plants. From the operation plants increases for membrane bioreactors due to the
of existing installations ≥ 3,000 PE, energy consump- additional expenditure for maintenance of the mem-
3
tion rates of 0.8 – 1,4 kWh per m of waste water treat- brane stage. The costs to be assessed result from the
ed have been determined. For the Nordkanal waste real membrane service life (i. e. guaranteed by the
water treatment plant, an energy demand approx. 60 % manufacturer; assumed up to now: 5 – 8 years, in
(0.8 kWh/m3) greater than for conventional plants some cases 10 years [WOZNIAK 2002]) and from the
3
(0.46 kWh/m with anaerobic sludge stabilization and anticipated membrane replacement costs. The main-
0.51 kWh/m3 with aerobic sludge stabilization) can tenance costs decrease with longer service life and
be expected [ENGELHARDT 2002]. falling module costs.

94
Membrane Technology in Municipal Waste Water Treatment 2

4. Waste water charges: 2.2


As a result of the treatment efficiency of membrane Concrete Examples of Membrane Bioreactors
stages, a reduction in the pollution load discharged
into water bodies can be expected. In the following chapters, membrane bioreactors for the
treatment of municipal waste water are described which
The expenditure for the construction of a membrane already have been realized or are under planning. The
stage can therefore be cleared with the waste water concrete examples are arranged according to the loca-
charges paid to-date, provided that the requirements tions (in or outside Germany) and the membrane process
according to § 10 section 3 of the Waste Water Char- applied (microfiltration or ultrafiltration). Large-scale
ges Act are met. plants, pilot plants, small waste water treatment plants,
ship’s waste water treatment plants and mobile plants are
Since the higher energy and maintenance costs exceed described.
the reduction in waste water charges, higher operating
costs of membrane bioreactors can be expected on the In Germany, at present nine large-scale membrane biore-
whole. A comparison of operating costs has been realized actors with capacities between 700 and 80,000 PE are
for the Nordkanal waste water treatment plant on the operated. Five more installations will be put into opera-
basis of the offers [ENGELHARDT 2002]. According to tion by the end of 2005. Ten plants will then exist in the
this study, the assessed waste-water-specific operating state North-Rhine Westphalia (NRW). All installations
costs of the membrane bioreactor (0.24 – 0.25 euro/m3) built in NRW have been promoted by funds from the state.
were higher by approx. 15 % than that of the conventio- The state makes available additional funds for new appli-
nal solutions offered (0.20 – 0,22 euro/m3). Ranges for the cations and more far-reaching scientific studies which
costs per year, related to energy demand and waste water especially aim at optimizing the treatment capacity and
volume, for aeration and recirculation, the necessary the operating cost.
chemicals etc. are indicated in the DWA working report
“Membrane bioreactor process” (see Annex A 6 [DWA Table 2-5 gives an overview of the most important data
2005]). for the plants in Germany, which will be described in
detail in the following sections.
In this case it has to be taken into account that plants
with differing effluent qualities are compared in cost
determination. In order to obtain the same effluent qua-
lity with conventional activated sludge plants as with
membrane bioreactors, an additional treatment stage
(e. g. disinfection stage) has to be arranged downstream
of the conventional plant. Under this condition the ope-
rating costs of membrane bioreactors should be the same
or lower.

Moreover, further technical developments of the mem-


brane modules will lead in future to a reduction of the
energy costs and improvement of the performance, so
that the population-specific treatment costs will also
decrease.

95
2 Membrane Technology in Municipal Waste Water Treatment

Table 2-5
Data of the large-scale membrane bioreactors treating municipal waste water in Germany,
as of December 2004

Operator Erftverband Aggerverband City of Monheim Municipal Waterworks Erftverband


Leipzig
Federal State North Rhine- North Rhine- Bavaria Saxony North Rhine-
Westphalia Westphalia Westphalia
Plant WWTP Nordkanal WWTP Seelscheid Monheim WWTP Markranstädt WWTP Rödingen
Capacity 80,000 PE 10,500 PE 9,700 PE at present 8,000 PE 3,000 PE
up to 12,000 PE
Membrane ZENON Kubota ZENON ZENON ZENON
manufacturer
Module type capillary module plate module capillary module capillary module capillary module
Process ultrafiltration microfiltration ultrafiltration ultrafiltration ultrafiltration
Membrane 84,480 m2 12,480 m2 12,320 m2 7,360 m2 4,846 m2
surface area
Bioreactorvolume 9,200 m3 2,310 m3 1,640 m3 approx. 1.800 m3 480 m3
3 3 3
Maximum inflow 1,881 m /h 356 m /h 288 m /h 3
180 m /h 135 m3/h
Sewer system combined system combined system combined system combined system combined system
Start-up December 2003 August 2004 July 2003 January 2000 June 1999
Pretreatment screen (5 mm) step screen (3 mm) fine screen (1 mm) two-stage screen screen (3 mm) grit and
grit and grease trap grit chamber grit channel (up to 1 mm) grease trap sieving of
rotary screen (0.5 mm) grit and grease trap the recirculation sludge
(0.5 mm) in partial flow
Special feature expansion at the site of
the WWTP

Operator Municipal Services Aggerverband Municipal Waterworks Wasserverband


Schramberg Leipzig Eifel-Rur (WVER)
Federal State Baden-Württemberg North Rhine-Westphalia Saxony North Rhine-Westphalia

Plant Schramberg WWTP Büchel WWTP Knautnaundorf WWTP WWTP Simmerath


Capacity 2,600 PE 1,000 PE at present 900 PE 700 PE

up to 1,800 PE
Membrane ZENON Kubota Martin Systems AG PURON
manufacturer
Module type capillary module plate module plate module capillary module
Process ultrafiltration microfiltration ultrafiltration ultrafiltration
Membrane 4,400 m2 960 m2 756 m2 1,000 m2
surface area
Bioreactorvolume 730 m3 190 m3 68 m3 136 m3
Maximum inflow 90 m3/h 40 m3/h 23 m3/h being studied
Sewer system combined system combined system separate system combined system
Start-up May 2004 August 1999 October 2001 2003
Pretreatment screen (5 mm) screen (3 mm) grit two-stage screen fine screen (3 mm)
fine screen (0.5 mm) chamber, optional (3 mm, 1mm)
grit and grease trap primary treatment grit and grease trap
Special feature pilot plant pilot plant

96
Membrane Technology in Municipal Waste Water Treatment 2

The positive experiences acquired to-date with membrane Moreover, the application of the membrane bioreactor
technology and the membrane bioreactor are the reason process is studied at a large number of other sites in
for water boards and municipalities to take the membrane Germany. The waste water plants at the sites Xanten-
bioreactor process into consideration when planning new Vynen (LINEG) and Richtheim (Municipality of Richt-
or up-grading existing plants as an alternative to conven- heim in cooperation with Bayerisches Landesamt für
tional waste water treatment processes. Especially those Wasserwirtschaft (Bavarian Office for Water Manage-
operators (Wasserverband Eifel-Rur (WVER), Erftverband) ment)) are mentioned here by way of example, which
who have acquired experience with membrane technology will also be described in the following chapters.
are planning or building more membrane bioreactors
(Table 2-6).

Table 2-6
Membrane bioreactors under construction or in planning stage in Germany, as of December 2005

Operator WVER WVER City of Eitorf Linksniederrheinische Erftverband


Entwässerungs-
Genossenschaft
Federal State North Rhine- North Rhine- North Rhine- North Rhine- North Rhine-
Westphalia Westphalia Westphalia Westphalia Westphalia
Plant WWTP Rurberg WWTP Konzen WWTP Eitorf WWTP Xanten-Vynen WWTP Glessen
Design capacity 6,200 PE 9,700 PE 11,625 PE 2,000 PE (only 9,000 PE
membrane installation)
Planned start-up 2005 2005 2005 2005 2005
State commissioned commissioned commissioned commissioned planning stage
Membrane Kubota Kubota Kubota A 3 GmbH not yet determined
manufacturer
Module type plate module plate module plate module plate module not yet determined
Process microfiltration microfiltration microfiltration microfiltration micro-/ultrafiltration
2 2 2 2
Membrane surface approx. 13,440 m 23,040 m 10,240 m 2,000 m 12,320 m2 planned
area
Bioreactor volume approx. 750 m3 planned approx. 1,700 m3 planned 1,200 m3 approx. 1,700 m3 planned
3 3 3 3
Maximum inflow 349 m /h 587 m /h 288 m /h 40 m /h 268 m3/h
Pretreatment fine screen (3 mm) fine screen (3 mm) fine sieve screen (3 mm) screen (6 mm)
grit chamber grit chamber grit and grease trap grit-/grease trap
finest screen (0.5 mm) finest screen (0.5 mm) fine sieve (0.5 mm)
Special features discharge into partly industrial waste expansion of the WWTP expansion of the WWTP
Rurtalsperre (Rur valley water at the site at the site
reservoir)

97
2 Membrane Technology in Municipal Waste Water Treatment

2.2.1 MF
ent zones. The waste water flows centrally into an an-
Waste Water Treatment Plants with Microfiltration aerobic zone (V = 500 m3) for increased biological phos-
Membrane Installations in Germany phorus removal. The outside zone of the activated sludge
tank (V = 1.160 m3) is used for denitrification. Part of the
2.2.1.1 MF
tank (500 m3) can be aerated and used for nitrification,
Seelscheid Waste Water Treatment Plant and depending on time and load.
Training Centre
The intermediate settling tank was decommissioned to
From 1974 to 1976, the Seelscheid waste water treatment build the new three-line membrane stage on this surface,
plant had been designed for 3,000 PE. In a second stage, which was commissioned in July 2004. The three mem-
from 1991 to 1992, it was expanded to a capacity of brane tanks with a total volume of approx. 800 m3 serve
7,500 PE. The design at that time provided a final expan- for nitrification. In each of the three tanks, 13 plate
sion up to 10,500 PE so that some structures, in particu- membrane modules (type EK 400) from the company
lar the pipes, were designed for that size. Upgrading of Kubota are installed. The total membrane surface area is
the waste water treatment plant to 10,500 PE according 12,480 m2. The recirculation flows and the aeration are
to the activated sludge process would have been very controlled by fuzzy logic.
expensive due to limited space. In 2003, the membrane
bioreactor suggested itself as a more effective alternative At present, the necessary transmembrane pressure differ-
with lower space demand. ence is produced in gravity flow and can be supported
by permeate pumps. The filtrate is fed into a storage tank
For the expansion, two fine screens (3 mm spacing) were (V = 100 m3). From there it is discharged by the existing
installed in the existing screen building in order to ensure pipes into the Wenigerbach (a creek). Part of the treated
trouble-free operation of the waste water treatment plant, waste water is used as process water at the waste water
especially of the membrane installation. Each of both treatment plant. The concentrate is recycled into the
fine screens is able to treat the maximum waste water denitrification zone or optionally into the aerobic zone.
flow of 99 L/s, resulting in a redundant system. The The minimum requirements, the values of the discharge
aerated grit and grease trap, which existed before the last consent and the operating values after four months of
3
upgrade, has a volume of V = 104 m . The calculated operation are listed in Table 2-7.
hydraulic retention time in this structure is more than
17 min. in the case of stormwater flow and more than The investment for upgrading of the Seelscheid waste
35 min. during dry weather flow. After having passed the water treatment plant was approx. 4.6 million euro,
grit chamber, the waste water flows into the activated supported by funds from MUNLV.
sludge tank which is built as a circular tank with differ-

Table 2-7
Minimum requirements, discharge consent and operating values of the Seelscheid waste water treatment
plant [according to AGGERVERBAND 2004]

Parameter Unit Minimum requirements Discharge consent Operating values

CSB mg/L 90 40 < 20

BSB5 mg/L 20 10 no information

NH4-N mg/L 10 3 < 0.1

Ntot mg/L 18 18 <5

Ptot mg/L 2 0.8 –

AOX µg/L no information 50 –

98
Membrane Technology in Municipal Waste Water Treatment 2

Figure 2-28
Flow sheet of the Seelscheid waste water treatment plant [according to AGGERVERBAND 2004]

membrane stage/
nitrification

denitri- nitri-
fication- fication- blower
tank tank installation
anaerobic
tank

sludge

fine screen
permeate
3 mm
feed storage
grit receiving
chamber water

fine screen
3 mm
alternative

recirculation process water

Figure 2-29
Membrane installation at the Seelscheid waste water treatment plant [photos: AGGERVERBAND 2004],
left: membrane tanks, right: machine cellar of the membrane installation

99
2 Membrane Technology in Municipal Waste Water Treatment

Training centre at the Seelscheid waste water


treatment plant
The training courses are intended for environmental
The Aggerverband (water board) will establish at the site technicians, sanitation masters and future engineers from
of the Seelscheid waste water treatment plant a modern universities. Completion of the training centre is scheduled
training centre for membrane technology. This will be for the year 2005. The training centre is promoted by
done in cooperation with the Ministry for Environment funds of the federal state North Rhine-Westphalia.
and Nature Conservation, Agriculture and Consumer Pro-
tection (MUNLV) of the state North-Rhine Westphalia, Figure 2-30
the Bildungszentrum für die Entsorgungs- und Wasser- Existing sand filter tanks, to be used for the trai-
wirtschaft (BEW) (Training Centre for Water Management ning installations [photo: AGGERVERBAND 2004]
and Waste Water Disposal), the Deutsche Vereinigung für
Wasserwirtschaft, Abwasser und Abfall (DWA) (German
Association for Water Management, Waste water and
Waste), the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Membrantechnik
(DGMT) (German Association for Membrane Technology)
and the RWTH Aachen University. The centre is supported
by funds from the state North-Rhine Westphalia. Besides
training rooms and eight laboratory working places, four
membrane bioreactors with upstream denitrification and
various membrane systems will be installed in the tanks
of the former sand filtration system in order to realize
practical training (see Figure 2-31 and Figure 2-30).

Figure 2-31
Flow sheet of the training installations [according to AGGERVERBAND 2004]

denitri- nitrification/
fication membrane stage

blower
recirculation
installation

raw waste
water
fine screen
3 mm
to treatment plant
blower
optional recirculation installation
raw waste
inflow
water
fine screen
0,75 mm

blower
recirculation
installation

blower
recirculation
installation

100
Membrane Technology in Municipal Waste Water Treatment 2

2.2.1.2 MF

Büchel Pilot Plant

Within the scope of a research project “Upgrading of the Figure 2-32


Büchel waste water treatment plant using membrane View of the Büchel pilot plant [photo: ISA RWTH
technology” promoted by the Ministry for Environment AACHEN]. Foreground: filtration container. Back-
and Nature Conservation, Agriculture and Consumer ground, left: activated sludge tank of the pilot
Protection (MUNLV) of the state North-Rhine Westpha- plant. Background, right: primary settling tank of
lia, the Aggerverband (water board) has operated from the overall plant
1999 to 2001 a membrane bioreactor pilot plant. This
R&D project was realized on behalf of Aggerverband by
the Institute of Environmental Engineering of RWTH
Aachen University and ATEMIS (consulting engineers).

The reason for the project was the necessary expansion


of the Büchel waste water treatment plant from the
existing capacity of 12,000 PE to 25,000 PE. Besides the
limited space available, stringent demands on the effluent
quality made by the district government Cologne, due to
the situation of the plant in a nature reserve, had also to
be taken into consideration. Therefore, the Aggerverband
searched for an alternative to conventional waste water

Figure 2-33
Flow sheet of the Büchel pilot plant [BAUMGARTEN 2001b]

nitrification and membrane container V = 80 m3 permeate

RS
membrane stage 1 membrane stage 2 nitri-/denitrification-
tank V = 100 m3

blower
station
membrane
reactor

blower station
nitrification

feed

101
2 Membrane Technology in Municipal Waste Water Treatment

treatment technology. After detailed cost comparisons, After a start-up period during which faults of the mecha-
the membrane bioreactor process turned out to be the nical installation were remedied, the plant was operated
most interesting alternative. The Aggerverband decided nearly trouble-free. After a six-month operating phase
to run a pilot plant within the scope of expansion plan- where each of the filtration stages was operated with net
ning in order to acquire experience with this technology. specific flows of 27 L/(m3·h), the transmembrane pressure
increased from approx. 80 mbar to average values of
The pilot plant was situated at the site of the Büchel approx. 150 mbar due to fouling. Therefore, chemical
waste water treatment plant and is fed with a partial flow in-situ cleaning had to be carried out in order to ensure
of the mechanically pretreated waste water from the exi- the throughput of the plant. With this it was possible to
sting plant. Mechanical pretreatment consisted of a restore the original membrane capacity nearly completely
step screen (3 mm), an aerated grit and grease trap and a [WOZNIAK, BAUMGARTEN 2001, BAUMGARTEN
primary settling tank. To feed the pilot plant, the partial 2001b].
flow could be taken either upstream or downstream of
the primary settling tank. After conclusion of the pilot tests, an expansion at the
site of the Büchel waste water treatment plant according
The waste water was pumped by a lifting pump into the to the conventional activated sludge process was pre-
denitrification zone of the pilot plant. Nitrification took ferred for economic reasons. However, as a result of the
place only in the zone of the downstream membrane experience acquired with membrane technology, the
stage (Figure 2-33) because under normal conditions the Aggerverband favoured under technical aspects the fur-
air injected for the overflow of the membranes is sufficient ther use of membrane technology for municipal waste
for complete nitrification. If this was not ensured, single water treatment. Thus the experience acquired was in-
zones in the upstream denitrification tank could be aerated cluded in the meantime e. g. in the expansion of the large-
and used for nitrification. scale Seelscheid waste water treatment plant of the
Aggerverband (see chapter 2.2.1.1). For future new con-
The membrane stage consisted of two filtration lines structions or expansions of plants, too, this technology
which could be operated independently from each other. will be included in the studies of technical processes.
Each line is equipped with four plate packages contain-
ing 150 plate modules from the company Kubota. The
treated waste water was withdrawn by suction from the
filtration modules.

102
Membrane Technology in Municipal Waste Water Treatment 2

2.2.1.3 MF

Richtheim Waste Water Treatment Plant

In Bavaria, many decentralized waste water treatment An inflow shaft, installed for the separation of coarse and
plants are situated in regions with stricter requirements floating matter, serves as primary settling tank for coarse
for water pollution control (e. g. karstland) or discharge and floating matter. The pretreated waste water then
into sensitive receiving waters, so that advanced waste flows by gravity into the membrane bioreactor. The plate
water treatment may be useful or necessary, e. g. by sand modules from the company Kubota (2 module packages
filtration and UV disinfection, ozonation or membrane with 80 m2 membrane surface area each), which include
technology. aeration, are installed in a prefabricated shaft which serves
as the membrane bioreactor. The oxygen demand is
Within the scope of a research project promoted by the covered completely by aeration of the membrane mod-
Landesamt für Wasserwirtschaft (LfW) (State Office for ules. Figure 2-34 shows the flow sheet of the installation.
Water Management) in Bavaria, different processes for
the treatment of municipal waste water in decentralized
waste water treatment plants are studied at three sites.
The study focuses on the attainable effluent quality,
operational liability and expenditure.

The Richtheim waste water treatment plant is used to


perform the studies on the membrane bioreactor process.
It has a treatment capacity of 100 PE.

Figure 2-34
Flow sheet of the membrane bioreactor [according to BAYERISCHES LANDESAMT FÜR WASSERWIRTSCHAFT
2004]

flow
membrane stage

receiving
water
primary treatment

feed

blower
installation

103
2 Membrane Technology in Municipal Waste Water Treatment

2.2.1.4 MF

Eitorf Waste Water Treatment Plant (Commissioned)

The Eitorf waste water treatment plant receives municipal The installation was originally intended for the joint tre-
waste water from the municipality of Eitorf, parts of the atment of a high-loaded waste water flow from textile
city of Hennef and the waste water from commercial and finishing with strong coloration and high AOX concen-
industrial enterprises. For expansion of the capacity of trations (see Table 2-8). In order to increase the treatment
the plant from 33,000 PE up to now to approx. 46,500 PE efficiency concerning these parameters (effluent require-
(value prognosticated for the year 2010), process variants ment for AOX: 50 µg/L), simultaneous addition of pulver-
using membrane technology were developed within the ized activated carbon was tested successfully in the run-
scope of a study [NOLTING, KAZNER 2005]. Based upon up on an industrial scale for the conventional plant
the comparison of the costs per year, the construction of [KAZNER 2003] and on pilot scale for a membrane bio-
a membrane bioreactor turned out to be the most favour- reactor [BAUMGARTEN 2005].
able solution for the expansion of the capacity for the
treatment of a partial waste water flow.

Table 2-8
Input values for the design of the Eitorf membrane bioreactor [according to GEMEINDEWERKE EITORF
(municipal utilities) 2004]

Parameter Qd Qh QM COD BSB 5 TKN NH4 -N Ptot AOX

Inflow to the membrane bioreactor 1,800 145 288 1,152 486 108 62 13 0,4

m3 /d m3 /h m3 /h kg/d kg/d kg/d kg/d kg/d kg/d

Figure 2-35
Flow sheet of the Eitorf waste water treatment plant [according to GEMEINDEWERKE EITORF 2004]

feed
fine screen 75 %
grit primary treatment biological reactor clarifier
3 mm chamber
receiving
25 % water
sludge

fine sieve
1 mm

denitrifi- variable
cation tank

4-line
membrane stage
with nitrification

recirculation

104
Membrane Technology in Municipal Waste Water Treatment 2

Figure 2-36
Eitorf waste water treatment plant with covered membrane tanks between the buildings in the foreground

Due to operations-related closure of the dye-works, this decker modules) with a total membrane surface area of
waste water flow will cease in future. A high-loaded waste 10,240 m2 are installed.
water flow from the food industry will be introduced
instead. The investments for the construction of the membrane
bioreactor, which was commissioned in September 2005,
The membrane bioreactor consists of a denitrification were 3.9 million euro, subsidized in part by the Ministry
tank (V = 300 m3), a variable zone equipped with aerators for Environment and Nature Conservation, Agriculture
3
(V = 300 m ) for denitrification or nitrification and four and Consumer Protection of the federal state North
nitrification tanks (150 m3 each), in which immersed plate Rhine-Westphalia (MUNLV NRW).
modules from the company Kubota (type EK 400, double-

105
2 Membrane Technology in Municipal Waste Water Treatment

2.2.1.5 MF
Figure 2-37
Xanten-Vynen Waste Water Treatment Plant Membrane installation in container construction
(Commissioned) for the Xanten-Vynen waste water treatment plant
[photo: A3 GMBH]
In 1972, the Xanten-Vynen waste water treatment plant
was designed, according to the design principles at that
time, for 6,000 PE and triple dry-weather flow. Today the
biological stage is approved for 3,300 PE. At present,
approx. 3,160 PE are connected. Thus, the degree of capa-
city utilization is more than 95 % and has to be expanded
to 4,989 PE, due to anticipated population growth. The
connected quarters Vynen and Marienbaum are drained
for the most part by a combined sewer system. Only one
modern estate is drained by a separate system. The inflow
to the waste water treatment plant is exclusively of muni-
cipal origin.

Within the scope of a three-year research project, a two-


line membrane bioreactor at the Xanten-Vynen waste
water treatment plant will be equipped with the plate
membrane system from the company A3 and operated in

Figure 2-38
Flow sheet of the Xanten-Vynen waste water treatment plant, including the planned membrane
bioreactors [according to LINEG 2004]

grit biological reactor clarifier effluent polishing


screen
chamber pond
feed

sludge

screen system
denitrifi- membrane stage
3 mm
fication nitrification

receiving
water

blower
recirculation installation
denitrifi- membrane stage
fication nitrification

recirculation

106
Membrane Technology in Municipal Waste Water Treatment 2

parallel (see Figure 2-38). The total capacity of the two-line • To determine an optimum operating and cleaning
membrane bioreactor will be approx. 2,000 PE. management program

Both membrane bioreactors will be operated under real Both membrane installations are manufactured identically
conditions in parallel to the existing activated sludge stage and fitted in one container each (Figure 2-37). For mecha-
to compare the cleaning efficiency of both systems. The nical pretreatment, a screen with an aperture size of 3 mm
three-year test period has the following objectives: is planned. The activation volume is 100 m3 each. Each
membrane installation is designed for a dry weather flow
• To prove evidence of the operational safety and capacity of 12.5 m3/h and a stormwater flow of 40 m3/h and has a
of the installation membrane surface area of 2,000 m2. The membrane instal-
• To study the economic efficiency of the membrane lation will be commissioned still in 2005.
system

2.2.1.6 MF

Piene Waste Water Treatment Plant


(in Planning Stage)

The construction of a waste water treatment plant with a It is planned to pretreat the waste water by a rotary
treatment capacity of 170 PE according to the membrane screen with a spacing of 3 mm. The following buffer tank
bioreactor process is being planned for the quarter Piene wih a volume of 40 m3 serves to buffer peak flows in the
of the city of Gummersbach. case of combined water flow and to store the excess sludge.
From the storage tank the waste water is fed into the
Until now, the waste water of Piene is treated by three- activated sludge stage (V = 40 m3) in which the immersed
chamber septic tanks. The treated waste water is discharged membrane modules are integrated. It is intended to use
into a “weak” receiving water, The discharge consent plate membrane packages from the company Kubota
requires a COD effluent concentration of < 70 mg/L and with a total membrane surface area of 320 m2.
a BOD5 concentration of < 10 mg/L. Due to the situation
described above, a decision was made in favour of the
membrane bioreactor process. Figure 2-39 shows the flow
sheet of the membrane bioreactor.

Figure 2-39
Flow sheet of the membrane bioreactor [according to CITY OF GUMMERSBACH 2004]

biological reactor
membrane stage

receiving
fine screen water
3 mm

feed

buffer tank
sludge

107
2 Membrane Technology in Municipal Waste Water Treatment

2.2.1.7 MF

Rurberg-Woffelsbach and Konzen Waste Water


Treatment Plants (Commissioned)

The Rurberg-Woffelsbach and Konzen waste water treat- At Konzen, an activated sludge tank both for denitrifica-
ment plants of Wasserverband Eifel-Rur (WVER) (water tion and nitrification precedes the membrane chamber.
board) are being expanded to a treatment capacity of Additional nitrification volume is available in the mem-
6,200 PE and 9,700 PE, respectively. At present, both brane chamber. Both installations are equipped with plate
expansion measures are realized. The plants will be put membrane modules from the company Kubota. At the
into operation at the end of 2005. Rurberg-Woffelsbach waste water treatment plant, a
membrane surface area of 13,440 m3 will be installed,
The current demands on the effluents of the Rurberg- and of 23,040 m3 at the Konzen plant. For these mem-
Woffelsbach and Konzen waste water treatment plants brane surface areas, 42 and 72 membrane-modules,
are listed in Table 2-9. The Rurberg-Woffelsbach waste respectively, of the type EK 400 are provided. In this
water treatment plant discharges into the Rur reservoir region, the membranes have to cope with a waste water
which is used for recreation purposes, and the Konzen temperature in winter of less than 6 °C.
waste water treatment plant uses the Laufenbach (a
creek) as receiving water which is situated in the drin- According to the submittal results, the investments for
king water catchment zone. These were the reasons for the Rurberg-Woffelsbach plant are approx. 5.5 million
the use of a membrane bioreactor at both sites. euro (without planned lake duct, pumping station and
engineering) and 7.5 million euro for the Konzen plant
In future, the Rurberg-Woffelsbach waste water treatment (without combined water treatment and engineering).
plant will be designed for a dry weather flow of 175 m3/h Taking into account a subsidy of 50 % by the federal
3
and a stormwater flow of 349 m /h. The Konzen waste state North Rhine-Westphalia for the membrane-specific
water treatment plant will treat a dry weather flow of costs, the expansion of both waste water treatment
3 3
245 m /h and a stormwater flow of 587 m /h. plants by the membrane bioreactor process is less
expensive than conventional upgrading.
The process concept for both plants includes mechanical
pretreatment by a fine screen with a spacing of 3 mm,
followed by a grit and grease trap and a fine screen with
a spacing of 0.5 mm. The fine screen will be redundant.
At the Rurberg-Woffelsbach waste water treatment plant,
biological waste water treatment takes place in an upstream
denitrification tank and a combined nitrification/mem-
brane tank.

Table 2-9
Demands on the effluent quality of the Rurberg-Woffelsbach and Konzen waste water treatment plants
[according to WVER 2004]

Parameter Unit Demands on the effluent of the Demands on the effluent of the

Rurberg-Woffelsbach WWTP Konzen WWTP

CSB mg/L 80 50

BSB5 mg/L 20 15

NH4-N mg/L 10 3

Ptot mg/L 0.5 0.2

108
Membrane Technology in Municipal Waste Water Treatment 2

2.2.1.8 MF

Kohlfurth Waste Water Treatment Plant,


Process Water Treatment

The Kohlfurth waste water treatment plant has a design The sludge liquor is stored temporarily in a buffer tank.
capacity of 156,000 PE. It treats mainly municipal waste It flows for nitritation into the first aeration reactor with
water by the conventional activated sludge process with a volume of 200 m3. Autotrophic deammonification will
following anaerobic sludge treatment (see Figure 2-40). take place in the second aeration reactor (V = 180 m3).
Concerning nitrogen removal, the Kohlfurth waste water Two thickeners which are no longer used, serve as reac-
treatment plant was designed for a monitoring value of tors for the activated sludge stage.
18 mg Ninorg /L. In future, it has to comply with a monitor-
ing value of 13 mg Ninorg /L. With full capacity utilization The two-line membrane installation arranged downstream
of the plant, at present it cannot be assured that this of the activated sludge stage is installed in a separate
requirement is met in the qualified random sample. This reactor. Each line contains two module packages (from
was the reason in autumn 2003 to plan a new treatment the company Kubota, type EK 400) with a total membrane
facility for the process water from sludge dewatering. surface area of 720 m2. The permeate of the membrane
installation is fed into the return sludge pumping station
At the Kohlfurth waste water treatment plant, the daily and, with this, into the activated sludge stage of the
sludge liquor quantity from sludge dewatering is 300 m3 Kohlfurth waste water treatment plant.
with a NH4-N concentration of 700 – 1,000 mg/L. As new
treatment concept, the membrane bioreactor process was The plant is working since January 2005. After a test ope-
chosen. The potential for autotrophic deammonification ration phase, the operating mode of autotrophic deam-
in the membrane bioreactor will be studied in particular. monification as well as of conventional denitrification
will be studied.

Figure 2-40
Flow sheet of the Kohlfurth waste water treatment plant [according to WUPPERVERBAND 2004]

carbon source
feed flow
grit denitri- primary treatment biological grit
screen clarifier
chamber fication reactor filtration
receiving
water

sludge

coarse sludge

pre-
digester digester
thickening
membrane
stage

post- sludge liquor


thickening sludge
liquor nitrifi- denitri-
storage
cation fication
chamber filtrate
filter press

recirculation

109
2 Membrane Technology in Municipal Waste Water Treatment

2.2.1.9 MF

Dormagen Waste Water Treatment Plant,


Process Water Treatment (Commissioned)

The Dormagen waste water treatment plant has a design The concept using the membrane bioreactor for the treat-
capacity of 80,000 PE and treats predominantly municipal ment of the sludge water turned out to be favourable in
waste water. After mechanical pretreatment, the waste terms of technology and economic efficiency. The mem-
water is treated according to the activated sludge process. brane installation is planned with two lines and will con-
The sludge is anaerobically treated (see Figure 2-41). tain eight module packages from the company Kubota
(type EK 150) with a total membrane surface area of 960 m2.
The process water from sludge treatment consists of the
sludge liquor from the digester and the post-thickener as The existing grit chamber will be converted to a nitrifica-
well as the centrate water from the centrifuges. It is stored tion and denitrification stage in which the process water
temporarily in a balancing tank. The NH4-N concentra- from the storage tank is fed. The membrane installation
tion of this process water is approx. 800 mg/L, which will be fitted in a container on the existing grit chamber.
corresponds to a waste water load of approx. 15,000 PE. The permeate of the membrane installation will be fed into
Due to this load, the waste water treatment plant reached the inflow of the activated sludge tank for treatment.
its capacity limits from time to time. This was the reason
in autumn 2003 to plan a new sludge water treatment The plant is under construction and will be put into
plant. operation in 2005.

Figure 2-41
Flow sheet of the Dormagen waste water treatment plant [according to CITY OF DORMAGEN 2004]

feed flow
grit primary treatment bio-P nitrifi- denitri-
screen clarifier
chamber cation fication
receiving
water

recirculation

sludge

thickening digester digester


if nec. membrane
sludge stage
liquor

post- sludge liquor


thickening sludge
liquor nitrifi- denitri- blower
storage
cation fication installation
... water
centrifuge

recirculation

110
Membrane Technology in Municipal Waste Water Treatment 2

2.2.2 MF

Installations Outside of Germany with


Microfiltration Membranes

Membrane technology has been used in municipal waste England. In 2000, the Swanage waste water treatment
water treatment since the nineties. The first large-scale plant (Figure 2-42) on the South coast of England follow-
plants were built mainly in North America and Japan. ed, with a capacity of 13,000 m3/d and 23,000 inhabi-
About 90 % of these installations have a capacity of less tants connected. Until the end of 2001 this was the largest
than 100 m3/d. A larger plant with a design capacity of membrane bioreactor treating municipal waste water.
3
about 5,700 m /d is situated in Powell River, Canada. The The installation, equipped with the Kubota system, is
installations in North America and Asia are used nearly situated directly on the beach and is hardly visible as a
exclusively to treat waste water from separate systems, at result of complete casing.
differing cleaning requirements in the individual coun-
tries. Therefore, the experience acquired at those plants is In Great Britain, the membrane bioreactor process is well
transferable only to a limited extent to European condi- established not only with a view to technical but also to
tions. economic aspects, so that a possible use of this process is
examined in the case of each new construction or expan-
However, since 1998 the use of membranes in the field of sion of a plant.
municipal waste water treatment has increased worldwide.
Beyond many small installations, the first large-scale In other European countries, e. g. in Italy/Lake Garda, or
waste water treatment plant in Europe (with a capacity in Belgium, the first membrane bioreactors are being
3
of 1,900 m /d) was put into operation in 1998 at Porlock, planned or are under construction.

Figure 2-42
Aerial photograph of the Swanage waste water treatment plant [photo: AQUATOR GROUP]

111
2 Membrane Technology in Municipal Waste Water Treatment

2.2.2.1 MF

Glasgow Waste Water Treatment Plant, Scotland

The Glasgow central sludge treatment plant treats sludge The sludge water is treated by a three-line fine screen
of industrial as well as municipal origin. Between 7,800 (bar distance: 3 mm). Biological treatment takes place in
3
and 12,800 m of sludge with an average TS content of an upstream-arranged denitrification tank (V = 2,300 m3)
2 – 2.5 % are treated daily, consisting not only of sludge and four nitrification tanks operated parallel (Vtotal =
quantities produced locally, but also of sludge from the 9,400 m3), in which the membrane modules are immersed.
cities Shieldhall, Dulmuir, Paisley, Dalmarknock, Glasgow
Catchment and Daldowie. The four-line membrane installation consists of 128 plate
membrane modules of the type EK 400 from the company
Sludge dewatering takes place in 12 centrifuges operated Kubota with a total membrane surface area of 20,480 m2.
in parallel, following a 5 mm screen and storage tank of Effluent concentrations of 40 – 60 mg/L COD and
3
30,000 m . The sludge is thickened to a TS content of 0.1 – 0.4 mg/L NH4-N are reached. The NO3-N effluent
30 % TS and then dewatered in six dryers to 90 – 92 % TS. concentration is 30 mg/L on average.
About 200 – 450 m3 of sludge water are produced per day,
80 % of this quantity resulting from the centrifuges and The sludge treatment plant presented in Figure 2-44 has
20 % from the dryers. This sludge water has COD con- been operated since the year 2002.
centrations of 3,000 – 4,000 mg/L and NH4-N concentra-
tions of 200 – 300 mg/L, which corresponds to a load of
approx. 180,000 PE related to NH4-N.

Figure 2-43
Flow sheet of the Glasgow sludge treatment plant [according to AGGERWASSER GMBH 2004]

nitrification, membrane stage

blower
installation

fine screen
3 mm

sludge water
fine screen
denitrification
3 mm
receiving
water

fine screen
3 mm

recirculation

112
Membrane Technology in Municipal Waste Water Treatment 2

Figure 2-44
Top view of the sludge treatment plant and of a tank of the membrane installation
[photo: AGGERWASSER GMBH 2001]

footprint membranes

aeration device

113
2 Membrane Technology in Municipal Waste Water Treatment

2.2.2.2 MF
Figure 2-45 (left): Ebisu Prime Square Building
Ebisu Prime Square Building Waste Water Figure 2-46 (right): Waste water treatment plant
Treatment Plant, Japan in the basement of the Ebisu Prime Square
Building [photos: AGGERWASSER GMBH 2004]
The Ebisu Prime Square Building is a tower block in Tokyo
where all office rooms, sales space and restaurants are
housed on a total surface of 70.000 m2 (Figure 2-45).
When the tower block was built, a membrane bioreactor
was installed in the basement. The waste water is treated
to a degree that the permeate can be used as process water
for a laundry and for toilet flushing.

Figure 2-47 shows the flow sheet of the waste water treat-
ment plant. The composition of the raw waste water and
the permeate is listed in Table 2-10.

The installation was put into operation in April 1997 and plate modules have been cleaned chemically once or twice
3
is dimensioned for a permeate volume flow of 189 m /d. a year. The TS content is kept between 15 and 20 g/L.
Equipment, maintenance and operation of the installa- The transmembrane operating pressure is between 0.05
tion are realized by the company Kubota. Until now, the and 0.1 bar.

Figure 2-47
Flow sheet of the waste water treatment plant [according to AGGERWASSER GMBH 2004]

membrane stage
permeate for laundry
and toilet flushing

fine screen

feed

blower
concentrate
disposal

Table 2-10
Raw waste water and permeate quality [according to AGGERWASSER GMBH 2004]

Parameter Unit Raw waste water Permeate

COD [mg/L] 60 <3

BOD5 [mg/L] 40 <2

Ptot [mg/L] – n. n.

Ntot [mg/L] – <1

filterable solids [mg/L] 140 – 180 n. n.

114
Membrane Technology in Municipal Waste Water Treatment 2

2.2.2.3 MF
By installation of a wooden partition, the lagoon was
St. Peter ob Judenburg Waste Water Treatment divided into an activation zone and a secondary settle-
Plant, Austria ment zone. Both zones are connected by two overflows
in the partition. In the secondary settlement zone, the
With the waste water treatment plant of the municipality activated sludge settles and is discharged by the sludge
St. Peter ob Judenburg (1,500 PE), the first experiences hopper at the bottom. Culvert siphons lead to a pump
with membrane technology in the treatment of muni- shaft with a submerged pump which recycles the activa-
cipal waste water in Austria have been acquired. For cost ted sludge into the activation zone or withdraws it from
reasons, the waste water treatment plant was initially the system.
planned and approved by the authorities as water treat-
ment lagoons. Although the lagoons had been dimen- To obtain complete nitrification, a separate nitrification
sioned rather large, the plant did not meet the treatment tank made of reinforced concrete is installed downstream
capacity required by the Austrian Emission Ordinance of the lagoon. The existing components for the growth
(Emissionsverordnung (EmV) 210/1996) “Limitation of of biomass have been removed and replaced by immersed
waste water emissions from waste water treatment plants membrane modules from the company Mitsubishi. A
in settlement areas“. total membrane surface area of 945 m2 is installed in
9 cassettes. Since the completion of the research project
Within the scope of a research project realized in 2001 in 2002, the St. Peter ob Judenburg waste water treat-
and 2002, it could be demonstrated and implemented in ment plant has been operated successfully according to
the following that the existing plant can meet the legal the process concept presented above (Figure 2-48). Figure
standards without important constructional alterations 2-49 shows the membrane modules and the lagoon.
by using new aeration and mixing concepts combined
with immersed membrane filtration in the nitrification
tank (Table 2-11).

Table 2-11
Influent and effluent concentrations of the waste water treatment plant

Parameter Unit Influent Effluent lagoon Permeate

COD [mg/L] 300 – 700 100 – 300 < 30

NH4-N [mg/L] 25 – 45 25 – 35 < 1.0

Figure 2-48
Flow sheet of the St. Peter ob Judenburg waste water treatment plant [according to ENVICARE 2002]

membrane stage

settling pond 1
receiving
fine screen water
grit chamber BB NK
3 mm
feed

blower
recirculation installation

115
2 Membrane Technology in Municipal Waste Water Treatment

Figure 2-49
St. Peter ob Judenburg waste water treatment plant [photos: ENVICARE ],
left: membrane module, right: lagoon

2.2.3 UF
process at the Rödingen waste water treatment plant. The
Waste Water Treatment Plants in Germany with waste water treatment concept was developed in close
Ultrafiltration Membranes coordination with the Ministry for Environment and
Nature Conservation, Agriculture and Consumer protec-
2.2.3.1 UF
tion (MUNLV) of the state North-Rhine Westphalia. Due
Nordkanal Waste Water Treatment Plant to its size, this plant represents new planning dimensions
and has demonstration character throughout Europe.
When the expansion of the Nordkanal waste water treat-
ment plant became necessary, the original site had to be The plant is designed for a capacity of 80,000 PE and a
given up due to the spatial development of the City of combined water flow of 1,881 m3/h. It was commissioned
Kaarst. A new plant had to be built at another site. The in 2003. The demands on the effluent quality are com-
Erftverband decided on the membrane bioreactor process piled in Table 2-12.
because positive experience had been acquired with this

Table 2-12
Minimum requirements and discharge consent of the Nordkanal waste water treatment plant
[ERFTVERBAND 2004]

Parameter Unit Minimum requirements Discharge consent

COD mg/L 90 90

BOD5 mg/L 20 20

NH4-N mg/L 10 10

Ntot mg/L 18 18

Ptot mg/L 2 2

116
Membrane Technology in Municipal Waste Water Treatment 2

At the site of the old waste water treatment plant, the Figure 2-50
waste water is pretreated by a coarse screen and pumped Rotary screen of the fine screen installation
to the new Nordkanal plant, situated a distance of 2.5 km
away, where the waste water is mechanically pretreated
by two step screens (5 mm spacing) operated in parallel
and two aerated grit and grease traps also operated in
parallel. Then the waste water is treated by two rotary
screens operated in parallel with an aperture size of 0.5 mm
(Figure 2-50) to protect the membranes in the nitrifica-
tion stage. The emergency circuit of the rotary screens is
made safe by a fine screen with an aperture size of 1 mm,
so that the membranes are protected from the input of
coarse material into the activated sludge tank. Figure 2-51
shows the flow sheet of the Nordkanal waste water treat-
ment plant.

The activated sludge stage has four lines, each of which


consists of upstream denitrification tanks, a variable tank
zone for either denitrification or nitrification, and of the
nitrification tanks with immersed membrane modules,

Figure 2-51
Flow sheet of the Nordkanal waste water treatment plant [according to ERFTVERBAND 2004]

nitrification
membrane stage

denitri- variable-
fication zone

rotary
step screen grit
screen
5 mm chamber
feed 0,5 mm
denitri- variable-
screen fication zone

rotary blower
step screen grit installation
screen
5 mm chamber
0,5 mm

denitri- variable-
emergency fication zone
bypass flow
screen 1 mm

denitri- variable-
fication zone

recirculation

117
2 Membrane Technology in Municipal Waste Water Treatment

designed as activated sludge tanks with circulating flow. Figure 2-52


The nitrification tanks are cased. The total volume of the Membrane installation at the WWTP Nordkanal
activated sludge tanks is 9,200 m3. The sludge is stabilized
aerobically. As a result of flow simulations, agitators and
baffles were integrated into the activated sludge tanks
with circulating flow.

The membrane installation has been realized with eight


lines and equipped with capillary membranes from the
company ZENON (ZW 500c). A total filter surface area of
approx. 85,000 m2 has been installed because the District
Government Düsseldorf demanded to provide a reserve
of 25 % for the membrane filtration. For external chemi-
cal cleaning, a separate cleaning chamber is available.

The investment for the new construction of the Nord-


kanal waste water treatment plant was 21.5 million euro.
Approx. 6.6 million euro of this amount had been taken
over by the federal state North-Rhine Westphalia.

2.2.3.2 UF

Monheim Waste Water Treatment Plant

The waste water treatment plant of the city of Monheim The Monheim waste water treatment plant is designed for
is situated in the sensitive karstland of the district Donau- a capacity of 9,700 PE, based on a peak flow of 288 m3/h
Ries. It treats not only the waste water from the city of and an average daily waste water flow of 2,400 m3/d.
Monheim, but also from the municipalities of Rögling
and Tagmersheim. The treated effluent is discharged into As shown in the flow sheet of the Monheim waste water
the Gailach which infiltrates into the karst 6 km down- treatment plant (Figure 2-54), the mechanical pretreat-
stream of Monheim. In 1998 and 1999, first concepts for ment stage has two lines. Each line consists of a fine sieve
the discharge of waste water into the karst subsoil were with an aperture size of 1 mm and a grit chamber. 75 %
developed. of the maximum inflow can be treated by each line. The
mechanically pretreated waste water flows into the acti-
Within the scope of the large-scale pilot project “Waste vated sludge stage with a total volume of 1,660 m3, which
water treatment Gailach valley“, the Free State of Bavaria is also built in two lines. Each line consists of an upstream
supported the financing of the construction of a mem- denitrification and a nitrification tank as well as two
brane bioreactor at the site of the Monheim waste water membrane chambers which have been provided with a
treatment plant. The investment for the membrane bio- coating resistant to chemicals to protect the concrete.
reactor was approx. 7.6 million euro, of which 5.8 mil- The tanks for denitrification and nitrification have a
lion euro were granted as subsidy by the state Bavaria. volume of 340 m3 each, while each of the four membrane
Figure 2-53 shows the Monheim waste water treatment chambers has a volume of 75 m3. The sludge is stabilized
plant. aerobically.

118
Membrane Technology in Municipal Waste Water Treatment 2

The membrane stage was designed for a specific filtration Figure 2-53
3
capacity of 22 – 24 L/(m · h) of combined flow. This volume Monheim waste water treatment plant [photo:
can be increased at short notice up to 31 L/(m3 · h) when BAYERISCHES LANDESAMT FÜR WASSERWIRTSCHAFT
one membrane chamber is shut down. According to this (Bavarian Office for Water Management) 2004]
design, the membrane stage contains 28 module cassettes
from the company ZENON (type ZW 500c) with a total
membrane surface area of 12,320 m2 filter. Filtration takes
place at a TS content of 12 g/L. Since the filtration lines
are installed in four separate chambers, chemical clean-
ing of the modules can be realized by pumping off the
activated sludge without removing the modules (on air).

The specific energy demand of the waste water treatment


plant is about 1 kWh per m3 of waste water. The man-
power requirement corresponds to that of a conventional
plant.

Figure 2-54
Flow sheet of the Monheim waste water treatment plant [according to BAYERISCHES LANDESAMT FÜR
WASSERWIRTSCHAFT 2004]

membrane stage

recirculation recirculation

denitrifi- nitrifi-
blower
cation cation
installation

grit
sieve 1 mm
chamber
feed

flow
grit
sieve 1 mm
chamber
receiving
water

recirculation recirculation

119
2 Membrane Technology in Municipal Waste Water Treatment

Using the membrane process at the Monheim waste water Figure 2-55
treatment plant, the requirements for the effluent quality Module cassettes during in-air cleaning
are safely met, as can be taken from Table 2-13. [photo: CITY OF MONHEIM 2004]

At present, the operation of the Monheim membrane


bioreactor is accompanied by a research program. Main
items of this study include testing and optimization of
the membrane bioreactor process and investigating the
effects of waste water discharge on the Gailach and the
groundwater.

Table 2-13
Minimum requirements, discharge consent and operating values of the Monheim waste water treatment
plant [BAYERISCHES LANDESAMT FÜR WASSERWIRTSCHAFT 2004]

Parameter Unit Minimum requirements Discharge consent Operating values

COD mg/L 90 75 15

BOD5 mg/L 20 15 1.2

NH4-N mg/L 10 5 0,1

Ntot mg/L – 18 10

Ptot mg/L – 1 0.6

120
Membrane Technology in Municipal Waste Water Treatment 2

2.2.3.3 UF

Markranstädt Waste Water Treatment Plant

The Markranstädt waste water treatment plant is situated The reason for a new construction of this plant was the
in the southwest of Leipzig. It is one of more than 30 planned closure of the obsolete waste water treatment
waste water treatment plants of Kommunale Wasserwerke plant which no longer complied with the requirements.
Leipzig (Municipal Waterworks). It was designed for The deciding factors for the construction of a membrane
12,000 PE; the actual degree of capacity utilization is bioreactor were the limited surface area of the site and
approx. 8,000 PE. increased demands on the effluent quality (Table 2-14)
due to a “weak” receiving water.

Table 2-14
Minimum requirements, discharge consent and operating values of the Markranstädt waste water
treatment plant [STEIN 2002a]

Parameter Unit Minimum requirements Discharge consent Operating values

COD [mg/L] 90 50 35

BOD5 [mg/L] 20 10 5

NH4-N [mg/L] 10 5 1

Ntot [mg/L] 18 18 15

Ptot [mg/L] 2 2 1

Filterable solids [mg/L] no information no set target no information

Figure 2-56
Process stages at the Markranstädt waste water treatment plant [STEIN 2002a],
left: inflow chamber to the membrane bioreactor with overflow edge to combined water treatment,
right: combined water treatment tank

121
2 Membrane Technology in Municipal Waste Water Treatment

The plant has a hydraulic capacity of 180 m3/h. From the Besides the waste water treatment plant, a combined
intercepting sewer of the combined sewer system, the waste water treatment plant was built in parallel at the same
water is fed by a lifting pump via the inflow chamber site. The waste water quantities which exceed the capacity
(Figure 2-56, left) to the mechanical pretreatment stage. of the membrane stage during combined water flow are
stored temporarily and pretreated in parallel in two tanks
The two-line mechanical pretreatment stage consists which serve as settling and storage tanks. These waste
of a step screen (3 mm spacing) (Figure 2-57, left) and a water quantities are fed to the membrane installation
grit and grease trap. By a distributor the waste water during periods with smaller inflow volumes. Thanks to
flows into the two-line activated sludge stage. It is the combined water treatment plant, the necessary mem-
3
operated as upstream denitrification (VDN = 2 · 435 m ) brane surface area could be considerably reduced because
with downstream nitrification (VN = 2 · 435 m3). All tanks it had not to be designed for the maximum inflow quan-
are equipped with agitators. In addition, aggregates for tity, but only for 1.1 · Q T .
fine-bubble aeration are installed over the whole surface
area of the bottom of the nitrification tanks. Since the plant was commissioned in 2000, much knowl-
edge has been acquired concerning the optimization of
The membrane modules for biomass separation from the process engineering and control [MEYER 2001]. Improve-
company ZENON are arranged at the inner longitudinal ment of mechanical pretreatment was especially impor-
sides in the upper zone of the nitrification tanks with a tant. The screen installed initially was replaced by a com-
depth of 7 m. The total filter surface area of 7,360 m2 is bination of coarse screen (5 mm spacing) and fine sieve
distributed in four lines, two each in both nitrification with an aperture size of < 1 mm.
zones. Between the longwise arranged nitrification tanks
a cleaning shaft for external module cleaning is installed.
The modules can be removed by a fixed crane.

Figure 2-57
Process stages at the Markranstädt waste water treatment plant [STEIN 2002a],
left: step screen, right: nitrification and denitrification tanks

122
Membrane Technology in Municipal Waste Water Treatment 2

2.2.3.4 UF

Rödingen Waste Water Treatment Plant

The waste water treatment plant is situated in the territory the groundwater so that in dry periods the water level of
of the municipality of Titz in the district of Düren in the the receiving water is very low. Therefore, an important
immediate vicinity of the opencast mining Hambach. Its portion of the receiving water is supplied by the effluent
catchment area comprises a predominantly rural region from the Rödingen waste water treatment plant. On
with smaller villages which do not discharge commercial account of this fact, the district government sets high
or industrial waste water. Groundwater depletion due to standards for the discharge of waste water into this re-
mining prevents the contact of the receiving water with ceiving water (see monitoring values in Table 2-15).

Table 2-15
Minimum requirements and discharge consent of the Rödingen waste water treatment plant
[according to ENGELHARDT ET AL. 2001]

Parameter Unit Minimum requirements Discharge consent Operating values

COD mg/L 110 35 < 25

BOD5 mg/L 25 8 <3

NH4-N (at 5 °C) mg/L – 2 < 0,5

Ptot mg/L – 0.5 < 0.3 (simultaneous precipitation)

AOX µg/L – 50 < 50

For this reason, a new construction of the Rödingen The inflow to the plant is mechanically pretreated by a
waste water treatment plant, which up to now consisted fine screen with a spacing of 3 mm, followed by an aerated
of an activated sludge stage with intermittent denitrifica- grit chamber (Figure 2-58). The waste water is then fed to
tion and simultaneous precipitation for phosphorus the two bioreactors which are operated with intermittent
removal, was indispensable. Upgrading by conventional nitrification/denitrification.
technology would have required investments of approx.
6.1 million euro for the construction of large activated When the mixed liquor has passed the biological stage,
sludge tanks and a downstream floc filtration. it flows into the two-line filtration stage, from where
the treated water is withdrawn by immersed microfiltra-
The Erftverband, as the responsible water board, decided tion modules. The concentrated mixed liquor remaining
on the construction of a membrane bioreactor because in in the filtration zone, which has a TS content higher by
1996 first knowledge on the operating mode, the effluent 4 g/L than in the rest of the activated sludge tank is pum-
quality to be attained and operational liability was ac- ped back into the bioreactors.
quired in the course of successful operation of a pilot plant
using this technology. One million euro of the total costs Each of the two filtration lines (Figure 2-59) consists of
of 2.8 million euro for the first large-scale installation in six cassettes each with 8 modules from the company
Germany, which was put into operation in the middle of ZENON. The total membrane surface area is 4,846 m2. A
1999, were taken over by the state North-Rhine Westphalia. combined specific water flow of approx. 28 L/(m3·h) has
been calculated as design capacity for the membranes.
The installation is designed for a daily waste water flow The background for this higher than typical design speci-
of 450 m3. With combined water flow, up to 135 m3 per fic flow rate were measures waiting to be done in the
hour are treated. sewer system in order to reduce the infiltration water

123
2 Membrane Technology in Municipal Waste Water Treatment

Figure 2-58
Flow sheet of the Rödingen waste water treatment plant

nitri-/denitrifi- nitri-/denitrifi-
cation tank 1 cation tank 2
partial flow
treatment

fine sieve
0,5 mm

V = 200 m3 V = 200 m3

feed
recirculation
screen grit and oil
3 mm chamber blower station
nitrification

blower
station
membrane RS
reactor
membrane membrane
filtration filtration

permeate

nitrification and
membrane container
V = 80 m3

rate. Therefore, smaller inflow volumes are expected with Figure 2-59
3
resulting flow rates < 28 L(m · h). View into the two filtration lines during fitting of
the ZeeWeed TM-cassettes [photo: ERFTVERBAND]
To maintain the filtration capacity, the modules are not
only submitted to normal backwashing (300 – 500 sec. fil-
tration, 30 sec. backwashing) and weekly intermediate
cleaning, but also to intensive chemical cleaning twice a
year. For this purpose the modules are removed from the
filtration tank and cleaned chemically, from inside and
outside, in a separate heatable container. With this, the
permeability of the membranes, and possibly necessary
capacity reserves, are restored.

Within the scope of a research project promoted by the


state North-Rhine Westphalia, the operation of the first
German large-scale membrane bioreactor was accompa-
nied by scientists. The aim was to acquire more far-
reaching knowledge for new constructions of membrane
bioreactors, in particular about the operating mode of

124
Membrane Technology in Municipal Waste Water Treatment 2

the membrane modules in order to reduce the energy Moreover, it turned out that the waste water needs better
demand of module aeration. The following measures mechanical pretreatment because accumulation and
have been realized successfully: sticking of fibrous material occurred on the hollow-fibre
membranes. For this reason, a partial flow of the activa-
• single filtration lines are switched on or off depending ted sludge is treated by sieving between the activated
on the water volume to be filtered sludge tank and the filtration tank (see Figure 2-58) to
• discontinuous aeration of the membrane modules remove fibres and coarse material which get into the acti-
• intermittent operation of the activated sludge stage to vated sludge stage despite mechanical pretreatment
get small recirculation flows [ENGELHARDT ET AL. 2001].

2.2.3.5 UF

Schramberg-Waldmössingen Waste Water


Treatment Plant

The Schramberg-Waldmössingen waste water treatment waste water treatment plants. However, in 2001 it was
plant had been operated from 1995 to 1998 at the limit decided to expand the plant at the same site with the
of its capacity. The consent for operation was limited to membrane bioreactor process, because this was the most
31st December 1998. Since the effluent is discharged into ecologically and economically favourable solution.
the „weak“ and sensitive receiving water Heimbach (a
creek), discussions with the supervising authority had The waste water treatment plant (Figure 2-60) is designed
determined in 1996 that the operation of a conventional for 2,600 PE and a waste water flow of up to 90 m3/h.
waste water treatment plant without a tertiary treatment
stage would no longer be approved at this site. Before As presented in the flow sheet of the plant (Figure 2-61),
expanding the plant, several alternatives were studied, mechanical pretreatment is carried out by a screen (5 mm
including connection to and upgrading of neighbouring spacing) and a grit chamber. Two slot sieves (0.5 mm spa-
cing) operated in parallel are arranged downstream of the
grit chamber to protect the membrane stage. The activa-
Figure 2-60 ted sludge stage comprises an upstream denitrification
Schramberg-Waldmössingen waste water treat- tank (V = 250 m3), a nitrification tank (V = 480 m3) and
ment plant [photo: STADTWERKE SCHRAMBERG the membrane bioreactor.
(municipal utilities) 2004]
The two-line membrane stage is equipped with 10 module
cassettes (type 500 c) from the company ZENON (see
Figure 2-62). The membrane surface area of approx.
4,400 m3 in total treats an average permeate flow of
2,160 m3/d.

The investment for the waste water treatment plant


amounted to 2.8 million euro. The state Baden-Württem-
berg prioritized this project and provided a subsidy of
34 % within the scope of the general promotion of waste
water treatment projects, so that the plant could be com-
missioned in 2004. For one year the University of Stutt-
gart assists with and documents the operation of the
plant and determines its treatment capacity.

125
2 Membrane Technology in Municipal Waste Water Treatment

Figure 2-61
Flow sheet of the Schramberg-Waldmössingen waste water treatment plant [according to STADTWERKE
SCHRAMBERG 2004]

nitrification,
membrane stage

denitri- nitri-
fication fication
fine screen
0,5 mm
feed
screen grit receiving
5 mm chamber water
blower
fine screen
installation
0,5 mm

recirculation

Figure 2-62
Membrane installation at the Schramberg-Waldmössingen waste water treatment plant [photos: STADT-
WERKE SCHRAMBERG 2004], left: view of the membrane tanks, right: membrane module

126
Membrane Technology in Municipal Waste Water Treatment 2

2.2.3.6 UF

Knautnaundorf Waste Water Treatment Plant

The Knautnaundorf waste water treatment plant of Kom- • For the first time the immersed system from the com-
munale Wasserwerke Leipzig (Municipal Waterworks) is pany Martin Systems was used in the membrane stage
the newest membrane bioreactor put into operation in (see chapter 2.1.2, figure 2-11). With a membrane sur-
Germany. With a capacity of 900 PE (expandable up to face area of 756 m2, the performance of a German-
3
1,800 PE) and a peak inflow of 23 m /h, it is the smallest developed membrane can be proven on technical scale.
“large-scale” membrane installation for municipal waste • The mechanical pretreatment stage is equipped with a
water treatment. Although no increased demands on two-stage screen. The finest screen with an aperture
waste water treatment were made at this site, the mem- size of 1 mm in the second stage will retain all unde-
brane bioreactor process came out on top in the tender sired matter from the filtration zone.
results against conventional solutions because of lower • The bottom of the nitrification tank is fully equipped
investment requirements. An important feature of this with aerators for the plate membranes to ensure opti-
site is the fact that it is fed by a separate sewer system. mal oxygen input.
As such, it was possible to reduce the investment for the
membrane stage compared to plants working with a com- After successful start-up in October 2001 and start of
bined sewer system [WALTHER 2001]. regular operation for several weeks, the plant had to be
shut down due to a non-authorized discharge (diesel oil)
The process engineering is comparable to that of the in order to settle claims for damages. At present, state-
installations described above. The following special fea- ments on the operational behaviour of the installation
tures have to be mentioned: cannot be made because the plant has only been return-
ed to operation in April 2002.

127
2 Membrane Technology in Municipal Waste Water Treatment

2.2.3.7 UF

Simmerath Pilot Plant

The Wasserverband Eifel-Rur (WVER) (water board) opera- Conservation, Agriculture and Consumer Protection
tes a waste water treatment plants in the low mountain (MUNLV) of the state North Rhine-Westphalia.
region of Eifel. Since the plants are situated in drinking
water catchment areas, more stringent demands on their Within the scope of the pilot project, a membrane biore-
effluent quality are made. Low waste water temperatures actor was installed in a separate building on the site of
in winter and a large amount of sewer infiltration create the Simmerath waste water treatment plant. It is equip-
additional challenges for waste water treatment. At the ped with immersed capillary membranes from the com-
Simmerath site, the WVER operates a waste water treat- pany PURON which are tested in technical scale under
ment plant for 15,000 PE. Table 2-16 shows the demands real conditions (Figure 2-64). The membrane bioreactor is
on the effluent quality of the membrane bioreactor. designed for a capacity of 750 PE. It treats a partial flow
of the effluent from mechanical pretreatment (rotary
Starting from these boundary conditions, a membrane screen with an aperture size of 3 mm) of the Simmerath
bioreactor pilot project was started in 2003 at the Simme- waste water treatment plant. Without further presieving
rath waste water treatment plant, which is operated by this partial flow is fed into the membrane bioreactor,
WVER and designed for 15,000 PE. The project is pro- which consists of an activated sludge tank with a volume
moted by the Ministry for Environment and Nature of 136 m3, which is divided into an upstream denitrifica-

Table 2-16
Discharge consent of the Simmerath waste water treatment plant [WVER 2004]

Parameter COD BOD5 NH4-N Ntot Ptot AOX

Discharge consent 40 mg/l 10 mg/l 3 mg/l 18 mg/l 0.8 mg/l 50 µg/l

Figure 2-63
Flow sheet of the Simmerath demonstration plant [according to WVER 2004]

feed
fine screen grit and
biological reactor clarifier
3 mm oil chamber
receiving
water

sludge

fine screen
1 mm membrane stage

denitri- nitri-
fikation fikation

blower
installation
recirculation

128
Membrane Technology in Municipal Waste Water Treatment 2

Figure 2-64
Membrane installation at the Simmerath waste water treatment plant [photos: PURON AG 2003],
left: denitrification and nitrification tanks with the hall for the membrane installation,
right: membrane cassette

tion stage with subsequent nitrification and the down- cation or the nitrification zone. The permeate of the mem-
stream membrane stage with a volume of 20 m3. The TS brane stage is fed into the in-flow of the Simmerath plant.
content in the tanks is between 10 and 14 g/L.
Over the course of the test period, the membrane modul-
The membrane stage consists of two module cassettes with es and their operation were continuously optimized so
a filter surface area of 500 m2 each, which are immersed that the operation of the membrane installation clearly
and operated in two separate chambers. The sludge from improved. The operating values of the membrane bio-
the membrane stage is recycled either into the denitrifi- reactor are listed in Table 2-17.

Table 2-17
Operating values of the membrane bioreactor in Simmerath [WVER 2004]

Parameter COD BOD5 NH4-N Ntot Ptot AOX

Operating values < 30 mg/L no Information < 1 mg/L < 8 mg/L < 2 mg/L – µg/L

Knowledge on the clogging behaviour as well as on the At present, a second research period is active to test, among
problems with fibrous matter in membrane installations other things, further developed membranes and to opti-
was acquired. Different treatment concepts were tested mize the integration of the membrane modules into the
concerning their efficiencies. The treatment results of the process engineering of the waste water treatment plant.
plant were documented and evaluated. It was discovered
that the denitrification process was influenced by the
O2 load recycled from the membrane chamber. This prob-
lem was solved by changing the process configuration.

129
2 Membrane Technology in Municipal Waste Water Treatment

2.2.3.8 UF

St. Wendel Golf Course

For several months, the City of St. Wendel has operated this plant is infiltrated at the golf course. It is also possi-
at the site of the local golf course a new waste water treat- ble to use it for golf course irrigation.
ment plant according to the membrane bioreactor pro-
cess, which is currently treating the sanitary waste water The construction and operation of the membrane biore-
of the golf course and the restaurant. At present the waste actor are supported financially within the scope of a re-
water flow is approx. 3 m3/d. Next year the hotel belong- search project promoted by the Ministry of the Environ-
ing to the golf course will be finished so that the load ment of the federal state Saarland. A special innovation
of the waste water treatment plant will reach the design represent the ceramic plate membranes (molecular sepa-
3
capacity of approx. 150 PE. 15 m of waste water will ration size ~ 0.1 µm) from the company ItN Nanovation
then be treated per day. Currently approx. 3 m3 of waste which are used for the first time in Germany for munici-
water per day are treated in the new waste water treat- pal waste water treatment. Within the scope of the rese-
ment plant. This volume will increase to 15 m3/d, when arch project, the performance and the service life of the
reaching the design capacity. The waste water treated in ceramic membranes will be examined. Especially con-

Table 2-18
Minimum requirements, discharge consent and operating values of the golf course St. Wendel waste
water treatment plant [CITY OF ST. WENDEL 2005]

Parameter Unit Minimum requirements Operating values

COD mg/L 150 18

BOD5 mg/L 40 <4

Total number of Bakteria coli cfu/100 mL < 100

Figure 2-65
Flow sheet of the golf course St. Wendel waste water treatment plant [according to ST. WENDEL]

biological reactor
membrane stage infiltration
permeate
storage
waste water

buffer fine screen


tank 3 mm
3mm

130
Membrane Technology in Municipal Waste Water Treatment 2

cerning the service life, it is expected that the ceramic so that a total membrane surface area of 33 m2 is install-
membranes have a clear advantage compared to polymeric ed. For capacity expansion, the stage will be upgraded by
membranes. more modules.

The waste water treatment plant consists of a buffer tank The operating and cleaning concept of the membrane
3
with a volume of 7 m , a rotary screen with an aperture stage using immersed ceramic membranes can be compa-
size of 3 mm, an activated sludge stage with a volume of red with that of immersed membrane systems on poly-
3
approx. 20 m and a downstream permeate storage tank. mer basis. But due to the more solid ceramic membranes,
The waste water flows from the buffer tank and the rotary it is possible, among other things, to use higher trans-
screen into the activated sludge stage in which the im- membrane pressure differences, higher pressure levels
mersed membranes are installed. The membranes are during backwashing and higher concentrations of clea-
aerated from below by slotted tubes. Thus the air is not ning chemicals.
only used to control the covering layer on the mem-
branes, but also for aeration of the activated sludge stage. The investment of the plant was approx. 400.000 euro,
Since the tanks are completely intermixed, sludge recy- 75 % of which were taken over by the federal state Saar-
cling can be spared. Due to the small waste water volume land. Besides the costs for the membrane bioreactor it-
flow, the TS content in the activated sludge stage current- self, this sum of 400.000 euro comprises, among other
ly is about 4 g/L. The design capacity has been calculated things, the costs for connection, an appropriate building
with a TS content of 12 g/L. for the site and a sludge mineralization plant.

The membrane stage consists of a rack with three mod-


ules. Each module has a membrane surface area of 11 m2,

Figure 2-66
Module rack at the golf course St. Wendel waste water treatment plant,
left: top view, [photo: ItN NANOVATION], right: side view [photo: ABWASSERWERK ST. WENDEL]

131
2 Membrane Technology in Municipal Waste Water Treatment

2.2.3.9 UF
than the minimum requirements for waste water treat-
Glessen Waste Water Treatment Plant ment plants of this size category (see Table 2-19).
(Planning Stage)
In order to comply in future, too, with the demands on
The design capacity of the Glessen waste water treatment the effluent quality, the waste water treatment plant is
plant (Erftverband) is currently 5,000 PE. The effluent is expanded using existing plant components. In this con-
discharged into a receiving water which infiltrates into nection a waste water treatment plant with a pressure
the groundwater of a drinking water catchment zone. pipe in a distance of 4 km will be also connected, so that
Therefore, the demands on the effluent quality are higher the design capacity of the plant at the Glessen site after

Table 2-19
Demands on the effluent quality of the Glessen waste water treatment plant
[according to ERFTVERBAND 2004]

Parameter Unit Minimum requirements for Discharge consent

WWTP of size category 3

COD mg/l 90 30

BOD5 mg/l 20 6

NH4-N mg/l 10 1.5

Ptot mg/l – 0.6

Figure 2-67
Flow sheet of the Glessen waste water treatment plant [according to ERFTVERBAND 2004]

recirculation
membrane stage/
nitrification

blower
installation

0.5 mm receiving
feed water
denitri- nitri-
fine screen grit screening
fication fication
5-6 mm chamber system
tank tank

0.5 mm

132
Membrane Technology in Municipal Waste Water Treatment 2

expansion will be 9,000 PE. With dry weather flow, the circulating flow for nitrification and denitrification has a
3
daily waste water quantity is 2,394 m . total volume of 1,680 m3.

The Glessen waste water treatment plant is in the plan- Planning is based on membranes from the company
ning stage. The concept (Figure 2-67) provides mechanical ZENON installed in four tanks with 7 modules each of the
pretreatment by a single-line screen with a spacing of type 500 c and a total membrane surface area of 12,320 m3.
6 mm. The grit chamber, with a volume of 53 m3, is The TS content will be 12 g/L. The membrane installation
planned with a single line, followed by the two-line fine was designed for a specific filtration capacity of 22 L/(m2 · h),
screen with a spacing of 0.5 mm. The membrane bioreactor which will have to be increased to approx. 30 L/(m2 · h)
will be operated with simultaneous denitrification and in case a membrane line has to be shut down on short
aerobic sludge stabilization. The activated sludge tank with notice. The former secondary settling tank with a volume
of 560 m3 will be used as an equalization tank.

2.2.4 UF

Installations Outside of Germany with


Ultrafiltration Membranes

The largest membrane bioreactor in the world up to the capacity of 46,000 PE (only for the membrane bioreactor)
year 2004, and one of the most modern plants in Eng- (Figure 2-68). For this plant as well as for the Campbeltwon
land, is the Lowestoft waste water treatment plant which waste water treatment plant (Scotland, 6,000 – 9,000 PE),
was put into operation in the beginning of 2002 with a the ZenoGemTM system is used.

Figure 2-68
Aerial photograph and flow sheet of the Lowestoft waste water treatment plant [ZENON 2002]

vacuum pumps

ZeeWeedTM

inflow membrane bioreactor 1

to inlet
structure
inlet distributor lamella distributor
structure separator ZeeWeedTM

backflush pumps
membrane bioreactor 2 permeate
storage tank

133
2 Membrane Technology in Municipal Waste Water Treatment

2.2.4.1 UF

Pilot Plants at the Beverwijk Waste Water


Treatment Plant, The Netherlands

From 2000 to 2004, the consulting engineers DHV and Toray and Huber) have been tested with a view to their
the Stichting Toegepast Onderzoek Waterbeheer (Stowa) capacity and suitability in practice.
have realized at the Beverwijk waste water treatment plant
(capacity: 450,000 PE) the decisive research project con- The tests have been carried out on a test field built espe-
cerning the membrane bioreactor process in The Nether- cially for this purpose with separate membrane bioreac-
lands. Over the course of these four years, various module tors. The overview in Table 2-20 shows the important key
systems (ZENON, Kubota, X-Flow, Mitsubishi, Memfis, features of the individual test installations.

Table 2-20
Key features of the individual pilot installations [DHV 2004]

Manufacturer Type Pore size Membrane surface Permeate flow Test period

[µm] [m2] [m3/h]

Huber plate 0.038 360 15 10/03 – 07/04

Kubota plate 0.4 240 10 05/00 – 07/02

Memfis plate 0.05 112 5 05/02 – 06/03

Mitsubishi hollow fibre 0.4 314 7 05/00 – 03/02

Toray plate 0.08 137 5 02/03 – 02/04

X-Flow tubular 0.03 220 9 05/00 – 04/02

ZENON hollow fibre 0.035 184 8 03/00 – 10/02

(module ZW 500a)

ZENON hollow fibre 0.035 55 3 03/01 – 03/03

(module ZW 500c)

ZENON hollow fibre 0.035 90 5 11/02 – 08/03

(module ZW 500d)

The research project at the Beverwijk waste water treat-


ment plant has been successfully completed [VAN DER
ROEST ET AL. 2002]. The large-scale plant at Varssefeld
has been planned and built on the basis of the results
from Beverwijk.

134
Membrane Technology in Municipal Waste Water Treatment 2

Figure 2-69
Photos of the pilot installations and membrane modules at the test field of the Beverwijk waste water
treatment plant [DHV 2004]

From left to right: Kubota, Kubota, Mitsubishi, Mitsubishi

From left to right: X-Flow, X-Flow, Zenon, Zenon

From left to right: Memfis, Memfis, Toray, Toray

From left to right: Huber, Huber

135
2 Membrane Technology in Municipal Waste Water Treatment

2.2.4.2 UF

Varsseveld Waste Water Treatment Plant,


The Netherlands

The membrane bioreactor at the Varsseveld waste water in The Netherlands are faced with a hydraulic load in the
treatment plant is the first large-scale implementation of case of stormwater flow which is greater by a factor three
this process in The Netherlands. It will be put into opera- compared to the average waste water load. This is also
tion in the beginning of 2005. Since April 2004, a pilot true for the Varsseveld waste water treatment plant. An
plant has been operated within the scope of a research average daily waste water volume of 5,000 m3/d was de-
project at the site of the Varsseveld waste water treatment termined. The supervisory authorities demand effluent
plant with a permeate flow of 3.5 m3/h to study process concentrations of < 5 mg/L for nitrogen and < 0.15 mg/L
optimizations for the large-scale plant. In parallel, the for phosphorus.
large-scale plant has been built. The project is realized and
assisted by the water board Rijn en IJssel, the Stowa, DHV The membrane installation was built with four trains
and other institutions. The research project is financed (Figure 2-70). A total membrane surface area of 20,160 m2
by the Stowa and the EU LIFE program (see also possibili- of the company ZENON (module type: ZW 500 d) has
ties for promotion by EU in the annex). been installed. The calculated specific stormwater flow is
37.5 L/(m3 · h) of permeate. The membrane installation
The connection size of the Varsseveld waste water treat- can be increased with additional modules, if necessary.
ment plant is 23,150 PE with a maximum waste water The investment for the Varsseveld waste water treatment
volume flow of 755 m3/h. Waste water treatment plants plant amounts to 10 million euro.

Figure 2-70
Flow sheet of the Varsseveld waste water treatment plant [according to DHV 2004]

circulation tank with aerated zone


and upstream denitrification membrane stage

feed outlet
fine screen grit fine screen
6 mm chamber 0,8 mm

recirculation

136
Membrane Technology in Municipal Waste Water Treatment 2

2.2.4.3 UF

Brescia Waste Water Treatment Plant, Italy

The Brescia waste water treatment plant is an example for the construction of very large tank volumes for a denitri-
the advantage of the membrane bioreactor process in the fication system which was not possible with the space
case of necessary plant expansion at limited space available. available. With the membrane bioreactor process, a plant
expansion has been achieved with alteration of only one
Since 1980, the Brescia waste water treatment plant existed treatment line (Figure 2-71).
as three-line activated sludge plant. Each of the three
lines consisted of primary clarification, activated sludge The secondary clarification tank was replaced by a four-
tank, secondary clarification and dosing station for chlo- line membrane stage. 160 membrane cassettes of the type
rine. Due to more stringent demands on the Ntot effluent 500C (capillary membranes) from the company ZENON
concentration (< 15 mg/L), the waste water treatment with a total surface area of 70,400 m2 are installed. 50 %
plant had to be expanded in 2000. Upgrading the con- of the waste water volume flow of the Brescia waste water
ventional activated sludge process would have required treatment plant (about 40,000 m3/d) is treated by the

Figure 2-71
Flow sheet of the Brescia waste water treatment plant [according to ZENON GMBH 2004]

denitrifi- nitrifi-
clarifier
cation cation

fine screen grit recirculation


primary treatment
3 mm chamber
sludge

denitrifi- nitrifi-
clarifier
cation cation
flow
feed recirculation
sludge
membrane stage
receiving
water

fine screen grit denitrifi- nitrifi-


primary treatment
3 mm chamber cation cation

recirculation

recirculation

existing plant expansion

137
2 Membrane Technology in Municipal Waste Water Treatment

Figure 2-72
Aerial photograph of the Brescia waste water treatment plant [photo: ZENON GMBH 2004]

membrane bioreactor line. The remaining 50 % are treat- Thanks to the conversion finished in 2002, the effluent
ed by the two conventional lines. Today the Brescia values of the plant improved considerably. The raw waste
waste water treatment plant has a treatment capacity of water concentration for some parameters, the operating
approx. 150,000 PE. Figure 2-72 shows an aerial photo- values of the plant and the demands on the effluent qua-
graph of the Brescia waste water treatment plant. lity are listed in Table 2-21.

Table 2-21
Raw waste water concentration, operating values and requirements of the Brescia waste water treatment
plant [ZENON GMBH 2004]

Parameter Unit Raw waste water Operating values Requirements

concentration

COD mg/L 505 20 < 125

BOD5 mg/L 255 10 < 25

TS mg/L 290 not detectable 2

TKN mg/L 50 2 < 15 (Ntot)

Turbidity mg/L >50 < 10 no data

138
Membrane Technology in Municipal Waste Water Treatment 2

2.2.4.4 UF

Säntis Waste Water Treatment Plant, Switzerland

On the peak of the Säntis, a top station with restaurant Thanks to the compact structure of the membrane tech-
and telecommunication centre is situated. To purify waste nology, the installation could be integrated into the exist-
water and to treat waste water for non-potable drinking ing building with very restricted space. It distinguishes
water purposes, the existing small waste water treatment itself by high cleaning efficiency (effluent values: COD
plant was replaced in 2000 by membrane technology < 30 mg/L, NH4-N < 2 mg/L) at extreme temperatures and
according to the ZenoGemTM process. The installation is a high inflow dynamics due to rapid load changes at up
operated by Swisscom and Säntis-Schwebebahn AG to 8,000 visitors per day.
(Funicular AG).

Figure 2-73
View and flow sheet of the membrane bioreactor according to the ZenoGemTM process on the Säntis
[ZENON 2002], situation of the membrane bioreactor on the Säntis and view of the modules [ZENON 2002]

kitchen waste water other inflow

nitrification
grease separator sieve screw with ZeeWeedTM
effluent

denitrification
permeate disinfection
rail sludge storage buffer tanks tank
transportation settlement

139
2 Membrane Technology in Municipal Waste Water Treatment

2.3.1 MF
2.3
Small Waste Water Treatment Plants, Mobile Busse-MF Installation from the Company Busse
Installations and Ships Waste Water Treatment
with Membrane Technology The company Busse Innovative Systeme GmbH produces
and sells an installation with membrane technology
Small or domestic waste water treatment plants are used which is the first small or domestic waste water treatment
in Germany as long-term solution depending on the regula- plant with type approval (Z-55.3-60) by Deutsches Insti-
tions of the water legislation of the individual states. In tut für Bautechnik (DIBt) (German Institute for Construc-
North-Rhine Westphalia, § 53 section 4 Landeswassergesetz tion Engineering).
(law on water) is decisive. According to this article, private
property-related waste water treatment is permissible only The production started in autumn 1999. In the meantime,
for properties outside of coherently built-up areas. more than 250 installations (as of 2005) are operated
with this technology worldwide with connection capaci-
According to an assessment by OTTO [2002], until the ties from 2 to 32 PE. They are used for the treatment of
year 2006 up to 4 million German citizens will remain waste water from detached houses and multiple dwelling
unconnected to a central sewer system and therefore are units, office buildings, restaurants and hotels in Germany
responsible themselves for waste water disposal. In North- and 10 more countries [BUSSE 2005]. By using membra-
Rhine Westphalia, at present about 580,000 inhabitants nes, the Busse-MF system is very compact, as can be seen
are not connected to central sewer systems or waste water in Figure 2-74, which is typical for a Busse-MF installa-
treatment plants. They treat their waste water by approx. tion fitted in the cellar of a residential building.
130,000 small waste water treatment plants and cesspits
without outlet [MUNLV 2005]. As shown by the flow sheet in Figure 2-75, the system
consists of two tanks. The first tank (primary settling) is
With further technical development, membrane filtration connected directly to the downpipe for waste water trans-
is becoming more and more accepted in the field of small portation. It serves to separate coarse matter and to store
waste water treatment plants. waste water and sludge temporarily. From the central

With membrane technology, small waste water treatment


plants are able to attain higher cleaning efficiencies at Figure 2-74
high operational safety (Table 2-22). Besides ultrafiltra- View of the Busse MF small waste water treatment
tion of the treated waste water, the operator can also use plant (formerly BioMIR TM) [BUSSE 2002]
the treated water as non-potable water for domestic pur-
poses, e.g. for toilet flushing or garden irrigation. In addi-
tion to ecological advantages, cost savings by reducing
the drinking water demand for non-potable water appli-
cations may be decisive to use this process concept.

In the meantime, several manufacturers offer or are devel-


oping corresponding systems. At present, the inhabitant-
related investments are between 1,000 and 1,500 euro
per inhabitant, depending on the size of the installation.
In addition, costs of 60 – 110 euro per inhabitant per year
arise for operation and maintenance.

In the following sections, the most fully developed systems


are presented which include numerous references.

140
Membrane Technology in Municipal Waste Water Treatment 2

Figure 2-75
Flow sheet of a Busse-MF installation [BUSSE 2002]

waste water from ventilation by condenser


bathroom, kitchen, existing shaft
toilet

permeate

mammouth pump
with coarse-matter
separator

intermediate storage of activated sludge stage


waste water and sludge with filtration unit

tank zone, the liquid phase is pumped by a mammoth this case, only the downstream activated sludge stage has
pump, which is protected by a plastic network, into the to be upgraded with membrane filtration.
second tank (activated sludge tank) where biological
waste water treatment and phase separation take place The treatment capacity is sufficient to meet the de-
using immersed plate modules from the company Kubota. mands according to the approval principles for small waste
The transmembrane pressure difference necessary for per- water treatment plants of DIBt [N.N. 2002d], as was alrea-
meate discharge is generated by the hydrostatic pressure dy proven by independent studies [ROSENWINKEL ET
of the water head between the permeate outlet and filling AL. 2001; KRAUME ET AL. 2000]. Table 2-22 shows a
level of the activated sludge tank. Thus there is no need comparison of the limit values according to DIBt [N.N.
for a suction pump to withdraw the permeate. 2002d] and the mean values of qualified random samples
and 24-h-composite samples taken each month over a
The plant is usually installed in the cellar or the garage. one-year test period [ROSENWINKEL ET AL. 2001]. It can
It is also possible to use an existing pit as an upstream be seen that the effluent values remain below the stand-
waste water storage tank and coarse matter separator. In ard values.

Table 2-22
Requirements for the effluent quality of small waste water treatment plants and measured effluent values
of the Busse-MF installation

Parameter Unit Minimum requirements Limit values according Effluent values

to DIBt 2000 for installations Busse-MF installation

with nitrification [N.N. 2002d] [ROSENWINKEL ET AL. 2001]

COD mg/L 150 90 39

BOD5 mg/L 40 20 2.4 *

NH4-N mg/L – 10 (at > 12 °C) 4.5

Filterable solids mg/L – 50 0.65 *

* higher effluent values are due to algae growth in the filtrate collecting tank

141
2 Membrane Technology in Municipal Waste Water Treatment

2.3.2 MF

UltraSept Installation from the Company Mall

Another system is the UltraSept installation marketed by The installation is usually lowered completely into a pit
the company Mall GmbH (Figure 2-76). More than 50 of excavated for this purpose. In case a multicompartment
these plants with a size of 6 to 40 connected inhabitants septic tank already exists, it is possible to upgrade the
are operated in Germany. existing tank with membrane technology to improve the
effluent quality. This alternative is less expensive than a
The installation consists of three compartments arranged new installation.
according to the principle of a three-compartment septic
tank. The first two compartments are used for the pretreat-
ment of the waste water according to the principle of a
multicompartment septic tank. The third compartment is
the largest. It contains the activated sludge stage and the
filtration unit for the discharge of the treated waste water.
For a membrane module, a module from the company
Weise is used.

Figure 2-76
Schematic representation of the UltraSept installation from the company Mall [MALL 2002]

feed connection for outlet, aeration, control lead


mechanical stage
rubber seal (elastomer gasket)
biological stage

emergency float switch


overflow suction duct
aeration lead
membrane module (physical stage)

Mall UltraSept
applied for national technical approval

142
Membrane Technology in Municipal Waste Water Treatment 2

2.3.3 MF

Small Waste Water Treatment Plant for 4 PE


in North-Rhine Westphalia

Within the scope of a pilot project for decentralized waste A small tank with a volume of 0.6 m3 is used to cover the
water treatment and treatment of non-potable water for demand for non-potable water in the house. The tank is
domestic purposes, a small waste water treatment plant installed below ground to prevent the new formation of
according to the UltraSept process is operated in the nor- germs in the water during storage. The connections to the
thern Eifel (low mountain region in North Rhine-West- domestic piping are realized according to the technical
phalia). The plant is installed at the part-time cattle breed- principles of rainwater utilization.
ing farm of a four-member family.
The non-potable water which is not needed directly in
The membrane bioreactor has a nominal capacity of the house, is stored in a long-term storage tank which, in
900 L/d and is fed with an actual waste water volume of the case of this pilot project, is constructed as a foil pond
900 L/d. In addition to the waste water treatment plant, with a volume of 36 m3. The water stored there is used to
two storage tanks for further utilization of the treated clean the cow-sheds and to irrigate the garden [KLEMENS
waste water have been installed which buffer the differ- 2002].
ences between the production of and the demand for
non-potable water for domestic purposes.

2.3.4 UF

Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW),


Service Water Treatment

At the Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau in Frankfurt (KfW), At first, the kitchen waste water is pretreated by a grease
a combination of a fixed-bed activated sludge stage and a trap, and hairs etc. are removed mechanically from the
membrane stage is used for the treatment of grey water shower waste water (Figure 2-77). Both pretreated waste
in such a way that it can be reused as service water. The water flows are fed into an activated sludge stage.
grey water is composed of the shower water from the
employees’ apartments and the waste water from the tea- The biological stage is realized as fixed-bed activated
houses and the kitchen of the board of management. sludge stage with special components for biomass growth

Figure 2-77
Grey water treatment plant at KfW

shower waste water ultrafiltration


toilets
sieve
buffer process
fixed bed storage
tank water
activation
grease storage
separator
kitchen waste water

143
2 Membrane Technology in Municipal Waste Water Treatment

developed by the company ACO Passavant. After having Figure 2-78


passed this stage, the waste water is fed into a storage Membrane installation for the treatment of service
tank and then filtered by an ultrafiltration installation, a water in the cellar of KfW [WEISE WATER SYSTEMS
MicroClear plant from the company Weise Water Systems GMBH]
GmbH (Figure 2-78). The installation is equipped with
immersed plate modules with a total membrane surface
area of 44 m2. An average permeate volume of 500 L is
filtered per hour by the membrane stage. Compared to
other membrane bioreactors with suspended biomass, this
plant receives waste water with rather low TS content,
formed only by the sludge output from the components
for biomass growth. Therefore, the plate membrane mod-
ules have relatively small spacings between the plates of
2.5 mm.

The treated water is fed into a storage tank. As service


water it is used among other things for toilet flushing in
the administration building and in the apartments of the
employees.

2.3.5 UF

Small Waste Water Treatment Plant Membrane ules, the so-called VUM modules (VacuumUpstream
TM TM
ClearBox and Huber HoneyComb from the Membrane), which are equipped with ultrafiltration mem-
Company Huber AG branes. The clear water withdrawn by a vacuum pump
can either be used as non-potable domestic water, dis-
The company Hans Huber AG markets the small waste charged or infiltrated. The related aggregate and control
TM
water treatment plant MembraneClearBox and the unit (Figure 2-80) can be installed close to the septic tank
HoneyCombTM system, which are used in particular for in a heated control cabinet or in the cellar of the neigh-
decentralized waste water treatment in rural areas. Both bouring residential building. The MCB plants are equipped
systems can be installed as expansion kits in existing or with a remote control, which in case of a breakdown sends
new multicompartment septic tanks (Figure 2-79). The an information via SMS, e-mail or fax.
process consists of the three steps pre-treatment, activa-
tion and membrane filtration. The MembraneClearBoxTM According to information from the manufacturer, the
(MCB) can be used for up to 8 PE and the HoneyCombTM operation of existing small waste water treatment plants
system for 9 – 150 PE. has shown that the COD can be reduced by more than
95 % and ammonia nitrogen by approx. 98 %. The energy
The first compartment serves for primary treatment and consumption for a 4-PE plant is about 2 kWh/d. In some
the second serves for primary treatment or as buffer tank, plants, the excess sludge production has clearly decreased,
before the waste water is fed in free over-flow into the e.g. in one plant from initially approx. 0.09 kg TS/(m3 · d)
third compartment, which is built as an activated sludge to only 0.015 kg TS/(m3 · d) after a longer operation period.
tank. The assembly kit and an aeration system are install- Even after more than one year of operation, excess sludge
ed in this tank. Depending on the size of the plant, the removal was not necessary.
assembly kit consists of a varying number of plate mod-

144
Membrane Technology in Municipal Waste Water Treatment 2

Figure 2-79
Plot plan of a small waste water treatment plant with membrane technology installed in a multicompart-
ment septic tank [HUBER AG 2004]

1. settling tank with overflow 1. settling tank with overflow


for coarse desludging for coarse desludging 2. settling tank
with overflow

inflow

2. settling tank
with overflow

emergency
overflow
aeration

3. activated sludge tank


permeate discharge
inflow
membrane filtration aeration 3. activated sludge tank membrane filtration

Figure 2-80
Small waste water treatment plant MembraneClearBoxTM from Huber AG [photos: HUBER AG 2004],
left: aggregate and control unit, right: MCB expansion kit, consisting of plate module and aerator

145
2 Membrane Technology in Municipal Waste Water Treatment

2.3.6 MF

Mobile Installations for the Use in Military Camps

Missions of the German Armed Forces take place at various at any time and in any location worldwide and transport-
locations in Germany and abroad for limited periods of ed by nearly any means of transportation (Figure 2-81).
time. As such, long-term planning is often impossible. In
most cases, local infrastructure cannot be used so that The waste water to be treated is pumped via a grinding
water supply and waste water disposal structures have to unit to the container. Feeding from outside takes place by
be mobile, easy to handle and usable all over the world. automatically heated and isolated tubes to ensure opera-
Moreover, they have to comply with the legal prescrip- tion of the plant in cold areas. The membrane bioreactor
tions and the requirements of the troops employed. fitted into the container includes six immersed plate mem-
brane modules from the company A3 GmbH with a total
On account of these requirements, the Bundesamt für membrane surface area of 120 m2. The filtrate is withdrawn
Wehrtechnik und Beschaffung (Federal Office for Defence by a frequency-controlled suction pump and pumped to
Technology and Provision), Koblenz, has charged A3 the discharge point. A plant of this construction type has
Abfall-Abwasser-Anlagentechnik GmbH (process techno- been running since the beginning of 2004.
logy for waste and waste water), Gelsenkirchen, to design
and build a mobile waste water treatment plant which is
fitted into a 20-inch container (see Figure 2-81). The plant
is able to treat the waste water of 300 soldiers at ambient
temperatures between -32 °C and +49 °C to such an ex-
tent that it can be discharged or infiltrated in place. Thanks
to the containerized construction, the plant can be used

Figure 2-81
Transportation of the container plant by an emergency vehicle and schematic representation of the plant
[A3 GMBH 2004]

146
Membrane Technology in Municipal Waste Water Treatment 2

2.3.7 MF
The waste water is usually fed to the conventional plants
Ships’ Waste Water Treatment Plants with in surges, depending on the moment of waste water pro-
Membrane Technology duction. The waste water flows into the first aerated acti-
vation chamber. After a reaction time which results from
Waste water discharge from ships used for civilian or mili- the plantspecific hydraulics, it flows as mixed liquor into
tary purposes is regulated by national and international the second activation chamber. It is aerated again to en-
law. The governing body responsible for international sure further degradation of the organic waste water pollu-
legislation is the International Maritime Organization tants. The waste water is then fed to the secondary sett-
(IMO). The discharge of ships’ waste water is regulated in ling tank and finally to the disinfection cell.
Annex IV of the IMO rules and standards (MARPOL 73/78).
As defined in these standards, the direct discharge of The process technology described above has some weak
waste water is not permitted, unless it has been treated points in particular for the application on board of ships
and disinfected by an officially approved installation. because it has been directly copied from conventional
Annex IV has been put into force in September 2003, after municipal waste water treatment. The specific boundary
the necessary conditions had been fulfilled in 2002 (trans- conditions on ships were often neglected. Special prob-
fer into national legislation by a sufficient large number lems occur in secondary settlement because sedimenta-
of countries). tion is considerably disturbed by the movement of the
ship and continuous low-frequency vibrations resulting
For inland navigation ships, the regulation concerning the from the ship’s engines. The result is regular occurences
discharge of waste water will change with Article 9.01 of of sludge being discharged from the secondary settling
the Agreement on Collection, Handing over and Accept- tank into the sea. Also, the development of organic halo-
ance of Waste in Rhine and Inland Navigation of the genated compounds during the disinfection of the efflu-
Zentralkommission für die Rheinschifffahrt (Central Com- ent by means of chlorine bleach liquor is another critical
mission for Rhine Navigation) [ZKR 2000]. According to issue related to water pollution.
this article, the discharge of domestic waste water will
not be permitted from 1st January 2005 for cabin ships Since enclosed space on board of ships is extremely expen-
with more than 50 sleeping places and from 1st January sive, all systems to be installed – including waste water
2010 for passenger ships which are licensed for the trans- treatment plants – must be as small as possible.
portation of more than 50 passengers. The contracting
countries therefore commit themselves to establish ade- The use of installations with microfiltration membranes
quate receiving stations until the dates defined above. for waste water treatment has been successfully tested by
The prohibition of waste water discharge is not valid for some projects [BRÜSS, RICHTER 2001]. Figure 2-82 shows
passenger ships which are equipped with a licensed ship’s an example of such a plant. Waste water treatment plants
waste water treatment plant. This agreement has not yet with membrane technology have the advantage that the
come into force (as of August 2005) because it has not yet activated sludge plant can be operated at a dry matter
been ratified by each single member state. content TS BB of up to 20 g/L so that the aeration tank
volume can be reduced to a quarter compared to a con-
Up to now, grey water (waste water from showers, hand ventional plant. Also, by using microfiltration in the bio-
basins, floor inlets) and kitchen waste water has histori- logical reactor, it is no longer necessary to provide a secon-
cally been fed directly (without biological pretreatment) dary settlement zone. Separation of the activated sludge
into the disinfection cell of the waste water treatment is ensured by the membranes independent of the settling
plant. For biological treatment of black water (waste characteristics of the mixed liquor. In addition, the efflu-
water from toilets) on ocean ships, at present activated ent quality is clearly better, and chlorination of the waste
sludge plants, often arranged as cascades, are used for water for disinfection becomes unnecessary because of
preliminary treatment prior to disinfection. germ retention.

147
2 Membrane Technology in Municipal Waste Water Treatment

2.3.8 UF
Figure 2-82
View of a MEMROD1) ship’s waste water treatment Cruise Liner Queen Mary 2
plant according to the membrane bioreactor pro-
cess for 250 persons [VA TECH WABAG 2002] With a length of 325 m, a capacity of 2,620 passengers
and a crew of 1,250 persons, the Queen Mary 2 is one of
the biggest passenger cruisers in the world. Figure 2-84
shows a photo of the passenger cruiser Queen Mary 2.

In the hold of Queen Mary 2, the grey and black waters


are treated by a membrane bioreactor according to the
current state of technology. Decisive factors for the choice
of this installation were its compact construction and
high treatment capacity with the possibility to reuse or
to discharge the treated waste water. Thus the ship is
allowed to navigate in protected waters.

The daily waste water flow to be treated is approx. 1,100 m3.

After mechanical pretreatment by a hydrocyclone and a


fine screen with an opening size of 1 mm, the waste water
is fed into the activated sludge stage, which consists of
two tanks for denitrification and nitrification with a volu-
me of 150 m3 each. Solid-liquid separation takes place in
cross-flow operation mode in an ultrafiltration installa-
tion. The total membrane surface area, consisting of two
modules with plate membranes (PleiadeTM) from the com-
pany Rhodia (see Figure 2-83), is 700 m2. The permeate

Waste water treatment with membrane technology for Figure 2-83


inland passenger ships, which must be adapted to the Ultrafiltration module PleiadeTM for waste water
boundary conditions of shipbuilding and operation, is treatment on Queen Mary 2 [photo: ORELIS SA 2004]
being studied at present within the scope of a projects
promoted by the Ministry for Environment and Nature
Conservation, Agriculture and Consumer Protection of
the federal state North Rhine-Westphalia (MUNLV NRW).
After successful tests with pilot plants (in the years 2002
– 2004), the operation of a large-scale membrane bioreactor
will be studied on board of the event ship RheinEnergie
of Köln-Düsseldorfer Deutsche Rheinschifffahrt AG.

1) MEMbrane Reactor Operation Device

148
Membrane Technology in Municipal Waste Water Treatment 2

Figure 2-84
Photo of the Queen Mary 2

volume flow is approx. 50 m3/h. For further reduction of ultrafiltration system. It is planned to reuse about 50 % of
organic matter and for disinfection, an activated carbon the waste water treated by this process combination as
filter and a UV installation are installed downstream of the non-potable water on the cruise liner.

Figure 2-85
Flow sheet of the waste water treatment plan of Queen Mary 2 [according to ORELIS SA 2004]

biological reactor membrane system


feed recirculation outlet

fine filter activated UV-


hydrocyclone 150 m3 150 m3
1 mm carbon disinfection

sludge sludge

149
2 Membrane Technology in Municipal Waste Water Treatment

2.3.9 UF RO

Grey and Black Water Treatment on Ships

The concept for waste water treatment used today on ships stream solution was influenced by knowledge and ex-
is the one-stream solution which consists of mixing grey periences from the treatment of industrial waste water
water (from showers, handbasins, laundry) and black water by membrane processes and the “do-not-mix rule“. The
(from toilets) and combined treatment by membrane bio- “do-not-mix rule” says that, in general, it is easier and
reactors. Immersed membrane modules, which are also more efficient to treat waste water with different compo-
used in municipal waste water treatment, are applied. sition and clear concentration differences by different
Ultrafiltration installations with externally arranged mo- processes. Figure 2-86 shows the two-stream solution
dules with open channels at the raw-water side have also which has been implemented on 25 ships.
been designed.
The membrane technology from the company Rochem
For large waste water volumes, e.g. on cruise liners with UF, presented by way of example, is based on ultra-
more than 1,000 passengers, the two-stream solution can filtration and ultrafiltration + low-pressure reverse
be more effective. The grey water is treated by low-pres- osmosis. It is shown in Figure 2-87.
sure reverse osmosis membranes. The permeate is availa-
ble for technical purposes. The black water, the concen-
trate from low-pressure reverse osmosis and the kitchen
waste water are treated by a membrane bioreactor. The
filtrate can be discharged or reused in applications with
lower quality demands. The development of the two-

Figure 2-86
Flow sheet of waste water treatment according to the two-stream solution [according to ROCHEM UF 2004]

reverse osmosis

ultrafiltration

process water

grey water
blower
installation

membrane bioreactor

discharge / sullage

black water
blower
installation

150
Membrane Technology in Municipal Waste Water Treatment 2

Figure 2-87
Membrane bioreactor BioFilt with three lines at 4.5 m3 of permeate per day each [ROCHEM UF 2004]

Figure 2-88
Low-pressure reverse osmosis for grey water treatment for 600 m3 of permeate per day
[photo: ROCHEM UF 2004]

151
2 Membrane Technology in Municipal Waste Water Treatment

2.4 membrane stage. Additional pretreatment is not neces-


Downstream Membrane Stage for Waste sary. Removal of dissolved phosphate compounds after
Water Disinfection disinfection can be achieved by arranging a dosing sta-
tion for precipitants upstream of the separation stage
2.4.1 [DITTRICH ET AL. 1998] to retain the precipitation sludge
Process Description and Fields of Application in the downstream membrane stage.

The use of a membrane stage at the outlet of a waste water 2.4.2


treatment plant is applied to achieve disinfection of the Membrane Modules Used
effluent to comply with higher standards (e.g. EU Bath-
ing Water Directive) or to reuse the treated waste water. Test studies (test installations of Berliner Wasserbetriebe
Disinfection by a membrane stage has advantages com- at the Berlin Ruhleben waste water treatment plant
pared to conventional processes such as UV treatment, [DITTRICH ET AL. 1998], plant at the Geiselbullach waste
ozonation or chlorination. Namely, no undesired bypro- water treatment plant [SCHILLING 2001] and tests at the
ducts develop and the formation of chemical resistance Hailfingen and Merklingen waste water treatment plants
of bacteria and viruses is not supported [DORAU 1999]. [MAIER, VOGEL 2003]) have proven the suitability of dif-
ferent micro- and ultrafiltration modules for secondary
For the most part, the waste water from the outlet of the effluent disinfection. Table 2-23 presents the characteris-
waste water treatment plant is pre-sieved with a molecu- tic values of the modules used for large-scale operation.
lar separation size of 500 µm before it is fed into the

Table 2-23
Characteristic values of different membrane modules for the filtration of effluents from the test installa-
tions of Berliner Wasserbetriebe and the test installations at the Geiselbullach, Halfingen and Merklingen
waste water treatment plants

WWTP WWTP WWTP Geiselbullach WWTP WWTP

Berlin-Ruhleben Berlin-Ruhleben [according to Bondorf-Hailfingen Merklingen

[according to [according to SCHILLING 2001]

DITTRICH ET AL. 1998] DITTRICH ET AL. 1998]

Manufacturer MemBrain Memtec ROCHEM ZENON X-flow

Membrane process ultrafiltration microfiltration ultrafiltration ultrafiltration ultrafiltration


3)
Material ceramics PP1) PAN2) PVDF PES4)

Module type multichannel tube capillary module cushion module capillary module capillary module

module

Nominal molecular 0.05 µm 0.1 µm 50 / 200 kD 0.02 µm 150 kD

separation size

Mode of operation dead-end dead-end dead-end dead-end dead-end

Operating pressure 0.5 – 2.0 bar 0.5 – 1.5 bar 0.5 – 2.0 bar 0.05 – 0.3 bar 0.5 – 2.0 bar

(transmembrane)

Specific flow approx. 63 L/(m2· h) approx. 70 L/(m2· h) approx. 45 L/(m2· h) approx. 40 L/(m2· h) approx. 60 L/(m2· h)

Backwashing with filtrate with compressed air with filtrate (filtrate with filtrate (filtrate with filtrate (filtrate

(filtrate side) (filtrate side) side) and compressed side) and compressed side)

air (feed side) air (feed side)

1) Polypropylen 2) Polyacrylnitril 3) Polyvinyldiflourid 4) Polyethersulfon

152
Membrane Technology in Municipal Waste Water Treatment 2

2.4.4 UF
2.4.3
Operating Experience Large-Scale Applications in Germany for Waste
Water Disinfection by Ultrafiltration
The effluent quality measured at the test installations at
the Berlin Ruhleben waste water treatment plant proves In Germany, three membrane installations are operated
that the limit values of the EU Bathing Water Directive currently which serve for further treatment of the effluent
can be readily met with membrane treatment [DITTRICH from a conventional waste water treatment plant (Table
ET AL. 1998]. 2-24). A technical installation has been operated since
July 2000 at the Geiselbullach waste water treatment plant
According to first experiences with the modules applied (Bavaria) of the Amperverband (water board). It treats the
up to now, specific flows of 35 – 70 L/(m2  h) can be ap- effluent from the conventional waste water treatment
plied as a basis [DITTRICH ET AL. 1998; SCHILLING 2001]. plant up to process water quality so that it can be used as
To maintain the filtration capacity, High personnel and process water at the waste water treatment plant. Thus it
financial expenditure for chemical cleaning must be con- is no longer necessary to use groundwater for this purpose.
sidered.
In 2004, two more membrane installations for down-
First information on the treatment costs was acquired stream tertiary waste water treatment have been commis-
with the help of semi-technical tests at Berliner Wasser- sioned after preliminary tests at the Hailfingen waste water
betriebe. According to this information, in 1998 the spe- treatment plant of the waste water union Bondorf-Hail-
cific total net costs for two different plant configurations fingen and at the Merklingen waste water treatment plant
were between 0.25 euro/m2 and 0.42 euro/m2 of filtrate of the municipality of Merklingen. They are described in
[DITTRICH ET AL 1998]. In comparison, the costs of con- the following sections.
ventional processes, e.g. consisting of sand filtration and
subsequent UV treatment, are between 0.15 euro/m2 and
0.31 euro/m2 [DOHMANN 1997].

Table 2-24
Membrane installations for waste water disinfection in Germany

Operator Amperverband Municipality of Merklingen Waste Water Union of

Bondorf-Hailfingen

Federal state Bavaria Baden-Württemberg Baden-Württemberg

Installation Geiselbullach WWTP Merklingen WWTP Bondorf-Hailfingen WWTP

Capacity 250,000 PE 2,300 PE 9,000 PE

Membrane manufactur Rochem X-Flow ZENON

Modul typs cushion module capillary module capillary module

Process ultrafiltration ultrafiltration ultrafiltration

Membrane surface area 480 m2 420 m2 7.560 m2

153
2 Membrane Technology in Municipal Waste Water Treatment

2.4.4.1 UF

Geiselbullach Waste Water Treatment Plant

Up to now, groundwater has been used as process water at ed in the outlet shaft of the waste water treatment plant,
the Geiselbullach waste water treatment plant. The conser- which pumps the raw water into the storage tank of the
vation of this resource and closure of the process water membrane installation. For pre-treatment, a filter with a
cycle, combined with a reduction of the waste water quan- molecular separation size of 500 µm and a flocculant
tity, were the reasons for further treatment of the effluent dosing unit for iron(III) chloride sulphate is arranged up-
of the waste water treatment plant and its reuse as process stream. The pretreated water is fed into the ultrafiltra-
water. Moreover, it was necessary to find an alternative to tion installation. It consists of cushion modules from the
the use of groundwater for cooling of the district-heating company Rochem with 480 m2 of membrane surface area
power stations because of continuous problems with the in total, installed as cushion membranes in 60 pressure
development of coatings on the heat exchangers due to the tubes (Figure 2-90). The permeate volume flow is approx.
iron and manganese concentrations in the water. The safe (V = 60 m3). The storage serves to ensure a sufficient pro-
and hygienic quality of process water treated by a mem- cess water quantity in order to cover the peak loads with
brane process, compared to UV disinfection, was the reason up to 120 m3/h for some minutes. The specific energy
to decide on this technology. consumption of the installation is indicated with 0.5 kWh
per m3 of treated process water [SCHILLING 2001].
After mechanical pretreatment, the waste water is treated
in the activated sludge stage which consists of a denitrifica- The investment for the process water treatment plant was
tion zone, increased biological phosphorus removal and 410,000 euro. The specific operating costs amount to
a nitrification zone. A sand filtration unit is arranged approx. 0.65 euro per m3 of treated process water. The
downstream of the final clarification (Figure 2-89). installation was commissioned in July 2000. Start-up and
optimization of the process technology engineering cover-
The raw water for process water treatment is withdrawn ed the period up to the year 2002.
after sand filtration by means of a submerged pump install-

Figure 2-89
Flow sheet of the Geiselbullach waste water treatment plant [according to AMPERVERBAND 2004]

Ringlace
variable cords
anoxic anaerobic aerobic receiving
feed
water
grit primary
screen clarifier sand filtration
chamber treatment

flocculant
recirculation

sludge storage
tank
excess
sludge

filter

ultra-
process water for filtration
cooling the CHP

154
Membrane Technology in Municipal Waste Water Treatment 2

Figure 2-90
Treatment installation at the Geiselbullach waste water treatment plant [photos: AMPERVERBAND 2002],
left: pressure tubes of the membrane installation, right: process water storage tank

2.4.4.2 UF

Merklingen Waste Water Treatment Plant

The Merklingen waste water treatment plant, designed for Due to the special geological conditions of the Swabian
2,300 PE, is situated in the mountain region of Swabian Jura, the treated waste water is discharged directly by an
3
Jura. In the case of dry weather flow, about 300 m of waste infiltration shaft into the subsoil. The discharge location
water per day are treated. During wet weather flow, this is situated in the zone III of a water protection zone, so
3
quantity may increase to 2,000 m /d. that further treatment of the effluent became necessary.

Figure 2-91
Flow sheet of the Merklingen waste water treatment plant [according to RP TÜBINGEN 2004]

sand filter
nitrification
feed simultaneous denitrification sand filter

grit clarifier storage


screen membrane system
chamber

sludge activated permeat


carbon storage
concentrate

155
2 Membrane Technology in Municipal Waste Water Treatment

Since July 2004, part of the treated waste water from the Following secondary clarification, one part of the waste
effluent of the plant has been treated by two different water is treated by a slow sand filter, the other one by
process technologies (ultrafiltration and slow sand filtra- ultrafiltration (Figure 2-92). The membrane installation
tion). An accompanying scientific program serves to com- contains pressure-driven capillary membranes from the
pare both technologies for advanced waste water treat- company X-flow with a molecular separation size of
ment with specific consideration of their capacity to re- 150 kD. The total membrane surface area in 12 pressure
move filterable solids, bacteria etc. tubes is approx. 420 m2. The membranes are operated in
a dead-end process with inside-outside filtration. The maxi-
As presented in Figure 2-91, the waste water is fed into mum specific filtration capacity has been calculated as
3
the activated sludge tank with a total volume of 366 m 60 L/m2 · h.
after having passed a rake screen with a spacing of 5 mm
and a grit channel. Denitrification takes place simultane- The investment for the ultrafiltration system was about
ously with nitrification, the sludge is aerobically stabilized. 530,000 euro. The state Baden-Württemberg has support-
ed the installation with a subsidy of 70 %.

Figure 2-92
Pressure tubes of the ultrafiltration plant at the Merklingen waste water treatment plant [RP TÜBINGEN 2004]

156
Membrane Technology in Municipal Waste Water Treatment 2

2.4.4.3 UF

Bondorf-Hailfingen Waste Water Treatment Plant

The Bondorf-Hailfingen Waste Water Union was estab- The treated waste water is discharged into the Kochhart-
lished in 1971 for the treatment of the waste water from graben (Kochhart ditch). In summer, the flow of the Koch-
the Associated Municipalities Bondorf and of the district hartgraben is very low or it carries water only downstream
Hailfingen of the city of Rottenburg on Neckar. In 1974 of the waste water treatment plant, respectively. In the
the mechanical-biological Bondorf-Hailfingen waste water further course of the Kochhartgraben, the water infiltra-
treatment plant was built. From 1995 to 1999 it was up- tes into the subsoil. The plant is situated in a water pro-
graded to achieve nitrogen elimination. Today the waste tection area of the zone II a.
water treatment plant with a design capacity of 9,000 PE
is operated according to the activated sludge process with Due to this special situation, the geological conditions
upstream denitrification, nitrification, biological phos- and the need for groundwater protection, the water
phorus removal and aerobic sludge stabilization. management authorities made special demands on the
effluent quality concerning phosphate content, filterable
The dry weather flow to the waste water treatment plant solids and disinfection (Table 2-25).
is 36 L/s on average, the storm weather flow is 67 L/s.

Table 2-25
Demands on the effluent quality and operating values of the Bondorf-Hailfingen waste water treatment
plant [BONDORF-HAILFINGEN WASTE WATER UNION 2004]

Parameter Unit Effluent final clarification Effluent membrane Requirements

Operating values installation

COD mg/L 30 < 25 60

BOD5 mg/L 4 <4 15

NH4-N mg/L – – 5

Ntot mg/L – – 13

Ptot mg/L 1.1 0.3 0.3*

Filterable solids mg/L 15 - 30 n. n. <5

Hygienics bathing water quality disinfection

* 24 h composite sampler

The plant is equipped with a mixing and compensating in two lines, each equipped with membrane cassettes of
tank (V = 1.690 m3), a screen (6 mm spacing), a grit and the type ZW 1000. The pore size of the membranes is
3
grease trap, activated sludge tanks (V = 2.330 m ) and two 0.02 µm on average. The total membrane surface area of
secondary settling tanks with a total volume of 1,190 m3 approx. 6,700 m2 generates a permeate volume flow of
(Figure 2-93). approx. 3,100 m3/d.

The positive results of the tests with three different mem- The investment for the complete plant including build-
brane installations in July and August 2003 were the rea- ing and civil engineering was about 1.25 million euro.
son for the construction of a large-scale membrane instal- The state Baden-Württemberg supported the installation
lation with modules from the company ZENON which was with a subsidy of approx. 50 %.
commissioned in December 2004. The installation is built

157
2 Membrane Technology in Municipal Waste Water Treatment

Figure 2-93
Flow sheet of the Bondorf-Hailfingen waste water treatment plant [according to BONDORF-HAILFINGEN
WASTE WATER UNION 2004]

mixing and
compensating tank
membrane system

feed bio-P deni-/nitrifikation tank clarifier receiving


water
grit
screen
chamber

blower
recirculation clarifier
installation

sludge
excess sludge
storage

Figure 2-94
Membrane installation at the Bondorf-Hailfingen waste water treatment plant under construction
[photos: BONDORF-HAILFINGEN WASTE WATER UNION 2004], left: building with membrane installation,
right: tank for membrane modules

158
Membrane Technology in Municipal Waste Water Treatment 2

2.4.5 UF
conventional activated sludge process with upstream de-
Large-Scale Applications Outside of Germany for nitrification. The effluent values are compiled in Table 2-26.
Waste Water Disinfection by Ultrafiltration
The waste water treated by the Wulpen plant is fed via a
At present, few experiences exist in Germany with large- channel into the ultrafiltration processing plant which
scale membrane filtration of the effluent of secondary consists of mechanical pre-filtration, a five-line ultrafil-
treatment. However, some large-scale installations have tration installation and a three-line reverse osmosis
been built worldwide, e.g. in the U.S.A., Great Britain system with downstream UV disinfection (Figure 2-95).
and Australia [N.N. 2001; N.N. 1996; N.N. 1992]. Some
examples are described in the following sections. The plant from the company ZENON has an average treat-
ment capacity of 250 – 400 m3 permeate volume flow per
2.4.5.1 UF
hour. The ultrafiltration plant has five lines. 25 cassettes
Torreele, Belgium of the type ZW 500c are installed which treat up to
9,000 m3 of waste water per day. One part of the treated
To ensure that groundwater is used as basis for drinking waste water from ultrafiltration (about 10 %) is infiltrated,
water at the Belgian North Sea shore, the groundwater the other part is further treated by reverse osmosis. The
must remain uninfluenced by seawater. For this purpose, reverse osmosis membranes have been provided by the
a concept was developed in 2000 which comprises the company Dow. The concentrate from the membrane
processing of treated waste water and subsequent infiltra- stage is discharged into the sea via a brackish water chan-
tion into the dunes. This water serves for ground water nel, approx. 90 % of the permeate is infiltrated.
recharge under the dunes and thus prevents the infiltra-
tion of salt water. After approx. 40 days of underground The total investment of the processing plant was about
passage, it is reused as raw water for drinking water pre- 4.5 million euro. The energy demand for operation is
paration. currently about 0.9 kWh per m3 of permeate [VAN
HOUTTE ET AL. 2004].
The treated waste water from the Wulpen plant is used as
feed water for this process. At the waste water treatment
plant Wulpen, the waste water is treated according to the

Table 2-26
Quality of the effluent of the Wulpen waste water treatment plant [ZENON GMBH 2004]

Parameter Unit Mean Maximum

COD mg/L 54 162

Cl mg/L 340 1,140

Suspended solids mg/L 5 19

Turbidity NTU 2 11

TS mg/L 1,130 1,950

159
2 Membrane Technology in Municipal Waste Water Treatment

Figure 2-95
Flow sheet of the Torreele treatment plant [according to ZENON GMBH 2004]

membrane stage blower


installation

fine screen
NaOCl
outlet 10 %

storage storage

clarification
of WWTP
Wulpen fine screen

90 %
infiltration

UV-disinfection

storage storage pond

reverse osmosis

160
Membrane Technology in Municipal Waste Water Treatment 2

2.4.5.2 UF

Katowice Treatment Plant, Poland

In Katowice, the effluent from the Katowice waste water The ultrafiltration plant consists of 18 cassettes of the
treatment plant is treated up to process water quality and type ZW500 and prepares approx. 5,600 m3 of process
then used as cooling water for the Katowice power plant water in total per day is processed, which is used as
situated at a distance of 12 km. The treatment takes place additional cooling water for the cooling tower of the
with the help of a three-line ultrafiltration installation Katowice power plant.
from the company ZENON (Figure 2-96). Table 2-27 shows
the waste water quality at the inlet and outlet of the mem-
brane installation.

Table 2-27
Waste water quality at the inlet and outlet of the ultrafiltration installation for treatment of the effluent
of the Katowice WWTP after secondary clarification up to process water quality [ZENON GMBH 2004]

Parameter Unit Inlet Outlet

COD mg/L 35 - 51 27 - 34

BOD5 mg/L 2 - 32 < 2.0

Suspended solids mg/L 6 - 32 < 1.0

Turbidity NTU 10 - 50 < 0.1

Figure 2-96
Flow sheet of the ultrafiltration installation for process water treatment in Katowice
[according to ZENON GMBH 2004]

membrane system

blower
installation
power
station
feed

clarifier blower additional


installation water

blower
installation

161
2 Membrane Technology in Municipal Waste Water Treatment

2.4.5.3 UF

Bedok Waste Water Treatment Plant, Singapore

The Bedok NEWater is the first of four planned plants a first upgrade. Two expansions are already in the plan-
which treat waste water to meet the local industrial water ning stage, so that the total capacity after completion
demand. The plant purifies the treated final effluent from will be 117,000 m3/d.
a municipal waste water treatment plant. To ensure the
water quality for reuse of the waste water in industrial pro- The filtrate is discharged by a pump at a low pressure of
duction, a decision was made In December 2001 on an 0.05 – 0.4 bar and fed into a reverse osmosis installation
overall process concept consisting of ultrafiltration, for demineralization. Finally it is submitted to UV disin-
reverse osmosis and UV disinfection (Figure 2-97). fection as a security measure. The concentrate is recycled
into the waste water treatment plant.
Figure 2-98 shows the waste water treatment plant with
the buildings for ultrafiltration and reverse osmosis. The water produced according to the multi-barrier system
is called “NEWater”. It is used as process water for the
The treated effluent from the waste water treatment plant electronic industry, for semiconductor manufacture and
flows through a 0.5-mm sieve and is then fed into the also as cooling water for service buildings. A small per-
five-line ultrafiltration installation. To prevent the devel- centage of the NEWater is also used for drinking water
opment of germs in the membrane tanks, chlorine is added. preparation.
The installation is equipped with 70 capillary modules of
the type ZW 500c and has a capacity of 42,500 m3/d after

Figure 2-97
Flow sheet of the treatment plant [according to ZENON GMBH 2004]

ultrafiltration system

blower
installation

blower
UV-
installation
reverse osmosis disinfection
chlorine to industry
outlet
fine sieve
0,5 mm blower
installation
treatment
plant concentrate to
WWTP

blower
installation

blower
installation

162
Membrane Technology in Municipal Waste Water Treatment 2

Figure 2-98 Figure 2-99


General view of the treatment plant [photo: ZENON GMBH 2004] Ultrafiltration membrane installation
[photo: ZENON GMBH 2004]

2.5
Example for the Design of a Membrane Bioreactor

2.5.1
Design Basis

The basis for the following calculation is the approach of the University
Group (HSG).
Design basis: Type of plant: simultaneous aerobic sludge stabilization
without pretreatment

Population equivalent = 100,000 PE


specific waste water volume ws = 130 L/(E·d)
Daily inflow Q d = 19,500 m3/d
Sewer infiltration water flow Q f = 6,500 m3/d
Combined water flow Q m = 2.128 m3/h
Peak flow factor waste water x s = 14
Pretreatment = none
Fluctuation factor = 1.70
Dry matter content in the activated sludge tank TSBB = 12 g/L
alpha value  = 0.6
Resolubility factor (part of TKN in excess sludge) rX =0
Sludge age t TS = 25 d
Temperature in the activated sludge tank T = 10 °C
Simultaneous phosphate precipitation with Fe(III)Cl

The design of secondary settling tanks is not necessary for membrane


bioreactors.

163
2 Membrane Technology in Municipal Waste Water Treatment

A waste water treatment plant of the size class 5 Table 2-28


(> 100,000 PE) has to comply with the following Design results according to the approach of the
monitoring values: University Group (HSG) for a conventional waste
water treatment plant with TS BB = 12 g/l
Ninorg. = 13 mg/l
V BB, conv, 12 g TS/L = 14.290 m3
NH4-N = 10 mg/l
V Nitri, conv, 12 g TS/L = 8.770 m3
Ptot. = 1 mg/l
V Deni, conv, 12 g TS/L = 5.520 m3
Norg. = 2 mg/l
V Deni, conv, 12 g TS/L / VBB, konv, 12 g TS/L = 0.386

A printout of the calculation results of the activated


sludge stage with the design program ARA-BER is enclosed respond approximately with the dimension of the nitrifi-
as chapter 2.5.4. Moreover, interim results are given in cation zone (VDeni, MBR / VNitri, MBR = 1). The bigger of these
order to explain the progression of design (see Table 2-29). volumes of the conventional design (VDeni, conv,12 g TS/L or
VNitri,conv, 12 g TS/L) has to be equated with the corresponding
2.5.2 volume of the membrane bioreactor, since a smaller nitri-
Interpretation of the ARA-BER Calculation fication or denitrification volume of the membrane instal-
According to the Design Recommendations lation (VDeni, MBR or VNitri, MBR) has to be included, compared
for Membrane Bioreactors to a conventional design. To take special operating state
into account, a variable zone (Vvario) in the dimension of
The basis for the design of membrane bioreactors are the 30 – 50 % of the denitrification volume should be designed,
tank volumes determined for a conventional waste water which can be arranged in the activated sludge tank ac-
treatment plant either according to ATV-DVWK-A 131 or cording to the needs of operation.
to the approach of the University Group (HSG), consider-
ing already a TS content which is typical for membrane Moreover, a minimum retention time thydraulic ≥ 6 h (with
bioreactors. The data determined for the exemplary in- increased demands: thydraulic ≥ 8 h) has to be observed in
stallation are listed in Table 2-28. the case of certain boundary conditions. It is possible to
undercut the recommended retention time if the volume
Due to the smaller reactor volume of membrane bioreac- required to maintain the recommended retention time is
tors, undesired effects may occur, e.g. increased oxygen bigger than the volume of the activated sludge tank of
carry-over from the nitrification or filtration zone into the membrane installation, which in conventional design
the denitrification zone. To reduce these effects, the di- has been determined with TSBB = 12 g/L and enlarged in
mension of the denitrification zone (VDeni, MBR) should cor- addition by 50 %.

Table 2-29
Determination of the necessary volumes, taking into account different requirements for the design of
membrane installations

Requirements for MBR Interim result MBR


3 3
V Deni, MBR : V Nitri, MBR = 1 8,770 m > 5,520 m V BB, MBR = 17,540 m3

=> 2  8,770 m 3
= 17,540 m 3
V Nitri, MBR = 8,770 m3

V Deni, MBR = 8,770 m3


V MBR, tot. ≤ 1,5  VBB, conv, 12 g TS/l V BB, MBR = 21,435 m3
t hydraulic ≥ 6 h Here assumption: x Qmax = x S

=> x Qmax = 14 h/d

=> Q critical load case = Q d /x Qmax V BB, MBR = 8,357 m3

164
Membrane Technology in Municipal Waste Water Treatment 2

After determination of the necessary volumes consider- 2.5.3


ing the different design criteria for membrane installa- Design of the Membrane Filtration Stage
tions, the interim results are compared to determine the
decisive volume. The surface areas of membrane filtration stages are de-
signed according to the permeate flow.
The Table shows that for this example the resulting vol-
ume is bigger than the volume necessary to maintain the The membrane modules available on the market at pre-
minimum retention time, considering the maximum sent have a design flow (net flow) of 25 L/(m3 · h) at 8 °C.
volume allowance of 50 % for the volume of the activa-
ted sludge tank in conventional design (VBB, conv, 12 g TS/L). At a design temperature of 10 °C, the design flow may be
For this reason, the criterion VMBR, tot < 1,5* VBB,conv,12 g TS/L increased by 15 % (" design flow = 28.75 L/(m3 · h).
is not decisive in this case. Now it has to be examined
whether the nitrification or denitrification volume is suf- Necessary membrane surface area for the example in-
ficient. Due to the criterion of maximum retention time, stallation:
the required volume in this example is much smaller
than would be necessary for the compliance with the cri- Necessary information:
terion VDeni, MBR / VNitri, MBR. Therefore the criterion of mini- Design maximum flow Q m = 2,128 m3/h (in contrast to
mum retention time neither can be decisive for the design the design of the reactor volume, the combined water
of the membrane installation.The volumes decisive for flow is always decisive in the determination of the neces-
the example are listed in the following Table. sary membrane surface area of municipal membrane bio-
reactors!)
3
VBB,MBR = 17,540 m
of which VNitri,MBR = 8,770 m3 Design specific flow of 28.75 L/(m3 · h)
3
VDeni,MBR = 8,770 m
contained in it: Vvario,30% = 2,631 m3 In addition, 1 % of the membrane surface area installed
3
or: Vvario,50% = 4,385 m must be maintained as reserve for cleaning measures (on
approx. 200 working days per year, 1 % of the surface area
In this case it is not possible to arrange compensating is cleaned, i. e. the total membrane surface area is cleaned
volume because the total volume is required for the bio- twice a year).
chemical processes. The resulting total retention time
with critical design inflow of Q critical load case = Q d/xQmax From this results a necessary membrane surface area of
3
= 1,393 m /h is 12.6 h. 74,758 m3.

165
2 Membrane Technology in Municipal Waste Water Treatment

2.5.4
Printout of the Design Results with ARA-BER:

Waste water treatment plant: membrane installation 100,000 PE


Type of installation: simultaneous aerobic sludge stabilization
Total volume: 17,530 [m3]
Nitrification volume: 8,765 [m3]
Denitrification volume: 8,765 [m3]
VDeni / Vtot : 0.500 [-]
Design temperature: 10.0 [°C]
Mean TS concentration: 12.00 [kg/m3]
Aerobic sludge age: 15.35 [d]
Total sludge age: 25.00 [d]

Effluent values:

NH4-N (peak) (design value) 10.0 [mg/L]


NH4-N (mean) (design value) 2.0 [mg/L]
NO3-N (average) (design value) 6.6 [mg/L]

Dry weather flow Q t 1,199 [m3/h]


Combined water flow Q m 2,128 [m3/h]
Daily flow Q d 19,500 [m3/d]

Backcharges:
BOD5 0.0 [kg/d]
TKN 0.0 [kg/d]
Ptot. 0.0 [kg/d]
Part of TKN in excess sludge = rX 0.00 [-]
TKN backcharge from rX 0.0 [kg/d]

Precipitation with: iron(III) salt


Precipitant dosage 17.42 [g/m3]
Attainable P effluent value 1.00 [mg/L]

No calculation of secondary settling tanks

166
Membrane Technology in 3

Industrial Waste Water Treatment


3 Membrane Technology in Industrial Waste Water Treatment

3.1
Brief Overview

The application of membrane processes in industry has The following chapter deals with the use of membrane
its origin in the field of production, with most references technology in industrial waste water treatment. Motives,
in the beverage industry and in the pharmaceutical in- objectives and decision criteria for the use of membrane
dustry and for the production of ultra-pure water [BROCK- technology are discussed, cost-benefit analyses are made,
MANN 1998]. Due to rising costs for process water and and successful examples from practice are briefly described.
for waste water discharge as well as increasing environ-
mental awareness in industry, membrane processes are Figure 3-1 on the next page shows the contents of the
now used more frequently for the treatment of industrial chapter. It presents the most important steps from the
waste water. motives and planning stage to the operation of a mem-
brane installation. With the help of references to page
In industrial production, waste water is often produced numbers and short check lists the reader is able to focus
discontinuously and its composition may vary signifi- on individual sections of the chapter according to his
cantly. Joint treatment of high-strength industrial waste interest.
water in municipal waste water treatment plants gives
rise to problems, especially when the treatment efficiency For successful operation of a membrane installation,
of the municipal plant is limited or its biological treat- detailed planning and pilot-scale testing by specialists is
ment capacity is not sufficient. In these cases separate necessary, taking into account the existing boundary
treatment or pretreatment of industrial waste water is conditions. Therefore the annex contains a list of con-
required for which membrane processes, as process- and tacts for concrete planning intentions.
production-integrated measures, can make an important
contribution.

168
Membrane Technology in Industrial Waste Water Treatment 3

Figure 3-1
Motive – planning – operation of a membrane installation,
overview of the contents of the chapter “Membrane technology in industrial waste water treatment”

Procedure Examples Information

p. 288 Reduction of costs


Motive
Compliance with the standards

Objective

p. 170 ff.

p. 288 p. 279 f.
Incoming material flows Effizienz-Agentur NRW

Outgoing material flows PIUS®-Check


Analysis of the actual situation
Independent consultants

p. 172

p. 288 p. 174 ff.


Separation processes Economic analysis

Selection of Membrane technology Comparison of processes


processes ... Cost-benefit relation
Possibilities for promotion

p. 172 p. 280 ff.

p. 289
Preliminary tests Consultants
Industrials
Planning and Laboratory tests Plant manufacturers
pilot-scale testing Cleaning agent producer
Choice of membranes Membrane producer

p. 174 p. 174 p. 270 ff.


...

p. 289 p. 177 p. 177 ff.


Operator model Concrete examples

Owner-operated enterprise
Operation and control Internet portal
www.pius-info.de

p. 280 ff.

169
3 Membrane Technology in Industrial Waste Water Treatment

3.2
Objectives and Applications in Different Industrial
Branches

Membrane processes in industrial waste water treatment • separation of reusable material, auxiliary agents, by-
can be arranged downstream of or integrated into the products and solvents directly at the source of origin
production process. Besides compliance with legal
standards (for discharge into public sewer systems or • recirculation of partial flows
into water bodies), this technology is also used for econo-
mic reasons (Figure 3-2). Typical objectives for the appli- • avoidance of large high-strength waste water flows
cation of membrane technology in industry include:
• reuse of the concentrates as raw material or as secondary
raw material, or low-cost discharge

Figure 3-2
Objectives and economic interests for the use of a membrane installation in industrial waste water treatment

Avoidance of waste water Optimization of treatment Reduction of space or volume


processes requirements for waste water
treatment

• Closure of circulation systems • Utilization of processes for com- • Protections of sites


• Recycling of process water from pliance with effluent standards
waste water • Improvement of effluent parameters

Objectives

Economic interests

Recovery of reusable material Minimization of discharge costs Reutilization of biomass

• For reutilization in the production • By production of pure material (e.g. • By separation in the production in
process non-polluted water or solvents) biotechnical processes
• As secondary raw material for • By concentration of pollutants • In biological waste water treatment
processing by recycling into the aeration reactor
• For marketing

170
Membrane Technology in Industrial Waste Water Treatment 3

Table 3-1
Objectives for the utilization of membrane technology in industrial waste water treatment

Industrial branch Examples of objectives

Food industry • Treatment of waste water for use as process water

• Higher protein output (potato starch production)

Tanneries • Separation of precipitated heavy metals from waste water and reuse as recycling water

Paper mills • Compliance with effluent standards

• Treatment of waste water for use as process water

Fibre industry (e. g. vulcanized fibre) • Recovery of reusable material (ZnCl2)

• Process water treatment

Textile industry • Recovery of size baths and indigo dyes

• Separation of colour pigments

• Treatment of waste water for use as process water

Plastics industry • Separation of softeners and reuse of the treated waste water as process water

Laundries • Treatment of the waste water and reuse as process water

Metal industry, electroplating • Separation of oil and emulsions [DRIESEN ET AL. 1998] and recycling

• Recovery of scouring baths

• Treatment of rinsing water

Printers, paint shops • Recovery of coloured pigments

• Separation and concentration of mixed pigments to reduce the discharge costs

Car production • Process water treatment

• Recovery of coloured pigments

Petrochemical industry • Treatment of reaction- and washing water [THEILEN 2000]

Power stations • Treatment of boiler feed water [THEILEN 2000]

Mining industry • Treatment of mine water and radioactive surface water [THEILEN 2000]

Navigation • Separation of oil and emulsions

Various branches, e. g. tanneries, breweries, • Biological waste water treatment using ultrafiltration and microfiltration processes for biomass

paper and textile industry separation (membrane bioreactor process)

These process objectives may lead directly to cost-saving, The treatment of small specific volume flows may also
e. g. by be profitable in cases where reusable material is saved or
recovered. Various objectives for the use of membrane
• reduction of the waste water load and possible reduction technology in industrial waste water treatment are sum-
of waste water levies for indirect dischargers or the waste marized in Table 3-1.
water charge for direct dischargers,

• savings of water and reusable material, if e. g. process


water is recycled or recovered.

171
3 Membrane Technology in Industrial Waste Water Treatment

3.3
Decision Criteria

Due to continuously rising costs for drinking- and pro- Each planning phase comprises other detailed decision
cess water as well as for waste water discharge together criteria which should be examined individually and coor-
with increasing environmental awareness, industrial en- dinated by the entrepreneur together with the membrane-
terprises more and more frequently implement internal and plant manufacturer. As a rule, existing knowledge
measures to minimize the waste water load and quantity. about the waste water to be treated should be used, and
tests on different scales are imperative.
Such internal measures can be realized by using various
processes and process combinations. The choice of a Table 3-2 summarizes the working steps which can be
technically and economically suitable process requires carried out on the different scales. Careful planning is
critical for successful operation of each membrane instal-
• structured analysis of the existing conditions and lation.
• clear definition of the objective.

Figure 3-3 shows the methods and criteria of decision-


making for the selection of a suitable process. Since
membrane technology in industrial waste water treat-
ment is the focus of attention, the decision tree presents
two alternatives – membrane technique or alternative
processes – from which only membrane technology is
studied in more detail.

Prerequisite for the selection of a successfully and econo-


mical membrane process is a comprehensive analysis of
the production processes, the water used and the waste
water produced. If after first assessment of the boundary
conditions the use of membrane technology proves to be
technically feasible in an enterprise, an adequate installa-
tion can be planned. Planning has to be carried out
step by step, so that the final result will be adapted
most favourably to the separation problem. The planning
stages for the realization of a large-scale installation are
presented in the flow sheet (Figure 3-3).

172
Membrane Technology in Industrial Waste Water Treatment 3

Figure 3-3
How to proceed in the planning of an installation for industrial waste water treatment

identification of the flow(s) to be treated


realization of
measures
avoidance or reduction
possible? yes
no
terms of reference/objective
separation of separation of production of separation of …
reusable material substance mixture process water biomass

raw water
quality requirements
quality (physical and chemical)
boundary conditions reusable and hazardous material
quantity produced
possibilities for reuse
concept of treatment strategy
hydraulic efficiency

membrane technique alternative


under certain possible ? no processes
circumstances
yes
pretreatment/
draft of the flow sheet
combination with other processes

identification of assessment of membrane


membrane material performance

is the process
expected to be profitable?
no

yes
choice of membrane (membrane material, membrane geometry)

preliminary tests (laboratory)

no
energy costs
positive test results ? membrane replacement
cleaning agents
yes
number of cleanings
choice of module staff/service

economic optimization
technical optimization pilot tests operating costs
module form overall economic efficiency
pretreatment
hydraulic conditions

no technically economically no benefit


recovery of reusable material
optimized ? optimized ? saving of discharge costs
costs
saving of water and waste
investments
yes yes water costs
operating costs

large-scale installation
filtrate performance economic efficiency

retention rates control of operation cleaning and backwashing


intervals
development of covering layer
pressure conditions

173
3 Membrane Technology in Industrial Waste Water Treatment

Table 3-2
Sequence of planning for a membrane installation [according to THEILEN 2000; PETERS 2001]

Scale Working steps

Laboratory • Complete analysis of the waste water to be treated

• Choice of the membrane in a test cell installation

• Approximate determination of the most important process-engineering parameters such as trans-

membrane pressure and flow velocity

• First tests on membrane cleaning

Pilot scale Operation of a pilot installation:

• Choice and test of the modules, module connection

• Process optimization

On-site under operating conditions:

• Cleaning intervals and demand for chemicals

• Energy demand

• Product quality in continuous operation

Planning of the installation • Analysis of the test results

• Design of the installation

• Analysis of economic efficiency

Large-scale installation • Control and optimization

– of the operating parameters

– of the energy demand

• Determination of the overall efficiency (cost-benefit relation)

3.4 examples contain information about investments and


Economic Efficiency of Membrane Installations operating costs as well as the resulting amortization period,
in Industrial Waste Water Treatment as far as these data are accessible to the general public.
These indications only apply to the individual case. In
An important decision criterion for the choice of a waste general, transfer to other installations of the same type is
water treatment process is its economic efficiency. It can not possible because the specific boundary conditions
be assessed, for example, with the help of a cost-benefit (e. g. production process and techniques) influence the
analysis and requires knowledge or estimation of the costs in a significant way.
costs and the resulting benefits.
Due to some important factors of influence on costs and
From the examples in chapters 3.5 and 3.6 it is clear that economic efficiency (Figure 3-4) of a membrane installa-
membrane technology (membrane processes and mem- tion, this chapter can give only qualitative information
brane bioreactors) is used in most different industrial on the costs. These factors are explained below.
branches for the treatment of waste water. These concrete

174
Membrane Technology in Industrial Waste Water Treatment 3

End use, or tasks and objectives differ, even for enterprises of the same branch. It is not
useful to give numerical values because this might lead
• Membrane installations are designed for a specific task to inaccurate assessment of the economic efficiency of
or treatment objective. In many cases, treatment beyond a membrane installation.
this objective is possible, but often involves additional
costs. • The cost-benefit relation of a membrane installation
may be positive or negative, depending on a large num-
Boundary conditions ber of boundary conditions. These are for example the
water and waste water charges, the design capacity, pos-
• The waste water characteristic determines the required sibilities and costs for waste disposal, etc. More exam-
investment and operating costs of a membrane installa- ples for boundary conditions influencing the costs are
tion. The waste water treatment costs may significantly presented in.

Figure 3-4
Factors influencing the economic efficiency of membrane installations

tasks/objectives

boundary conditions

quality waste water hydraulic waste water freshwater


location energy costs ...
requirement quantity efficiency charges price

planning and pilot tests

membrane bioreactor membrane process

investments operating costs benefit

• membrane material • operating mode • protection of the plant location


• membrane surface • annual operating • compliance with limit values
• module form period • reduction of waste water charges
• peripherical • energy demand • reduction of discharge costs
equipment • cleaning • recirculation
• cleaning agent • recovery of reusable material
• cleaning interval
• membrane replace-
ment
• discharge costs
• personal mainte-
nance
• insurance
• costs for the building

175
3 Membrane Technology in Industrial Waste Water Treatment

Planning, pilot tests and choice of the membrane field of membrane technology (membranes, modules,
process energy demand, etc.) the costs for the different materials
and modules will also change. With view to the product
• Since each industrial enterprise produces a specific and market development, it is expected that the prices
waste water, a detailed planning and pilot test phase is for membranes in general will decrease.
necessary to examine the possible use of a membrane
process and to assess the costs. The expense for pilot To ensure profitability of a membrane installation, full
tests, which may vary considerably, also belongs to the use of the membrane surface by an optimal operating
costs for a membrane installation. Detailed planning mode is essential because the costs rise with increasing
and comprehensive pilot tests contribute to avoiding membrane surface area. However, doubling of the mem-
uneconomical design of the installation, to recognize brane surface area does not result in a doubling of the
possible operating problems and to counteract them in costs, since the expense for peripheral equipment of the
advance by corresponding design and operative installation, such as measurement and control technique,
management. has larger impact on smaller installations [e. G. VOSSEN-
KAUL, MELIN 2001].
• The type of the membrane process has an effect on the
investments and the operating costs. The membrane The operating costs comprise several components. An
bioreactor has been assessed since 1997 as an economic important component is the energy cost which depends
treatment process for concentrated waste water, e. g. on the annual operating period and the operating mode
some industrial waste waters [ROSENWINKEL ET AL. (cross-flow or dead-end). The energy demand of installa-
1997], while up to now this is true only to a limited tions working in dead-end mode is lower than that of
extent for municipal waste water applications. installations operated in classical cross-flow mode.

For each plant, investments and operating costs have to Depending on each single case, the costs for membrane
be distinguished. Both categories can be subdivided into cleaning must not be neglected. Optimized cleaning
more individual factors. methods (chemicals, cleaning intervals) contribute to
minimize these costs and possibly extend the service life
The amount of investments depends among others of the membranes. The longer the service life of the mem-
on the membrane material, i. e. the module costs, and branes, the lower the costs for membrane replacement.
the membrane surface area installed. This is especially The service life of membranes may significantly vary de-
true for large installations. Membrane material, surface pending on the membrane material, waste water compo-
and form are chosen for the individual case considering a sition, pretreatment, operating period and operating mode
number of criteria. STROH ET AL. [1997] compared for (chapters 3.5 and 3.6, Concrete examples). In some cases
two applications – clarification of fruit juice and oil/water- (e. g. treatment of landfill leachate), service lives of five
emulsion filtration – the amount of investment and ope- years and more are standard.
rating costs resulting from the use of polymer and cera-
mic membranes. It turned out that the investment and Moreover, the operating costs also include the discharge
the power demand for ceramic membranes are higher, costs, insurance, personnel and maintenance costs. Per-
but that the costs for replacement of the membranes at sonnel and maintenance costs are assessed in most cases
the same time are lower because of their longer service as flat rate in percent of the investment costs, but they
life. Related to a cubic meter of filtrate, the use of cera- also depend on the size of the installation. For example,
mic membranes may be more favourable in one case, a study of the economic efficiency of installations for
while the use of polymer membranes is more favourable sludge water treatment has shown that this value as a rule
in another one. The authors therefore emphasize that should be corrected: for small installations it is higher, for
without exact relation to a concrete case, only general large installations it is lower [VOSSENKAUL ET AL. 2000].
assessment is possible. With further developments in the

176
Membrane Technology in Industrial Waste Water Treatment 3

The breakdown of investments and operating costs is not All examples described in the following sections are com-
necessary for the user of an installation run according to piled in Table 3-3. The addresses of the companies and
an operator model, e. g. “BOO” (Build-Own-Operate). enterprises are listed in the annex.
With this accounting method, the user of the installation
reimburses the quantity of treated waste water according Statements on the total economic efficiency of the pro-
to a volume-specific price which already includes all costs cesses described are made for the following concrete ex-
of waste water treatment. amples as far as information was available. For the total
economic efficiency of a membrane installation, besides
The expenditure for a membrane installation is always the construction, the choice of the operating parameters
seen in relation to the benefit and the savings expected. is decisive above all and which can be optimized in detail
The benefit may consist of the protection of the enter- only when the installation is finished. Since some of the
prise location, compliance with limit values or the reduc- examples described are rather new or in planning stage,
tion of waste water charges and discharge costs. Savings only limited operating experience exists for some of the
can be made by recirculation (recycling of process water installations, especially concerning the service life of the
or recovery of reusable material). In some cases these membranes. Only after a longer practical operating peri-
savings are very high, so that the membrane installation od, experience will show how successful and economic
is amortized after a rather short time. But the amount of membrane processes are in each single case.
savings compared to the expenditure and the amortiza-
tion time to be expected have to be examined for each The installations described are examples for large-scale
single case. realization of the membrane process. Normally they can-
not be transferred as a standard solution to another enter-
3.5 prise of the same industrial branch. The employment of
Sample Applications of Plants in Germany membrane technology has to be examined for each sin-
gle case concerning technical feasibility as well as econo-
In the following subsections the employment of different mic efficiency.
membrane processes in various industrial branches in
Germany is presented with the help of exemplary instal-
lations which have been built on industrial scale and are
operating successfully or a in planning stage. Some of
these installations have been realized with the financial
backing of the Ministry for Environment and Nature
Conservation, Agriculture and Consumer Protection of
the federal state North Rhine-Westphalia (MUNLV NRW).
Examples from international practice are described in the
subsections of chapter 3.6.

Diverging from the sorting of the installations for muni-


cipal applications (see chapter 2.2), the examples are
sorted according to their use in industrial branches,
because combinations of different membrane processes
are also used in industrial waste water treatment. A short
introduction into the respective industrial branch prece-
des the description of the example installations. As intro-
ductory overview for each concrete example, the mem-
brane process applied, the objectives attained or the
benefit of the installation are indicated.

177
3 Membrane Technology in Industrial Waste Water Treatment

Table 3-3
Sample applications for the use of membrane technology in industrial waste water treatment in Germany

Branch of Company Location Start-up Membrane Modules Membrane Chapter

industry process surface area m2


Potato starch Emsland Stärke Emlichheim 1997 RO Tube modules 5,000 3.5.1.1
industry

Malthouses Durst Malz - Gernsheim 1997 RO Spiral-wound 1,333 3.5.1.2.1

H. Durst Malz- modules

fabriken
Food industry Beeck Feinkost Hamburg 1994 UF Tube modules 100 3.5.1.3

Printing industry Peter Leis Solms 1998 UF Ceramic tube 2.4 3.5.2

modules
Paper mill Paper mill Palm Eltmann 1999 NF Spiral-wound 15,000 3.5.3.1

module
Textile industry Drews Meerane Meerane 2001 UF Immersed capil- 2,200 3.5.4.1

lary modules
Textile industry Silk weaving Mühltroff 2004 MF Plate modules 320 3.5.4.2

mill Pongs
Textile industry Gerhard van Hamminkeln- UF/NF/RO: 1997 MF/UF/ MF: tube modules MF: 225 3.5.4.3

Clewe Dingden MF: 2001 NF/RO UF: ceramic UF/NF/RO: no

tube modules information

NF/RO: spiral-

wound modules
Fibre industry Vulcanized fibre Geldern 1997 RO Spiral-wound 312 3.5.5

modules
Plastics industry Troplast Troisdorf 1998 UF Ceramic tube 38 3.5.6

modules
Laundry Laundry Alsco Kaiserslautern 2000 UF/NF UF: tube module UF: 44 3.5.7.1

NF: spiral-wound NF: 180

module
Laundry Textil Service Groß Kienitz 1998 UF/NF UF: ceramic UF: 60 3.5.7.2

Mewa tube modules NF: 135

NF: spiral-

wound modules
Metal proces- Rasselstein Andernach 1999 UF Ceramic tube 4.56 3.5.8.1
sing industry Hoesch GmbH modules
Metal proces- Faurecia, Bert- Stadthagen 2000 UF Flat membranes 3.5.8.2
sing industry rand Faure Sitz-

technik
Metal proces- Electroplating Bielefeld-Senne- 1993 Membrane 2 cells per dialy- 1.1 3.5.8.3
sing industry Enterprise stadt electrolysis sator

Rudolf Jatzke
Metal proces- Wieland Werke Langenberg 1998 UF Capillary modu- 44 3.5.8.1
sing industry les

178
Membrane Technology in Industrial Waste Water Treatment 3

Table 3-3
Sample applications for the use of membrane technology in industrial waste water treatment in Germany

Branch of Company Location Start-up Membrane Modules Membrane Chapter

industry process surface area m2


Treatment of DaimlerChrysler Düsseldorf 1998 UF Plate modules 30 3.5.9.1

waste water

from car pain-

ting

Treatment of Ford Werk Köln 2001 NF no information no information 3.5.9.2

waste water

from car pain-

ting

Pharmaceutical Schering Bergkamen 2003 UF Capillary modu- 15,840 3.5.10

industry les

Landfill leachate Alsdorf-Warden Alsdorf 1999 RO Disc-tube 460 3.5.11.1.1

landfill modules

Fish hatchery Pilot installation 2004 MF Plate modules 21 3.5.11.2

Power plants GuD Dresden Dresden 1996 UF Ceramic multich- 15.2 3.5.11.3

annel elements

De-oiling of bilge 1989 UF Tube modules 23.6 3.5.11.4

water

Swimming pool Aquana Freizeit- Würselen 1998 UF/RO UF: capillary UF: 42 3.5.11.5.1

bad modules RO: 140

RO: spiral-

wound modules

Swimming pool Freizeitbad Herten 1998 UF Hollow-fibre 300 3.5.11.5.2

Copa Ca Backum modules

3.5.1
Food Industry

The generic term food industry is comprised of a large Besides waste water treatment, membrane technology is
number of branches, such as the milk or meat processing also used in the food industry for other purposes, such as
industry, processing of vegetables, finished products, the concentration (e. g. of juice, milk, whey, egg whites), fil-
beverage industry etc. Correspondingly, the waste waters tration (e. g. of juice, wine, beer) and alcohol removal
of the individual branches vary in their composition. from beer. The alcohol fraction resulting from alcohol
They have in common only high organic loads. removal is a suitable substrate for denitrification in waste
water treatment (as a methanol substitute).
In the following the use of membrane technology for the
treatment of waste water from the food industry is described
for three branches – potato starch production, delicatessen
production and malt production – and presented with
the help of concrete examples.

179
3 Membrane Technology in Industrial Waste Water Treatment

3.5.1.1
Potato Starch Production

In the Federal Republic of Germany, starch is produced Potato starch is only produced only during a certain sea-
from maize, potatoes, wheat and rice. Of these raw mate- son. The Fertilizer Ordinance (1996) dictates the storage
rials the potato has the highest water content. For starch of potato pulp and irrigation water between 15th Novem-
production, the potatoes are carefully prewashed and then ber and 15th January (even longer in the case of frost)
3
ground, separated from the pulp water (0,76 m of pulp and limits the application in autumn to a maximum of
water per ton of potatoes) and washed out. The starch is 80 kg Ntot/ha.
produced from the ground potatoes, and the pulp water
is generally used to produce potato protein (Figure 3-5). The concentration of the pulp water and closing of the
The residual pulp water is used for irrigation of farmland internal water cycle are suitable measures to manage the
or evaporated. Potato pulp, which contains fine-ground production limitations defined above. This can be obtained
peelings, cell walls, starch residues and pulp water, is de- with the help of different procedures (e. g. membrane
watered. In Germany and the Benelux Countries, potato technology).
pulp has been used for many years as fodder for dairy
cattle and young stock, and also partly for fat stock.

The entire production process results in sweeping and


washing water, pulp water and starch washing water. The
amount of washing water is about 1.8 to 2.8 m3 per ton
of starch. Characteristic constituents are potato pulp
water ingredients, fibres and mineral components (earth,
sand etc.).

Figure 3-5
Flow chart of potato starch production

potatoes starch

grater fractionation (wet procedure)

fibres potato pulp water

protein precipitation potato protein

soluble matter

potato pulp

180
Membrane Technology in Industrial Waste Water Treatment 3

3.5.1.1.1 RO

Food Industry, Emsland Stärke GmbH

Membrane process Reverse osmosis

Start-up 1997

Objectives Reduction of the waste water- and drinking water volume, higher protein yield

Membrane surface 5,000 m2

Modules Tube modules

Permeate volume flow 62 m3/h

Pretreatment Separation of fibres and pulp water

Benefit Savings of energy, water, waste water, at the same time higher protein yield

The company Emsland Stärke GmbH is the most impor- In 1997, a reverse osmosis installation from the com-
tant producer of potato starch in Germany and is one of pany Stork was commissioned in the Emlichheim plant
the world’s leading manufacturers of finished starch pro- in order to reduce the quantity of waste water to be
ducts, potato protein, amino acids and sugar products disposed of, to conserve drinking water and to recover
such as glucose syrup. The parent plant in Emlichheim, more protein. The potato pulp water from starch produc-
established in 1928, has 405 employees. For the produc- tion is separated in the cross-flow mode at an operating
tion of potato starch, starch derivates and potato protein, pressure of 40 bar. Tube modules with a total membrane
water with drinking water quality is used and ultimately surface area of 5,000 m2 filter a feed volume flow of
disposed of as waste water (sweeping and washing water, 140 m3/h. With daily backwashing and cleaning with
derivate waste water). commercial enzymatic cleaning agents, the service life of
the membranes is about 6,000 hours. During the produc-
tion campaign (about 120 days per year), the installation
works 24 hours per day, so that the membranes have to
be replaced after approx. two campaigns.

Figure 3-6
Flow chart of the treatment of process- and potato pulp water at Emsland Stärke GmbH
[according to LOTZ 2000]

potatoes

fibres potato pulp

starch factory potato pulp


water supply permeate for
water
reverse osmosis
potato washing
process water brine
fertilizer
feed evaporation protein production potato protein
molasses fumes condensate
waste water
excess
treatment treatment plant
for fumes condensate receiving water

process waste water

181
3 Membrane Technology in Industrial Waste Water Treatment

The permeate (about 62 m3/h) from the reverse osmosis 3.5.1.2


system is used to wash the potatoes, while potato protein Malt Houses
is produced from the brine. The remaining potato pulp
water is evaporated. The vapour condensates are fed to a Malt is used as a raw material to produce alcohol from
dedicated waste water treatment plant and recycled after starch-containing materials. Today a large number of brew-
further treatment at drinking water quality into the pro- eries get malt from commercial malthouses which pre-
duction process (see also Figure 3-6). dominantly use barley (about 2.5 million tons per year
[GUTSCH, HEIDENREICH 2001]) and partly wheat for
Thanks to the closed water cycle, more than 500,000 m3 malt production. The malt production process can be
3
of water are saved per year (250,000 m of washing water broadly subdivided into the steps cleaning, soaking, ger-
by the permeate of the reverse osmosis installation and minating and kiln-drying [KRAFT, MENDE 1997]. Due to
3
more than 250,000 m by closing the cycle with the vapour high water consumption for washing and soaking, malt-
condensates). Other advantages of the membrane instal- houses have to pay high costs for freshwater and waste
lation are a drastic reduction in the waste water volume water disposal [GUTSCH, HEIDENREICH 2001].
and a higher protein yield.
For waste water whose pollution load comes mainly from
the production of malt from cereals and which is dis-
charged directly into a receiving water, the limit values
according to Appendix 21 of the Waste Water Ordinance
[ABWV 2002] are valid. Depending on the production
process applied, the waste water quantities and concen-
trations may vary significantly from one malthouse to
the other. Waste water constituents include suspended
substances (dust, earthy constituents, residues from cere-
als and husks), sugar, nitrogen-containing substances
(soluble proteins, vegetable fibrin), inorganic matter, and
possibly rubber and polyphenols.

For the treatment of malthouse waste water, membrane


technology can be used in various combinations which
have to be adapted to the specific case. Besides the exam-
ple described below, treatment by microfiltration in low-
pressure operation combined with a biological stage and
a closed process water cycle is also possible [KRAFT,
MENDE 1997].

182
Membrane Technology in Industrial Waste Water Treatment 3

3.5.1.2.1 RO

Malthouse Durst Malz –


H. Durst Malzfabriken GmbH & Co. KG

Membrane process Reverse osmosis

Start-up 1997

Objectives Reduction of waste water quantities and costs

Membrane surface area 1,333 m2

Modules Spiral-wound modules

Permeate volume flow about 470 m3/d

Pretreatment Biological treatment (SBR), precipitation

Benefit Savings of freshwater and cost reduction in waste water treatment and disposal

The Heidelsheim company H. Durst Malzfabriken GmbH all undesirable malting residues from the water at an
& Co. KG is specialized in malt production for Pilsner operating pressure of approx. 10 bar. The permeate com-
beer, but also furnishes special malt for other types of plies with the requirements of the Drinking Water Ordi-
brewing. 25 people are employed in the works in Gerns- nance and is recycled into the barley soaking process.
heim, one of the four plants which combined produce The remaining brine (about 25 – 30 % of the total inflow
about 230,000 tons of malt per year. to the membrane installation) is treated in the municipal
waste water treatment plant. In order to ensure the opera-
Large waste water quantities and disposal costs were the tion of the spiral-wound modules, an antiscaling agent is
motives for Durst Malz to cooperate with Schwander GmbH used and the modules are backwashed daily with citric
at Bad Vilbel, which together with Frings Recycling-Anla- acid.
gen GmbH (today: imb+frings watersystems gmbh) de-
veloped the patented FriSch-Verfahren® (FriSch process) The employment of the membrane installation led to a
for the treatment of process water in the malt and bever- reduction in the water demand and to considerable cost
age industry. savings concerning the waste water surcharge. Another
advantage is the modular construction of the installation,
Promoted by Hessische Landes- und Treuhandgesellschaft as it can be adapted without causing problems to varying
(HLT) Wiesbaden, today Investbank Hessen (IBH), an in- production parameters.
stallation for the treatment of the malthouse waste water
was commissioned in 1997 at Gernsheim (Figure 3-7). Figure 3-7
3
Since that time a daily amount of 700 m of water, con- Reverse osmosis installation at Durst Malzfabriken
sisting of the barley soaking water and the washing water GmbH & Co. KG, Gernsheim [LINDEMANN 2001]
of the production plants, is treated.

The malthouse waste water has a high COD content of


approx. 2,500 to 3,000 mg/l. By biological (SBR process1))
and physical-chemical (ferric chloride precipitation)
treatment, followed by fine filtration, this concentration is
reduced to 30 mg/l in the influent to the reverse osmosis
installation. Subsequently, spiral-wound modules in the
reverse osmosis installation (imb+frings watersystems
gmbh) with a total filter surface area of 1,333 m2 remove

1) SBR process: Sequencing-Batch-Reactor process. All phases of the treatment process run in succession in one reactor.

183
3 Membrane Technology in Industrial Waste Water Treatment

3.5.1.3 UF

Food Industry
BEECK Feinkost GmbH & Co. KG

Membrane process Ultrafiltration

Start-up 1994

Objectives Comply with the COD limit values and reduce the waste water fees (surcharge for heavy polluters)

Membrane surface area 100 m2

Modules Tube modules

Permeate volume flow Depending on the production, 3.5 – 6 m3/h

Pretreatment Prefiltration

Benefit Saving of waste water fees

The company BEECK Feinkost GmbH & Co. KG produces ficient to comply with the COD discharge limit, and a sur-
delicatessen and salad dressings. More than 200 people charge for excess COD concentrations was paid by the
are employed at the site in Hamburg. plant.

Tanks and equipment used in the preparation of delicates- In order to reduce the waste water fees, an ultrafiltration
sen and salad dressings, tanks and equipment are regular- installation from the company KOCH-GLITSCH GmbH
ly cleaned using water and cleaning agents. During this was commissioned in 1994. First of all, the solids are se-
process solids as well as emulsified fats and oils get into parated by prefiltration from the waste water (Figure 3-8).
the waste water and give rise to high COD concentrations. The prefiltered water is fed to a tank from which the ultra-
Treatment of the waste water by a grease trap was not suf- filtration installation is charged. The installation is equipped

Figure 3-8
Flow chart of the waste water treatment at BEECK Feinkost GmbH [according to KOCH-GLITSCH GMBH 2001]

recirculation
waste water 100 % after disconnection
of the inflow

pump shaft
tank
concentrate
80 m3
prefiltration ultrafiltration

concentrate
particles
collecting tank filtrate

disposal 1%

sewer system 99 %

measuring/ neutralisation
monitoring

184
Membrane Technology in Industrial Waste Water Treatment 3

with tube modules made of PVDF 2) membranes with a The membranes are cleaned chemically once a week.
molecular separation size of 250,000 Dalton (KOCH- With this operating mode, the service life amounts to
GLITSCH GmbH), which are operated in cross-flow mode. 4 – 5 years.
3
About 3.5 to 6 m of waste water per hour (depending on
the production) are filtered by 100 m2 of membrane sur- The installation has not only ecological advantages, but
face area at an operating pressure of max. 6.2 bar. is also profitable: By saving the surcharge for heavy pol-
luters, the investment for the installation is amortized
Depending on the production, the inflow to the tank is after three years.
closed so that the waste water is further concentrated by
recycling it to the ultrafiltration installation. The concen-
trate (1 % of the inflow) is disposed of, while the filtrate
(99 % of the inflow) is neutralized and discharged into
the sewer system.

2) polyvinylidene fluoride

3.5.2 UF

Printing Industry, Peter Leis

Membrane process Ultrafiltration

Start-up Autumn 1998

Objectives To manufacture a reusable product from polluted adsorption oils

Membrane surface area 2.4 m2

Modules Ceramic tube modules

Permeate volume flow 30 L/h

Pretreatment Micro-settlement filtration to remove coarse matter, oil separator

Benefit Saving of waste water disposal costs and new adsorption oils

The Grafische Handelsvertretung Peter Leis (graphical com- ticles and paper dust. The system consists of a micro-sett-
mercial agency) at Solms, with five employees, supplies ling filtration step to remove coarse matter, an oil separator
printers with print drums and chemicals, e. g. cleaning and an ultrafiltration process to purify the oil phase.
oils for printing machines. Ceramic tube modules (from the company Tami) with a
total membrane surface area of 2.4 m2 produce about 30 L
One of the services of the company consists of voluntary permeate per hour at an operating pressure of approx. 3 bar.
return of used adsorption oils from its clients. Therefore On average, the ultrafiltration installation (Figure 3-9)
a procedure has been developed which serves to convert works 6 to 8 hours per day. Cleaning of the membranes
the polluted adsorption oils into a valuable reusable pro- by removal and burning out becomes necessary after a
duct. This was done in cooperation with the companies throughput of approx. 5,000 L. The service life of the
CARO Umwelttechnik GmbH (contact via NERAtec AG) membranes ends on average after 20,000 L. The filtrate is
and Altenburger Elektronic GmbH. reused as recycled high-quality adsorption oil, the con-
centrate is recycled into the settling filtration stage.
Since autumn 1998, a membrane installation has been
operating to separate the components oil, water, dye par-

185
3 Membrane Technology in Industrial Waste Water Treatment

Besides positive effects on the environment by closing 3.5.3


the product cycle, there are also economic advantages Paper Mills
from the use of this process combination. The yearly costs
for waste water disposal were halved, and the use of new Paper mills belong to the group of major industrial water
adsorption oils was reduced to only 25 % from which the users. Water is needed for the production of printing pa-
customers profit. Under the present operational condi- per for the press to process the fibrous raw material as
tions, the amortization of the investment of 51,000 Euro well as for the production process in the paper machine
will be two years. These operational conditions were at- itself. The water is taken for the most part from rivers
tained about 1.5 years after start-up of the installation. and lakes and discharged after biological treatment. In
Germany the production of paper and cardboard is about
20 million tons per year, resulting in an average waste
water quantity of 10 m3 per ton of final product [VDP 2004].
Figure 3-9 For the discharge of waste water from paper and cardboard
Ultrafiltration installation at the Grafische Handelsvertretung production into receiving waters, Appendix 28 of the
Peter Leis [LEIS IN EFA 2000] Waste Water Ordinance [ABWV 2002] is valid.

For the production of new printing paper form waste pa-


per, the applied printing ink has to be removed. Besides
water and air, auxiliary agents such as soap, sodium hydro-
xide, water glass, hydrogen peroxide and complexing agents
are needed. For the production of magazine paper it is
necessary to bleach the fibrous material.

In general, the waste waters from paper mills are highly


loaded organically. Their composition and other consti-
tuents, however, strongly depend on the raw material
used and the type of paper produced, therefore they may
differ considerably. Today membrane processes are still of
secondary importance in the treatment of waste water
from paper mills. In particular, the waste waters from
waste paper processing are nearly calcium-saturated which
leads to scaling. Moreover, they show high lignin contents
and a high percentage of fibrous material. Therefore the
use of membrane technology and of necessary pretreat-
ment measures have to be carefully examined and planned.

186
Membrane Technology in Industrial Waste Water Treatment 3

3.5.3.1 UF

Paper Mill Palm, Works Eltmann

Membrane process Nanofiltration

Start-up December 1999

Objectives Compliance with the standards for direct dischargers

Membrane surface area 15,000 m2

Modules Spiral-wound modules

Permeate volume flow about 175 m3/h

Pretreatment Biological treatment, sand filtration

Benefit Compliance with the discharge standards; saving of process water after closure of the water cycle

The paper mill Palm with its headquarters at Aalen-Neu- At present, the modules are backwashed daily. Once a week
kochen, Baden-Württemberg, belongs to the leading Euro- (depending on the operating pressure) they are chemical-
pean manufacturers of newspaper printing paper and raw ly cleaned, so that the service life of the membranes is
paper for the production of corrugated cardboard. In the estimated to be 2 – 3 years. These operating parameters of
works Eltmann in Bavaria, 250 employees produce news- membrane backwashing are still being optimized.
paper printing paper from 100 % waste paper.
The membrane installation at the works Eltmann ensures
From material processing and paper production results compliance with the discharge standards and thus serves
waste water with COD and AOX loads, containing also above all environmental protection. The planned closure
salts and dyes. In order to comply with the demands of the water cycle and utilization of the permeate as pro-
for direct dischargers, the waste water is treated since cess water will help to save freshwater, thus economic ad-
December 1999 by biological processes, followed by sand vantages are expected.
filtration, and is then submitted to nanofiltration in
cross-flow mode by an installation from Wehrle Werk AG.
The installation has been promoted by the Deutsche Aus-
gleichsbank on behalf of the Federal Ministry for the Envi-
ronment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU).

The polyamide-based spiral-wound modules (KOCH-


GLITSCH GmbH) used in nanofiltration are arranged in a
feed-and-bleed configuration (see chapter 1.5 and Figure
3-10). At an operating pressure of 3 to 7 bar, a total mem-
brane surface of 15,000 m2 treats a feed volume flow of
max. 195 m3 per hour. The output is 90 %, i. e. 175 m3 of
permeate per hour, which at present is still discharged
into the receiving water. Recycling of the permeate and
its use as process water are being planned. The concen-
trate is treated by lime milk and coagulants, an optimiza-
tion of this treatment is being planned, too.

187
3 Membrane Technology in Industrial Waste Water Treatment

Figure 3-10
Nanofiltration installation at the paper mill Palm, works Eltmann (left) [SCHIRM 2001] and detail of the
tube module arrangement as feed-and-bleed structure (right) [according to SCHIRM 2001]

feed permeate
1st circulation
concentrate

permeate
2nd circulation
concentrate

permeate
3rd circulation
concentrate

permeate
4th circulation
concentrate

concentrate permeate

3.5.4
Textile Industry

In Germany there are about 1,100 textile factories, approx. Since many medium-sized textile finishing enterprises are
150 of which are finishing works, which are, for the most indirect dischargers, problems arise in municipal waste
part, small to medium-sized businesses [GESAMTTEXTIL water treatment due to the parameters COD and colour
2000]. From the different fields of production result pro- [GUTSCH, HEIDENREICH 2001]. Direct dischargers have
cess waters whose composition reflects the diversity of to comply with the limit values according to Appendix 38
plant structures and production programs which vary of the Waste Water Ordinance [ABWV 2002]. Besides pre-
with the seasons of the year. The discharge of these pro- cipitation, flocculation and chemical oxidation, membrane
cess waters gives rise to increasing costs. technology can also be used to obtain further removal of
colour from textile waste water.
The variety of processes in textile finishing hardly allows
general statements on the water consumption. However, However, the great variety of waste waters from textile
approx. 60 – 80 L of waste water, partly strongly coloured, finishing does not allow one to consider membrane pro-
results from the finishing of 1 kg of textiles [MARZIN- cesses an economical and technically sound solution for
KOWSKI 1999]. Waste water from the cleaning of dye all applications in this field. Possible employment and
preparation tanks is highly concentrated. On the other performance of membrane technology requires individ-
hand, waste water from dyeing is loaded with dyes in ual adaptation to each single case and location and should
lower concentrations. With only a few exceptions, these be confirmed by detailed pilot tests. The treatment and
dyes are not biologically degradable or only partially de- disposal of the brine are important considerations in the
gradable under aerobic conditions [BRAUN ET AL. 1997]. overall economic efficiency of the process [MACHEN-
BACH 1998].

188
Membrane Technology in Industrial Waste Water Treatment 3

Various process combinations for the treatment of textile treat the concentrates in a biological fixed-bed reactor.
waste water are being tested or have been applied in In Germany, this process combination has not yet been
practice: realized on an industrial scale [SCHÄFER ET AL. 1997;
GUTSCH, HEIDENREICH 2001].
• To realize a closed water cycle in textile finishing, com-
bination of a biological stage (immersed biodisks), • In a large-scale plant, waste water from dyeing is treated
cross-flow microfiltration and adsorption on activated by a combination of a biological stage, adsorption, down-
carbon (complete decolourization) have been tested stream reverse osmosis and activated-carbon filtration,
[WAIZENEGGER ET AL. 2000]. so that it can be directly discharged. The largest part of
the treated water is recycled into the production pro-
• Tests have proven the suitability of nanofiltration for cess as all-purpose process water [BRAUN ET AL. 1997].
the treatment of waste waters from the textile industry.
Moreover, it was possible to close the water cycle by a
combination of ultra- and nanofiltration as well as to

3.5.4.1 UF

Textile Industry, Drews Meerane

Membrane process Ultrafiltration

Start-up 2001

Objectives Reuse of the treated waste water

Membrane surface area 2,200 m2

Modules Immersed capillary membranes

Permeate volume flow ~ 34 m3/h

Pretreatment Bent-sieve screen

Benefit Reduction of fresh water consumption and of the waste water quantity, cost savings

The company Drews Meerane GmbH runs a textile finish- The lower loaded waste water is treated by anaerobic and
ing plant from which high-strength waste water results. aerobic processes, followed by sludge separation in a la-
The COD concentrations are between 1,000 and 1,500 mg/L. mella separator (Figure 3-11). Finally the treated waste
Moreover, the waste water is strongly coloured due to the water is discharged to the municipal waste water treat-
presence of by well water-soluble azo dyes. ment plant.

The new concept for water and waste water management


intends separate treatment of partial flows with higher
and lower loads. A total of approx. 1,500 m3 of waste wa-
ter per day is treated by the waste water treatment and pro-
cessing plant. The share of the higher loaded waste water
is about 60 %. The COD concentrations in the higher
loaded flows are around 1,400 mg/L, in the lower loaded
flows approx. 1,100 mg/L.

189
3 Membrane Technology in Industrial Waste Water Treatment

Figure 3-11
Flow sheet of the waste water treatment and processing plant [according to ZENON GMBH 2004]

waste water treatment plant


lamella separator
anaerobic aerobic
reactor reactor
well water

excess sludge

waste water treatment plant


flow to municipal
recirculation treatment plant
membrane stage
production lamella separator
anaerobic aerobic
reactor reactor

excess sludge blower


treated waste water ozonisation installation

At first the higher loaded waste water is treated in an installation is used as recycled water with an average
anaerobic reactor to break down the azo dyes and other COD concentration of 160 mg/L mainly in textile print-
dyes. The resultant products are much smaller and are ing processes for rinsing and cleaning purposes.
yellow up to colourless.
Thanks to this waste water treatment system, the COD
The waste water is then treated by an anaerobic process. load to the nearby municipal waste water treatment plant
By means of the downstream lamellar clarifier, thickened was reduced by approx. 500 kg/d. The economic efficien-
sludge is separated and recycled into the anaerobic reactor. cy of the processing plant, compared to the conventional
waste water treatment plant operated in parallel, is achieved
Complete separation of the solid and the liquid phase at a recycling quote of approx. 26 %. The recycling quote
takes place in the down-stream ultrafiltration system really achieved is much higher.
with immersed capillary membranes from the company
ZENON. The membrane installation consists of six cas- The project was promoted by Deutsche Bundesstiftung
settes of the type 500c with a total membrane surface Umwelt (German Federal Foundation for the Environ-
2
area of 2,200 m . Treatment of the higher loaded waste ment) and received in 2002 the Technology Promotion
water by this process combination achieves a reduction Award of the Braunschweig Chamber of Industry and
of the COD concentration of 90 %. After final decoloura- Commerce.
tion with ozone, part of the filtrate from the membrane

190
Membrane Technology in Industrial Waste Water Treatment 3

3.5.4.2 MF

Silk Weaving Mill PONGS

Membrane process Microfiltration

Start-up 2004

Objectives Reuse of the waste water/closure of water, circuits

Membrane surface area 320 m2

Modules Double-decker modules/plate membranes

Permeate volume flow ~ 2.5 m3/h

Pretreatment Vibrating screen

Benefit Expansion of the waste water treatment capacity Savings of costs for fresh water and waste water

discharge

Since 1993, the PONGS Textil GmbH in Mühltroff pro- Due to increasing production and waste water quantities
duces and finishes large-dimensioned special clothes with and the resulting discharge costs, the textile company
a width of up to 6,20 m, among other things. For this pur- was faced in 1999 with the decision either to relocate the
pose, sized warps and weft threads are used. production to another site or to implement a process
concept that ensures waste water treatment in spite of
Before further processing, the raw material is washed to significant load variations and applies the reuse of a large
remove sticking size baths as well as waxes and oils which, part of the treated waste water in the production process.
in general, are hardly biodegradable. The washing tem-
perature is between 60 °C and 95 °C, depending on the With the aim to lower the costs for the upgrading of the
substances sticking to the raw material. existing waste water treatment plant, a concept was devel-

Figure 3-12
Conversion of the waste water treatment plant at PONGS Textil GmbH, left: conversion of the existing
trickling filter to a membrane bioreactor [photo: A3 GMBH 2004], right: new membrane bioreactor
[photo: A3 GMBH 2004]

membran bioreactor

191
3 Membrane Technology in Industrial Waste Water Treatment

oped in 1999 – 2000 that included converting the existing The daily waste water flow to this installation is approx.
trickling filter to a membrane bioreactor. Figure 3-12 shows 60 m3 with COD concentrations from 8,000 mg/L to
the conversion of the old trickling filter to a membrane 15,000 mg/L. The waste water from the company PONGS
bioreactor (left) and the new membrane bioreactor (right). is buffered in a mixing and compensating tank and flows
via a vibrating screen with a molecular separation size of
This membrane bioreactor, realized as cascade, was run 100 µm to the membrane bioreactor stage. The activation
until another capacity enlargement in 2004. It consisted volume is 240 m3. The membrane installation consists of
of two tanks arranged in series which were intensively four double-decker modules (plate membranes) from the
aerated. The second tank was equipped with immersed company A3. The pore size of the membranes is approx.
membrane modules from the company A3. The filtration 0.4 µm, the total membrane surface area is 320 m2.
capacity of the installation could be maintained for six
months without chemical cleaning of the membrane A large part of the treated waste water is reused in the
modules. Depending on process needs, the treated waste production process. The company PONGS has set a treat-
water was used as process water in the textile company ment target of COD concentrations < 200 mg/L for the
or discharged into the sewer system of the municipality. reuse of the treated waste water. This target is attained
with COD effluent concentrations of less than 100 mg/L.
The successful operation of the plant showed that the
treatment of waste water from desizing by membrane
bioreactor processes is technically feasible and also cost-
effective. Enlargement of the capacity, necessary due to
increasing production capacity, was realized in 2004 with
the membrane bioreactor process, too.

Figure 3-13
Flow sheet of the membrane bioreactor of the company PONGS [according to A3 GMBH 2004]

production

sewer
membrane stage system

process
waste water
mixing and
vibrating screen
compensating
100 µm
tank

blower
installation

192
Membrane Technology in Industrial Waste Water Treatment 3

3.5.4.3 MF UF UF RO

Textile Finishing Works Gerhard van Clewe GmbH & Co. KG

Membrane process Microfiltration

Start-up 2001

Objectives Reduction of the costs for waste water discharge and compliance with the requirements for indirect dischargers

Membrane surface area 225 m2

Modules Tube modules

Permeate volume flow 2.5 m3/h

Pretreatment Dosing of liquid polymer and clay minerals to increase the particle size (improvement of the separation capacity)

Membrane process Ultrafiltration, nanofiltration, reverse osmosis

Start-up 1997

Membrane surface area no information

Modules Ceramic tube modules (UF), spiral-wound modules (NF and RO)

Permeate volume flow 12 m3/h in total

Pretreatment Screen filtration (discotrainer) upstream of the ultrafiltration to separate fluff and other coarse particles,

bag filter upstream of nanofiltration

Benefit Saving of process water and reduction of waste water costs

In 1954 the company Gerhard van Clewe has been estab- installation. At operational pressures between 5.5 and 27
lished at Hamminkeln-Dingden. In 1973 the enterprise bar, the permeate output is max. 12 m3 per hour. The per-
was expanded by a dye-works. Today, 190 employees in meate is recycled to the pretreatment stage and the dye-
total are occupied with the finishing of textiles of all types. house.

In textile finishing plants, different process waste waters The three-stage membrane installation which works in
result from the production areas of pretreatment, dyeing, the cross-flow mode serves to treat the partial flow con-
dye preparation, washing machines, and finishing. Their taining the waste water from cotton dyeing and mesh
discharge gives rise to increasing costs. In order to reduce finishing. It comprises the stages ultrafiltration (con-
these costs, the company van Clewe tried at first to reduce struction and calculation by RIK, Dülmen), nanofiltra-
as far as possible the water consumption in the finishing tion and reverse osmosis. To separate fluff and other
process. As a result, the concentrations in the waste water coarse matter, a screen (discotrainer) has been arranged
increased, and it was no longer possible to comply with up-stream. In the ultrafiltration stage (Figure 3-14), cera-
the limit values for AOX and heavy metals for the dis- mic tube modules from the company atech innovations
charge into the municipal waste water treatment plant. gmbh separate fine-particulate and dissolved polymeric
substances from the waste water. The filtrate passes a
Based on the results of a large number of tests with a pilot downstream bag filter (protecting function) before it is fed
plant, a large-scale membrane installation from the com- to the nanofiltration stage. In this stage, decolourization
pany CSM Filtrationssysteme GmbH & Co. KG, Bretten, and partial demineralization are obtained using spiral-
was commissioned in 1996. Following expansion of the wound modules made from synthetic polymer from the
installation in 1997, which was promoted by Deutsche company Osmonics. The largest part of the salt and most
Bundesstiftung Umwelt, Osnabrück, and scientifically as- of the COD load are removed by reverse osmosis using
sisted by the University of Wuppertal, both partial flows spiral-wound modules made from polymer membranes
from the dye-house are fed separately to the membrane (company Osmonics).

193
3 Membrane Technology in Industrial Waste Water Treatment

The second partial flow has a smaller volume and is less permeate volume flow of 2.5 m3 per hour. The tube mod-
polluted. It consists of waste water containing pigment ules are backwashed periodically, and fully-automated
dyes from dye preparation and dye coating, waste water chemical cleaning takes place once a week.
from the tenter driers as well as from the purification of
waste air from the tenter driers. Since the beginning of After reverse osmosis, the permeate is colour-free and
2001, this partial flow is fed to a microfiltration stage contains only 3 % of the original COD load. This quality
after dosing of clay minerals and coagulants to increase is sufficient to reuse the permeate from the membrane
the particle size and to improve the separation capacity. stage (single-stage and three-stage) as process water. Thus
The microfiltration has been designed by MDS Prozess- a recycling rate of up to 50 % of the total waste water
technik GmbH and calculated by the company BKT Burg- amount is obtained. The concentrate from all stages is
gräf GmbH. The installation is equipped with tube mod- evaporated, dried by film driers and discharged into an
ules (Microdyn Modulbau GmbH) made from polymer incineration plant for household waste.
mebranes and works in the cross-flow mode. The mem-
brane surface with an area of 50 m2 in total processes a Only the membranes of the ultrafiltration stage have to
be backwashed every three minutes. With this operating
mode, the ultrafiltration membranes have been in service
Figure 3-14 for seven years without showing loss of capacity (as of
Ultrafiltration installation at the textile finishing August 2005). The service lives of the nanofiltration and
plant van Clewe [BÖTTGER 2001] reverse osmosis membranes are 1.5 years. They have to
be cleaned only on the weekend with special membrane
cleaning agents.

Besides compliance with the standards for indirect dis-


chargers, the membrane installation helps to save about
50 % of the waste water costs by a closed process water
cycle.

194
Membrane Technology in Industrial Waste Water Treatment 3

3.5.5 RO

Fibre Industry, Vulcanized Fibre

Membrane process Reverse osmosis

Start-up 1997

Objectives Cheap alternative for reduction of the rinsing water quantity and treatment of the zinc-dichloride waste water

Membrane surface area 312 m2

Modules Spiral-wound modules

Permeate volume flow 4 m3/h

Pretreatment Prefiltration

Benefit Saving of precipitation agents and flocculants, freshwater, waste water and zinc dichloride

Vulcanized fibre is a versatile material produced from re- Approx. 30,000 m3 of rinse waste water are generated per
newable raw material. It is manufactured from non-glued year in the production process. The waste water was typi-
cotton linters and pulp under the action of a zinc dichlo- cally treated by conventional precipitation and floccula-
ride solution. The material is antistatic, elastic and of low tion processes. The plant was interested in finding alter-
weight. native treatment processes to reduce cost. In a prelimina-
ry study the Research Institute for Water and Waste Ma-
The 50 employees of the Ernst Krüger GmbH & Co. KG nagement (FiW) compared different processes and estab-
at Geldern produce, among other products, seals, guides lished the contact with Amafilter Deutschland GmbH.
for weaving machines and stamped parts from vulcanized
fibre for the car industry, electrical industry and textile Since 1997 not only ultrapure water for rinsing purposes
industry. An important production step is the washing but also a high-quality zinc dichloride solution for the
off of zinc dichloride by several baths connected in series, process bath have been recovered. This is made possible
from which results waste water containing a residual zinc by prefiltration and downstream reverse osmosis
dichloride concentration. (Amafilter Deutschland GmbH), which works continuously

Figure 3-15
Flow sheet of the process water treatment at the vulcanized fibre works GmbH & Co. KG
[AMAFILTER 2001]

water bath lye bath parchmentizing bath 70% ZnCl2

equalization of
losses

5m3/h

evaporator
zinc dichloride
permeate reverse osmosis concentrate
4 m3/h 1m3/h

195
3 Membrane Technology in Industrial Waste Water Treatment

in the effluent of the water bath (Figure 3-15 and Figure Thanks to the financial backing of 50 % by a promotion
3-16). The spiral-wound modules with a total filter sur- program3) of the federal state North-Rhine Westphalia, the
face area of 312 m2 treat a permeate volume flow of 4 m3 installation has been amortized after approx. four years.
per hour, at an operating pressure of 25 bar. Practical
operation has shown that the service life of the mem- The employment of the reverse osmosis installation in
branes is greater than three years (up to six years). When continuous vulcanized fibre production as well as the
the membranes had to replaced for the first time, another integration of other waste water flows and the cooling
type of membrane was chosen which resulted in an water to reverse osmosis have economic and ecological
increase of the capacity. advantages. By closure of the water cycle the waste water
quantity was reduced by 80 % in total, and the freshwa-
The permeate of the reverse osmosis installation has the ter demand by 90 % (about 18,000 m3 per year). Due to
quality of fully demineralized water so that it can be re- this reduced demand, the costs for freshwater conditio-
cycled to the water bath. The brine contains the zinc di- ning (softening of well water) decreased.
chloride which is reused in the lye bath of the production
process. Moreover, precipitation and flocculation agents are saved,
and through targeted recovery the zinc dichloride remains
in the production cycle, which minimizes the additional
demand for this chemical.

3) Promotion program (1997 – 1999) „Initiative ökologische und nachhaltige Wasserwirtschaft NRW“ (Action group Ecological and Sustainable Water

Management) [MURL 1996]

Figure 3-16
Reverse osomosis installation at the vulcanized fibre works Ernst Krüger GmbH & Co. KG [photo: AMAFILTER]

196
Membrane Technology in Industrial Waste Water Treatment 3

3.5.6 UF

Plastics Industry, Troplast

Membrane process Ultrafiltration

Start-up 1998

Objectives Recirculation of the cooling water which has come into contact with the product

Membrane surface area 38 m2

Modules Ceramic tube modules

Permeate volume flow approx. 9.5 m3/h

Pretreatment Coarse filter, screen filter, cartridge filter

Benefit Saving of freshwater and reduction of waste water costs

Since the beginning of the 20th century, special plastic Besides ecological advantages, the installation is also pro-
material has been produced by the company HT Troplast fitable. By reduction of the volume and the closed water
AG in Troisdorf. Today the company has 1,500 employees cycle, waste water costs and groundwater resources are con-
at this location, about 180 of them working in the Trosi- served, as the water consumption is reduced by 75 – 80 %.
fol branch, which produces safety-glass films for the car Moreover, safe and low-maintenance process design has
industry and the building industry. In the course of the contributed to the fact that the installation has been
production process, Trosifol, a flexible film on the basis amortized after 2.5 – 3 years, in spite of the rather high
of polyvinyl butyral resin, is cooled. During this process, investment of 348,000 Euro, which is due to full automa-
undissolved plasticizers (oily) get into the cooling water. tion and corresponding control technology.

To separate the plasticizers from the process water, the


company decided in 1998, after study of various proces- Figure 3-17
ses and discussions with the company Amafilter Deutsch- Ultrafiltration installation at the company
land GmbH, to commission an ultrafiltration installa- HT Troplast AG [photo: HT TROPLAST]
tion with an upstream filter for the separation of coarse
matter (coarse filter, screen filter, cartridge filter). The
ultrafiltration installation is equipped with ceramic tube
modules fro the company atech innovations gmbh and
is completed with a heat exchanger for water cooling
(Figure 3-17).

The membrane surface area with a size of 38 m2 works in


cross-flow mode at an operating pressure of 4 bar and pro-
cesses a feed flow of 10 m3 per hour. 95 % of the inflow
are yielded as filtrate and fed back into the water cycle.
The concentrate is discharged by the waste water system.
The service life of the membranes is expected to be more
than 10 years.

197
3 Membrane Technology in Industrial Waste Water Treatment

3.5.7
Laundries

Waste water from laundries can be loaded with danger- in laundries comprise either a combination of microfil-
ous pollutants. At present, laundry waste water is typical- tration and nanofiltration or a reverse osmosis system
ly discharged with or without previous treatment into [MENGE 2001].
municipal waste water treatment plants. There are still a
few laundries which discharge the waste water without Appendix 55 of the Waste Water Ordinance [ABWV 2002]
treatment into receiving waters [GUTSCH, HEIDENREICH is valid for waste water which is discharged directly into
2001]. For the treatment of low-loaded waste water from a water body and whose pollution load mainly results
laundries (e. g. washing of hospital and hotel textiles), from washing of dirty textiles, carpets, mats and fleeces
which is then recycled, membrane filtration processes are in commercial enterprises and public institutions. For
often used in addition to biological treatment systems waste water from dry cleaning of textiles, carpets and
and their combinations with chemical precipitation products made from fur and leather, Appendix 52 of the
[MENGE 2001]. Installations for closing the water cycle Waste Water Ordinance [ABWV 2002] is valid.

3.5.7.1 UF NF

Laundry Alsco

Membrane process Ultrafiltration

Start-up 2000

Objectives Waste water treatment

Membrane surface area 44 m2

Modules Tube modules

Permeate volume flow 6.5 m3/h

Pretreatment Vibrating screen

Benefit Pretreatment prior to nanofiltration

Membrane process Nanofiltration

Start-up 2000

Objectives Waste water treatment

Membrane surface area 180 m2

Modules Spiral-wound module

Permeate volume flow ~ 6 m3/h

Pretreatment Ultrafiltration

Benefit Savings of costs for freshwater and waste water discharge

198
Membrane Technology in Industrial Waste Water Treatment 3

Since May 2000, the company ALSCO has operated a The waste water of the partial flow “mat cleaning/blue
commercial laundry in Kaiserslautern. To separate the laundry” is collected in an underground tank with a vol-
partial flow, the laundry volume is allocated to special ume of approx. 5 m3. From there it is fed to a vibrating
engine groups which are connected by a pipeline system, sieve to separate fluff and other coarse particles. After
so that the waste water of the partial flows can be col- having passed the vibrating screen, the waste water is
lected and treated separately (Figure 3-18). cooled down to a temperature of 38 °C by a condensation
cooling tower and pumped into an aerated volume com-
The waste water from the partial flow “mat cleaning/blue pensating tank which holds approx. 65 m3. From there it
laundry” consists of 30 m3/d of waste water from blue is fed into the activation reactor which also holds 65 m3.
3
laundry and 45 m /d from mat cleaning. With a working
period of five days per week, the annual waste water quan- After treatment in the activated sludge stage, the
3
tity from “mat cleaning/blue laundry” is 18,750 m /a. waste water and the activated sludge are thickened in the
cross-flow ultrafiltration system to a solid matter content
The partial flow “white laundry”, which comes from the of approx. 4 %. About 10 m3 of wet sludge per month are
washing of work clothes, towels and flatwork, is about discharged to a waste water treatment plant at a local
3
95 m /d. This waste water is collected and fed to a cooling chemical industry.
tower for temperature reduction, followed by neutralisa-
tion by means of CO2. The treated waste water of the The ultrafiltration plant (Figure 3-19) contains four
white laundry is discharged by the sewer system into a pressure pipes with 11 m2 of membrane surface area each
municipal waste water treatment plant. and two empty pipes for future expansion. The mem-
brane modules are equipped with organic tube modules
from the company Berghof with a free duct of 10.2 mm.
The permeate volume flow is approx. 6.5 m3/h.

Figure 3-18
Flow sheet of the waste water treatment process in the laundry ALSCO
[according to WEHRLE UMWELT GMBH 2004]

washing
water white cooling neutrali-
tank sewer system
laundry tower sation

recirculation
process water recycling

volume
blue laundry vibrating cooling biological ultra- nano-
and mats tank compensating
sieve tower reactor filtration filtration
tank

blower
installation
concentrate to
wet sludge the sewer system
concentrate

199
3 Membrane Technology in Industrial Waste Water Treatment

Figure 3-19
Membrane installation in the laundry ALSCO [photos: WEHRLE UMWELT GMBH 2004],
left: ultrafiltration installation, right: complete installation

The COD concentration in the waste water from mat The costs of membrane cleaning have been determined
cleaning/blue laundry is 2,800 mg/L on an average and as approx. 1 – 2 Cent/m3 of waste water.
maximally 5,000 mg/L. The COD concentration in the
permeate from the ultrafiltration system is between 80 The service life of the membranes has been calculated as
and 150 mg/L. AOX compounds do not occur because 4 – 6 years. With a service life of four years, membrane re-
chlorine bleach liquor is not used in the washing process. placement costs of about 0.15 Euro per m3 of waste water
The permeate from the ultrafiltration meets the require- will become necessary.
ments according to Annex 55 of the Waste Water Decree
and can be discharged into the local sewer system. The According to the supplier of the plant (Wehrle Umwelt
specific energy consumption of the ultrafiltration is GmbH), the specific operating costs of the ultrafiltration
approx. 4.0 kWh per m3 of permeate. system as sum of energy-, membrane replacement- and
cleaning costs are approx. 0.40 Euro per m3 of waste
To reduce the fresh water and waste water costs at the water.
laundry, the waste water treated by ultrafiltration is further
treated by nanofiltration and reused as washing water.
The single-stage nanofiltration plant is equipped with
spiral-wound modules from the company Desal. The per-
meate is used again as washing water. The concentrate
flow (10 – 15 m3/d), which meets the requirements for in-
direct dischargers and those made by the local waste water
statutes, is discharged together with the waste water from
the white laundry into the municipal waste water treat-
ment plant.

200
Membrane Technology in Industrial Waste Water Treatment 3

3.5.7.2 UF NF

Textile Service Mewa GmbH

Membrane process Ultrafiltration

Start-up 1998

Objectives Closed washing water circuits

Membrane surface area 60 m2

Modules Ceramic tube modules

Permeate volume flow ~ 4 m3/h

Pretreatment Prefiltration / fluff sieve

Benefit Reduction of the fresh-water demand and savings of detergents

Membrane process Ultrafiltration

Start-up 1998

Objectives Closed washing water circuits

Membrane surface area 135 m2

Modules Spiral-wound modules

Permeate volume flow ~1,5 m3/h

Pretreatment Ultrafiltration

Benefit Reduction of the fresh-water demand

At the site Groß-Kienitz, the textile service Mewa cleans repair shops, etc. On account of legal constraints, the
very dirty work clothes from the industrial branches waste water treatment process had to be upgraded in
metal industry, mechanical engineering firms, motorcar 1997. According to Annex 55 of the Waste Water Ordi-

Figure 3-20
Flow sheet of the treatment plant of Textile Service Mewa GmbH [according to ENVIRO CHEMIE 2004]

ultra-
filtration 2

concentrate
concentrate to
storage
external discharge

feed
buffer and ultra- nano-
prefiltration
precipitation filtration 1 filtration

sewer system

1,5 m3/h 1,5 m3/h


recycling water 1 recycling water 2
for preliminary and for process water
general washing

201
3 Membrane Technology in Industrial Waste Water Treatment

nance, heavy metals and hydrocarbons have to be re- Due to the residual organic load it can be used only to a
moved before the waste water can be discharged into the limited extent in the preliminary and main washing pro-
public sewer system. cesses. However, about 20 % of washing agents can be
saved thanks to the high detergent content in the recyc-
A treatment plant has been run since 1998 at the site of ling water.
3
the laundry. The treatment plant treats 100 m of laundry
waste water per day to such an extent that it can be re- The remaining permeate of the first ultrafiltration stage
used in the washing process. Figure 3-20 shows the flow further treated by a downstream nanofiltration stage con-
sheet of the treatment plant. sisting of spiral-wound modules with a total membrane
surface area of 135 m2 (Figure 3-22)
After having passed a prefiltration and precipitation stage,
the waste water flows into the first ultrafiltration stage About 1.5 m3 of permeate are produced per hour (recyc-
which consists of six modules with 47 ceramic bars each ling water 2). The recycling water 2 is treated to such an
(Figure 3-21) extent (see Table 3-4) that it can be used for rinsing pur-
poses in the main washing process. Thus the freshwater
By filtration over the total membrane surface area of demand is lowered.
approx. 60 m2, a permeate volume flow of approx. 4 m3/h
is attained. About 30 % of the permeate volume flow of With this multi-stage waste water treatment process, the
the ultrafiltration plant is reused as recycling water 1. total recycling efficiency of the waste water volume flow
The quality required for the recycling water 1 is COD < is approx. 70 %.
1,000 mg/l and a residual mineral oil content of < 20 mg/L.

Figure 3-21 Figure 3-22


Ultrafiltration plant at Textile Service Mewa Nanofiltration plant at Textile Service Mewa
[photo: ENVIRO CHEMIE 2004] [photo: ENVIRO CHEMIE 2004]

202
Membrane Technology in Industrial Waste Water Treatment 3

Table 3-4
Quality of the recycling water 2 [Enviro Chemie 2004]

Parameter Unit Concentration

COD mg/L 100

Conductivity µs/cm 500

Bacteria colony-forming units/mL 100

3.5.8
Metal Processing Industry

In the metal processing industry, metal surfaces and also Lowering the costs for discharge and raw material is the
non-metal surfaces (as far as they become metallized) are primary motive of an enterprise to buy an internal pro-
treated by aqueous solution, emulsions, slimes, and also cess- or waste water treatment plant which at the same
fused salts (mechanically, chemically, electrochemically time contributes to protect the environment. A possible
and thermally). The various waste waters resulting from solution to reduce the waste water quantity to be dis-
these processes are mainly loaded with inorganic pollu- charged and, with this, the discharge costs is the treat-
tants and characterized by their high metal content. In ment, i. e. concentration of the liquid waste by membrane
addition, they contain organic substances such as mine- filtration and vacuum evaporation [SPECHT 1997]. The
ral oils (especially found in cutting fluids), varnish com- resulting permeate may be recycled and used again in the
ponents, mineral greases, chlorinated hydrocarbons and process. If permeate and concentrate are completely re-
other solvents. used, the process is waste-water-free. However, it is not
possible to achieve waste-water-free operation “off the
For the discharge of waste water from the metal industry, peg”, because treatment techniques as well as auxiliary
Appendix 40 of the Waste Water Ordinance [ABWV 2002] material used in production, e. g. cleaning agents, have
as well as the requirements of the municipal statutes and to be coordinated and adapted to the production facili-
the Ordinance on Indirect Discharges are valid. Compli- ties [SPECHT 1997]. Comprehensive preliminary tests
ance with the limit values is only possible after internal help to avoid mistakes and to save costs.
treatment of the process waste waters, otherwise they
have to be discharged as hazardous waste, which is rather
expensive.

203
3 Membrane Technology in Industrial Waste Water Treatment

3.5.8.1 UF

Metal Processing Industry


Rasselstein Hoesch GmbH

Membrane process Ultrafiltration

Start-up 1999

Objectives Reduction of the palm oil load in the waste water, i. e. the number of cleanings of the degreasing

facility and of new preparations of the degreasing baths are reduced

Membrane surface area 4.56 m2

Modules Ceramic tube modules

Feed volume flow 1 m3/h (approx. 90 % of the feed are yielded as filtrate)

Pretreatment none

Benefit Saving of freshwater and chemicals, reduction of the waste water quantity and of the discharge costs

The Rasselstein Hoesch GmbH with its headquarters at The filtrate (about 90 % of the feed) is recycled as clean
Andernach and production works at Andernach and Dort- degreasing solution directly into the bath, while the con-
mund holds a top position among the European tinplate centrate is fed to rolling grease treatment and afterwards
producers. Tinplate is cold-rolled blackplate with a thick- discharged thermally.
ness between 0.12 mm and max. 0.49 mm, which is main-
ly used as packaging material. After some initial operating problems, the advantages of
the installation became evident: With constant process
In the cold-rolling process, palm oil is used which has to bath quality, the waste water quantity is reduced thanks
be removed before further processing by a degreasing to recirculation of 9 m3 per hour. In addition, drinking
process. The waste water from this process is organically water and chemicals are conserved. Also, the COD load is
loaded due to the palm oil. This waste and the waste reduced by 24 % and with this the discharge costs. Accord-
water from the cleaning of the degreasing facility, which ing to calculations, the total investment of 358,000 Euro
is necessary in regular intervals, and the new preparation will be amortized after 1.5 years.
of the degreasing bath require considerable quantities of
degreasing agents.
Figure 3-23
These were the reasons for commissioning in 1999 an Ultrafiltration installation at the company
ultrafiltration installation (Figure 3-23), in cooperation Rasselstein Hoesch [photo: MFT GMBH]
with the company Membran-Filtrations-Technik-GmbH
(MFT). Ceramic tube modules working at an operating
pressure between 6 and 8 bar remove the palm oil from
the degreasing baths. The ultrafiltration membrane with
a surface area of 4.56 m2 processes a feed flow of 1 m3 per
hour. It is cleaned automatically after 120 hours (using at
first alkaline, then acid products, followed by backwash-
ing with water). The installation has been operating now
for 1.5 years (as of June 2001); the service life of the
membranes is expected to be five years.

204
Membrane Technology in Industrial Waste Water Treatment 3

3.5.8.2 UF

Metal Processing Industry


Faurecia, Bertrand Faure Sitztechnik GmbH & Co. KG

Membrane process Ultrafiltration

Start-up October 2000

Objectives Saving of costs by extension of the service life of the degreasing baths and ensuring of a constant product

quality

Membrane surface area 1.1 m2

Modules Flat membranes wound on support structures made from high-grade steel

Permeate volume flow 0.3 m3/h

Pretreatment Grease and oil separation

Benefit Saving of freshwater, waste water and degreasing chemicals as well as reduction of waste water levies

The company Faurecia Autositze GmbH & Co. KG has de- The flat plastic membranes with a molecular separation
veloped into an international business group which sup- size of 30.000 Dalton are wound on supporting structures
plies the car industry. Today the Faurecia group has about made from high-grade steel. The total filter surface area is
100 works in 25 countries. In the works Stadthagen, about 1.1 m2 and processes a filtrate flow of 0.3 m3 per hour, at
800 employees produce metal fittings and seat components an operating pressure of 2 bar. The membranes are cleaned
(seat- and seat back frameworks) for the car industry. twice a week and replaced after approx. 12 months. Since
the filtrate is recycled into the production process, only
Cathodic dip coating of the frameworks requires upstream the concentrate has to be discharged. With this operating
degreasing by special chemicals. The impurities removed mode, the service life of the degreasing baths was extended
from the metal surfaces enter the degreasing bath and con- from two weeks to six months.
tinuously reduce the cleaning efficiency, until the clean-
ing effect is no longer sufficient. At this stage, the degreas-
ing bath has to be replaced. Figure 3-24
Ultrafiltration installation at the company Faure-
In order to save costs by prolongation of the service life cia, Bertrand Faure Sitztechnik GmbH & Co. KG
of the degreasing baths and to ensure a constant product [KASTEN 2001]
quality, the company Faurecia decided to use a process
combination with membrane technology. The waste water
from the degreasing of the seat frameworks is pretreated
in a tank in which fats and oils float, and heavy pollu-
tants as well as metal sludges are collected and separated
weekly via a special discharger. After a retention time of
three hours, the oil content in the oil-water mixture drops
to 0.2 %. The mixture is then fed to the ultrafiltration in-
stallation built by the company Atec Automatisierungs-
technik GmbH (Figure 3-24).

Since October 2000, the ultrafiltration installation sepa-


rates more oil quantities by means of a patent-protected
cross-flow process using agitators (Atec-Overflow-System).

205
3 Membrane Technology in Industrial Waste Water Treatment

Besides its ecological advantages, the ultrafiltration in- 90 %, and the discharge costs were reduced by 90 %, so
stallation provides also economic benefit by saving de- that the installation will be amortized after less than two
greasing chemicals, water and waste water. The demand years, according to the calculation of the person respon-
for chemicals was reduced by 85 %, the water demand by sible for surface- and environmental technology.

3.5.8.3
Metal Processing Industry
Electroplating Enterprise Rudolf Jatzke

Membrane process Membrane electrolysis

Start-up 1993

Objectives Extension of the service life of the electrolytic solution and reduction of the demand for chemicals
1)
Membrane surface area approx. 0.25 m2

Modules 2 cells per dialysator (standard)

Permeate volume flow no information

Pretreatment none

Benefit Saving of freshwater, reduction of the demand for chemicals, reduction of the heavy-metal sludge quantity

1) The output of the chromium dialysator is not a function of the membrane surface area, but of the current quantity (the current density being the limiting

factor). If the current becomes too great, the membrane is destroyed.

In the electroplating enterprise Rudolf Jatzke at Bielefeld- water-free, as it serves to recover iron and to oxidize chro-
Sennestadt, managed since 1979 by the owner Klaus mium. Thanks to this installation by the company Ato-
Wickbold, 14 employees work in the field of hard chro- tech, the service life of the chromium baths is theoreti-
mium plating. The work pieces, partly special models for cally unlimited.
customers from all branches, are protected by chromium-
plating against wear and corrosion. During this process, In membrane electrolysis, a transport of charged parti-
metal cations, especially iron and chromium(III), are cles through ion-selective membranes as well as electrode
removed by etching from the surface of the workpiece reactions such as reduction or oxidation take place (see
and get into the electrolyte. This has negative effects on Figure 3-25).
the quality and requires continuous cleaning or regular
discharge and new preparation of the highly toxic solu- The ion-selective membrane separates the anolyte (chro-
tions. mic acid) from the catholyte (polycarboxylic acid). Only
the cations, e. g. metallic impurities, are able to pass the
Up to now, a cation exchanger had been used to treat the membrane. Due to the potential applied, the cations are
solutions, resulting in large quantities of waste water with transported through the membrane to the cathode where
a heavy-metal load whose discharge required again large they are reduced and separated as metal. At the same time
quantities of chemicals. For this reason a membrane elec- the chromium (Cr 3+) reduced during the chromizing pro-
trolysis installation (called chromium dialysator) has been cess is oxidized at the anode (Cr 6+) and recycled. Since
developed in cooperation with the University of Bielefeld this oxidation process goes faster than the ion transport
and later with the University and Polytechnic of Pader- to the cathode, only a very small part of the chromium
born, promoted by Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt, Os- passes the membrane.
nabrück. This plant has been operating since 1993 waste-

206
Membrane Technology in Industrial Waste Water Treatment 3

Figure 3-25
Mode of operation of the electrolysis membrane
[SCHMIDT 2002]

cathode
anode

Fe3+
Cu2+

metallic pollutions
Cr 6+ Zn2+
Cr 3+ Ni2+
(Cr3+)

chromium bath (anolyt)

membrane

Compared to the cation exchange installation used be-


fore, the yearly water de-mand is reduced by 28,000 m3
and the demand for chemicals by 25,000 kg. Only 750 kg
of harmless citric acid are used instead of 10,000 L of sul-
phuric acid. Also, 7.5 t of heavy-metal sludge are avoided.
Besides these environmentally relevant advantages, a re-
duction of the annual power consumption by 10 % results
from the conversion to continuous coating processes,
which also results in improved product quality.

In 1997, a European patent was issued for the membrane


electrolysis process. Membrane electrolysis is not only
applicable for chromium baths, but also for a large num-
ber of other processes (chromatizing, pickling).

In addition to the membrane electrolysis installation, the


company Jatzke is equipped with a computer-controlled
water cycle and vacuum evaporation system for the rins-
ing water. In 2000, the company Jatzke received the first
price of the Effizienz-Agentur NRW (EFA) for production-
integrated environmental protection.

207
3 Membrane Technology in Industrial Waste Water Treatment

3.5.8.4 UF RO

Metal Processing Industry, Wieland Werke AG

Membrane process Ultrafiltration

Start-up 1998

Objectives Water saving

Membrane surface area 44 m2

Modules Capillary modules

Permeate volume flow up to 6 m3/h

Pretreatment Paper belt-, cartridge filter

Benefit Saving of freshwater and reduction of the waste water quantity

Membrane process Reverse osmosis

Start-up 2001

Objectives Water savings

Modules Cushion modules

Permeate volume flow approx. 24 m3/d

Pretreatment Ultrafiltration

Benefit Savings of completely demineralized water and reduction of the waste water quantity

The works Langenberg of the Wieland-Werke AG is a cold- technik (CMU), Neuss, and der RWW Wassertechnologie
rolling mill where 361 employees are occupied with the GmbH, Nettetal, and with a financial subsidy from the
processing of rough-rolled belts from copper and copper Land Nord-Rhine Westphalia4). According to this concept,
alloys to finished high-grade products (including for the the waste water from the brushing machines is treated by
electronics industry). ultrafiltration in dead-end mode, after having passed a
paper belt- and a cartridge filter. Each of the four brushing
After each rolling process, the belts are given the neces- machines integrated into this concept forms an internal
sary characteristics in annealing installations and acid- “local” water cycle with an ultrafiltration installation
treatment plants. Afterwards the surface of the belts is (Figure 3-26). The capillary modules from X-Flow have a
cleaned mechanically by brushing machines. In the past, total filter surface area of 44 m2 and produce up to 6 m2
the waste water from these brushing machines (about of filtrate per hour, at a transmembrane pressure of up to
3
80 m /h) was treated jointly with other process waste max. 1 bar. The filtrate is reused in the brushing machines.
waters by neutralisation, precipitation/flocculation and
gravel filtration. A partial flow was recycled into the pro- The particle-containing water (0.5 m3/h per installation)
cess. In this configuration, 46 m3/h of waste water still from backwashing of the ultrafiltration is fed into the
have to be discharged into the public sewer system and internal water cycle. With this, the water quantity in this
have to be replaced by freshwater from a river. cycle as well as the freshwater demand and the consump-
tion of neutralization and precipitation agents is reduced
In 1998, a concept for water saving was realized in the by 60 %. The resulting sludge, which contains copper, is
works Langenberg which had been tested before in detail. used in the iron and steel industry.
This was done in cooperation with the company Dr.-Ing.
Peters Consulting für Membrantechnologie und Umwelt-

4) Development program (1997-1999) “Action group for ecological and sustainable water management NRW“

208
Membrane Technology in Industrial Waste Water Treatment 3

Figure 3-26 The enterprise described above is the first cold-rolling


Ultrafiltration installation at the works Werk mill for non-ferrous metals which uses ultrafiltration in
Langenberg of Wieland Werke AG [MUNLV 2001] dead-end operation and low-pressure reverse osmosis.
The use of these methods represents an improvement in
the state of the art for this field.

The environmentally relevant investments (229,800 Euro,


with a subsidy of the Land NRW of 100,000 Euro) are
profitable: Besides the waste water quantity which now is
only approx. 4 m3 per hour, the water consumption, too,
was clearly reduced (by up to 90 %) by internal recircula-
tion. Moreover, by ultrafiltration as well as low-pressure
reverse osmosis the particular and dissolved substances
are removed as far as possible from the individual water
cycles, so that the surfaces of the final products are of
constant high purity.

After successful conclusion of a pilot test for the demine-


ralization of the filtrate from these ultrafiltration installa-
tions by low-pressure reverse osmosis, which was assisted
by ROCHEM UF-Systeme GmbH, Hamburg, and CMU,
Neuss, the water cycles at the brushing machines were
expanded in 2001 by corresponding RO installations.
These are equipped with the FM (flat membrane) module
(cushion module). The permeate is deionized as far as
possible so that completely deionized water, which is
very expensive, for the rewashing process can be saved.

209
3 Membrane Technology in Industrial Waste Water Treatment

3.5.9
Treatment of Waste Water from Car Painting

3.5.9.1 UF

Treatment of Waste Water from Car Painting, DaimlerChrysler AG

Membrane process Ultrafiltration

Start-up 1998

Objectives Reduction of the discharge costs for paint sludges

Membrane surface area 30 m2

Modules Plate modules

Permeate volume flow 1.0 – 1.4 m3/h

Pretreatment Prefiltration, chemical conditioning

Benefit Saving of paint, reduction of hauls because paint sludge is no longer produced

In the DaimlerChrysler AG plant in Düsseldorf, 5,400 the car body and had to be discharged at high costs as
employees are occupied with the production of goods flocculated and dewatered paint sludge.
vehicles. The car bodies are painted by applying three
layers, each applied in a separate process. The second By conversion of the painting process, the percentage of
paint layer, the so-called filler, absorbs rockfalls and overspray was clearly reduced. At the same time, a water-
equalizes small anomalies in the bodywork. soluble paint was used which is applied in a closed cycle
and a paint recycling process.
In former times, the filler was sprayed on the car body
using a pressure-driven manual system. With this proce- The recycling installation from the company Eisenmann
dure, half of the paint ended up as “overspray” beside Lacktechnik KG for water-soluble paint has been in ope-
ration since 1998. The ultrafiltration installation is an
important component of the process along with prefiltra-
Figure 3-27 tion and chemical conditioning (Figure 3-27). Plate mod-
Ultrafiltration installation in the DaimlerChrysler ules made of polymer membranes (company Rhodia)
works at Düsseldorf [HARMEL 2001] separate the paint particles from the water phase at an
operating pressure of between 3.5 and 4.5 bar.

Depending on the solid matter content, the membrane


surface area of 30 m2 processes a permeate flow of 1,060
to 1,400 L/h. The membranes are backwashed after one
or two weeks and cleaned chemically once a year. 10 % of
the membrane surface area is replaced per year. The fil-
trate is used to improve the quality of the circulating
water in the system, while the concentrate is reused as
recycled paint for the painting of car bodies.

The use of membrane technology for paint recycling


shows that ecological advantages may also be of econo-
mic benefit. Thanks to reprocessing, about 30 tons of

210
Membrane Technology in Industrial Waste Water Treatment 3

paint are saved per year. Moreover, the discharge of the vant aspects, these savings are so great that the invest-
50 tons of paint sludge (70 % of this paint line) produced ment of nearly 358,000 Euro will be amortized probably
up to now is no longer necessary, which means that dis- after 3.5 years.
posal costs are saved. Besides the environmentally rele-

3.5.9.2 NF

Treatment of Paint Waste Water from the Production of Spare Parts in the Ford Works, Cologne

Membrane process Nanofiltration

Start-up 2001

Objectives Recycling of valuable substances, Reuse of the permeate and the concentrate in the production process

Membrane surface area No information

Modules No information

Permeate volume flow ~ 2 m3/h

Pretreatment Fine screen

Benefit Reduced fresh-water consumption, lower waste water loads, reduced chemicals cost, lower total costs

Figure 3-28
Flow sheet of paint-spraying [IMB + FRINGS WATERSYSTEMS GMBH 2004]

1st step: degreasing 2nd step: phospating 3rd step: painting

car components to be painted

degreasing rinsing baths phospating rinsing baths cathodic rinsing baths


dipcoat

UF NF
RO UF

concentrate for discharge

211
3 Membrane Technology in Industrial Waste Water Treatment

Figure 3-29 After degreasing, the car components are phosphated and
Nanofiltration plant at the Ford works Cologne then flushed. The process waste water from flushing have
[photo: IMB + FRINGS WATERSYSTEMS GMBH 2004] been treated since 2001 by a nanofiltration plant. One
objective is the recycling of heavy metals and phosphates.
Thus, the concentrate is used as replenisher for phosphat-
ing. The permeate is used with additives to flush the car
components after degreasing. Approximately 2 m3/h of
process waste water is treated by the nanofiltration plant
(Figure 3-29). The service life of the membranes is approx.
3 years.

Thanks to the operation of the nanofiltration plant, fresh-


water and chemical consumption were lowered and the
waste water load was reduced. The total costs of the pro-
cess were lowered by 15 %.

The process concept presented above comprises as a final


step the recirculation of the anolyte in paint-spraying
(cathodic dipcoat) by single- or multistage reverse osmo-
Especially in the car industry it is useful to treat and to sis and the prolongation of the service life of the dipcoat
recycle single process water flows because small volume bathes by treatment of the liquid by means of an ultrafil-
flows can be treated effectively and valuable substances tration plant. The realization of these measures for further
can be recovered. These valuable substances are found, reduction of the fresh-water and chemical demand is in
among other places, in the process water flows resulting the planning stage.
from the paint-spraying of car components.

The company imb+frings watersystems gmbH has devel-


oped in cooperation with Henkel Surface Technologies a
process concept for the recycling of water and valuable
substances from paint-spraying for the Ford works in
Cologne. The concept provides separate treatment for
each of the process water flows from degreasing, phos-
phating and paint-spraying (Figure 3-28). The treatment
of waste water from phosphating by nanofiltration
has been already implemented.

The process waste water from the degreasing bath for


cleaning of the car parts are treated by an ultrafiltration
plant. The permeate is used for flushing. Thus the fresh-
water and chemicals consumption can be reduced. The
concentrate is discharged as waste water.

212
Membrane Technology in Industrial Waste Water Treatment 3

3.5.10 UF

Pharmaceutical Industry, Schering

Membrane process Ultrafiltration

Start-up 2003

Objectives Optimized waste water treatment according to the state of the art

Membrane surface area 15,840 m2

Modules Cassettes/capillary membranes

Permeate volume flow ~ 150 m3/h

Pretreatment Primary settling

Benefit Reduction of waste water disposal costs

The foundations for the company Schering were laid in To ensure waste water treatment according to the state of
1851 by Ernst Schering who opened the “Green Pharma- the art and satisfying the quality requirements of the re-
cy” in the north of Berlin. Today Schering AG employs ceiving water body, Schering AG tested the possibility of
approx. 26,000 people in 140 subsidiaries in the develop- an industrial waste water pretreatment plant with mem-
ment and production of drugs as a main field of activity. brane bioreactor technology. This process turned out to
be economically end ecologically efficient. The membrane
At the Bergkamen site, active agents are made as a basis installation, which is nationwide the largest for the treat-
of drug production. Due to changing batch production, ment of industrial waste water, has been in operation since
the composition of the waste water varies depending on 2003 (see Figure 3-30). Since 1st July 2004, the treated
the production process. Until 2003, the waste water was waste water has been discharged directly.
temporarily stored after pretreatment in a mixing and
equalizing tank and then discharged into the nearby The membrane bioreactor at the Bergkamen site treats on
municipal waste water treatment plant. average 3,500 m3 of waste water per day. Its composition
is presented in Table 3-5.

Figure 3-30
Aerial photograph of the waste water treatment plant at Schering AG [photos: SCHERING AG 2004],
left: general view, right: side view of the membrane installation

213
3 Membrane Technology in Industrial Waste Water Treatment

Table 3-5
Inflow values, effluent requirements and operating values of the plant [SCHERING AG 2004]

Parameter Unit Inflow (mean values) Effluent requirements* Operating values

COD mg/l 3,500 > 90 % reduction compliance with the requirements

BOD5 mg/l 1,500 below detection limit

Ntot mg/l 95 < 50 mg/l compliance with the requirements

Ptot mg/l 8 < 2 mg/l compliance with the requirements

* according to Annex 22 of the Waste Water Ordinance

Figure 3-31
Flow sheet of the waste water treatment plant [according to SCHERING AG 2004]

membrane stage

denitri- nitri-
fication fication

neutralisation
and primary waste water
waste water treatment stage buffer tank

receiving
water

emergency
catch
basin

recirculation
sludge
excess sludge storage

Figure 3-31 shows the flow sheet of the waste water treat- The three-line activated sludge stage with a total volume
ment. The first stage consists of to primary settling tanks of 9,000 m3 is realized with upstream denitrification and
connected in series with a volume of 1,000 m3 each. They nitrification, followed by the membrane installation with
serve to neutralize the waste water, to dose precipitants four lines. The membrane installation consists of 36 mem-
and flocculants and to separate solids and precipitation brane cassettes of the type ZW 500c from the company
products. ZENON (Figure 3-32). It has a total membrane surface
area of 15,840 m2. After membrane filtration, the treated
waste water is discharged into the receiving water.

214
Membrane Technology in Industrial Waste Water Treatment 3

Two aerated sludge storage tanks with a total volume of Figure 3-32
3
1,700 m have been built to manage the excess sludge. Optical inspection of a membrane module
Three tanks with a total volume of 20,500 m3 are available [photo: SCHERING AG 2004]
as emergency catch basins.

The investments for the new construction of the plant,


which mainly comprised the activated sludge tanks and
the membrane installation, were approx. 10 million Euro,
1.6 million Euro of which had been granted as funds by
the state North-Rhine Westphalia.

3.5.11
Miscellaneous

3.5.11.1
Landfill Leachate

Besides gas and odour, landfill leachate is one of the main • the combination of a biological stage and oxidation or
emissions from landfills for municipal waste. During the activated carbon (Figure 3-33) and
amendment of the Federal Water Act in 1986, it has been
defined for the first time as “waste water which has to be • the combination of reverse osmosis, high-pressure re-
treated” [HENSS, OPITZER 1995]. In general it is highly verse osmosis; if necessary nanofiltration and discharge
polluted by organic and inorganic matter, and the load of the residues.
may vary considerably over the life of the landfill.
Besides these process variations, others are also used, e. g.
Various processes and process combinations exist for the the extension of the biological pretreatment stage (from
treatment of landfill leachate [ATV 1993, VDMA 1994] to the first bullet) by an integrated membrane stage.
produce a permeate which can be discharged without
restriction (Waste Water Ordinance, Appendix 51 [ABWV The reverse osmosis process belongs to the state of the
2002]). Often a single process is not sufficient to achieve art in leachate treatment [ATV 1993]. Many years of con-
the desired result. tinuous operation of numerous large-scale installations
prove that the organic and inorganic constituents present
During the last years, two process combinations for the in dissolved form in the leachate can be separated by 98 –
treatment and processing of landfill leachate have domi- 99 % with the help of reverse osmosis, at relatively low
nated [PETERS 1996]: expense, if modules and installation systems are adapted

215
3 Membrane Technology in Industrial Waste Water Treatment

Figure 3-33
Process combination according to the state of the art for the treatment of landfill leachate
without using membrane processes [ROSENWINKEL, BAUMGARTEN 1998]

energy
excess sludge

oxidation (ozon)
raw leachate
biological pretreatment treated leachate
activated carbon

carbon source regeneration

Figure 3-34
Process combination according to the state of the art for the treatment of landfill leachate
using membrane processes with and without biological pretreatment
[completed according to ROSENWINKEL, BAUMGARTEN 1998]

controlled infiltration into the landfill body,


for a certain time and locally limited

concentrate

incineration
oxidation evaporation
residue
activated carbon drying
integration

recycling elimination

raw leachate membrane process


biological pretreatment treated leachate
(reverse osmosis/nanofiltration)

controlled infiltration into the landfill body,


for a certain time and locally limited
residue
concentrate
nitrogen
compound nitrogen evaporation incineration
residue
removal activated carbon integration

recycling elimination

raw leachate membrane process


gravel filter treated leachate
(reverse osmosis)

216
Membrane Technology in Industrial Waste Water Treatment 3

to the specific problem [PETERS 1998, PETERS 2000]. Using membrane technology, there are three alternative
Operating results obtained with semi-industrial and large- strategies for managing the leachate concentrates
scale membrane installations for leachate treatment have [PETERS 2000]:
been documented and analyzed by BAUMGARTEN [1998].
Studies realized by THEILEN [2000] have shown that a • incineration of the concentrate in installations which
combination of conventional filtration (bag or cartridge are especially equipped and certified for the discharge
filter) and one or two membrane stages is very well suited of high-loaded liquids,
for the treatment of raw leachate. By means of a first mem-
brane stage (e. g. cushion or tube modules) and a second • integration of the concentrate into various materials,
stage which is possibly required (cushion or spiral-wound followed by deposition of the dry residues on the land-
modules), a permeate is produced from the high-loaded fill,
leachate which has nearly surface water quality. Figure
3-34 presents process combinations for the treatment of • controlled infiltration of the concentrate into the land-
landfill leachate using membrane processes (reverse osmo- fill body (for a certain period and locally limited) in
sis, nanofiltration) with and without biological pretreat- order to improve the biochemical degradation process
ment according to the state of art. of the organic waste and to accelerate the immobilisa-
tion of the organic material.
However, in leachate treatment, too, membrane processes
meet with their limits due to the development of irrevers- The third alternative leads to an increase of the gas pro-
ible covering layers. Since the leachate matrix is very duction and, with this, to accelerated reduction of the
complex, these process limitations cannot be determined organic material in a landfill. Comprehensive studies as
on the basis of analytical results, but have to be deter- well as knowledge acquired from many years of experi-
mined onsite for each individual leachate [ROSENWINKEL, ence confirm that over the long term no noticeable
BAUMGARTEN 1998]. changes in the leachate quality are observed [PETERS
2000].

217
3 Membrane Technology in Industrial Waste Water Treatment

3.5.11.1.1 RO

Alsdorf-Warden Landfill

Membrane process Two-stage: reverse osmosis, high-pressure reverse osmosis

Start-up 1999

Objectives Treatment of the leachate, and thus protection of the landfill

Membrane surfacee area approx. 460 m2

Modules Disc tube modules

Permeate volume flow approx. 4.8 m3/h

Pretreatment Gravel filter for separation of coarse matter and gravel filter

Benefit Ensuring of the leachate treatment

The company Abfallwirtschaft Kreis und Stadt Aachen The two-stage reverse osmosis installation (Figure 3-35)
GmbH (AWA) (Waste Management for the District and for leachate treatment is owned and operated since 1995
the City of Aachen) operates the central landfill Alsdorf- by the company Pall.
Warden (commissioned in 1976), where only inorganic
waste is deposited. Within the scope of its capacity, the Both stages are equipped with so-called DT modules (disc
central landfill also accepts inert material from external tube modules) from the company Pall. To protect the
corporations. installation, a gravel filter for the separation of coarse
matter and a cartridge filter are arranged upstream. The
For leachate treatment, two installations are used. One of installation comprises 60 modules in total, 44 of which
them is a two-stage reverse osmosis installation which is are used in the leachate stage, 13 in the first concentrate
described in the following. stage (120 bar) and 3 in the second concentrate stage
(150 bar). Each module has a membrane surface area of
approx. 7.6 m2, so that a total membrane surface area of
Figure 3-35 about 460 m2 is available. At present, 5 m3 of leachate are
Reverse osmosis installation at the landfill Alsdorf- treated per hour, 92 – 95 % of which is yielded as per-
Warden [MAURER 2001] meate. The permeate is fed to the waste water treatment
plant, and the brine is discharged externally.

The membranes used are composite membranes with an


active layer from polyamide (Figure 3-36). Cleaning of
the membranes is required once or twice a week. Replace-
ment of the membrane has not yet been necessary since
starting up the installation.

Landfill leachate is treated exclusively for ecological rea-


sons. Thus the benefit of the two-stage reverse osmosis
system is ensuring environmentally oriented operation
and possible aftercare of the landfill.

218
Membrane Technology in Industrial Waste Water Treatment 3

Figure 3-36
Structure of the composite membrane [MAURER 2001]

ultra-thin active layer


from modified polyamide

microporous intermediate layer


from polysulfone

0,2 µm

40 µm

supporting
fabric from 120 µm
polyester

In North-Rhine Westphalia there are many other sites


(e. g. Essen, Cologne, Mönchengladbach) where landfill
leachate is treated by membrane technology and biologi-
cal treatment or other processes (e. g. adsorption on acti-
vated carbon).

219
3 Membrane Technology in Industrial Waste Water Treatment

3.5.11.2 MF

Fish Hatchery

Membrane process Microfiltration

Start-up 2004, pilot plant

Objectives Reuse of the waste water / closure of water circuits

Membrane surface area 21 m2

Modules One-decker plate modules

Permeate volume flow ~ max. 8 m3/h

Pretreatment Not necessary

Benefit Savings of costs for fresh water and waste water discharge

Since the middle of the seventies, considerable efforts module consisting of 35 filter plates with a total filter
have been made in the field of fresh-water aquaculture to surface area of 21 m2. The pore size of the membranes is
develop innovative, non-polluting and resource-conserv- 0.4 µm. Below the filter module, air exhaust devices are
ing technologies for economic and environmentally arranged which serve to clean the filter surface area and
compatible intensive fish hatchery The development of to supply the sludge with oxygen. A second module exists
so-called closed-circuit plants was of special importance. which can be used to double the filter surface area.
Since the middle of the nineties, the membrane bioreac-
tor technology has been available as an innovative pro- To ensure an internal sludge circuit between nitrification
cess for the realization of closed-circuit plants. The suita- and denitrification, the circulation pump feeds sludge
bility of this process for the treatment of waste water from from the filter tank into the denitrification stage.
fish hatcheries was confirmed by studies with a pilot plant
membrane bioreactor (see Figure 3-37) that was installed The permeate pump sucks the treated water through the
on the test facility of the Umweltbundesamt at Berlin- membranes and recycles it into the fish hatchery tank.
Marienfelde. The pump operates constantly, apart from regular pauses
serving for better cleaning of the filter surface areas. The
The pilot plant consists of a tank for fish hatchery, which water exchange rate for the fish hatchery tank is deter-
is approx. 4 m high and made from fibreglass-reinforced mined by the turn-on and pause times of the pump and
plastic, and the treatment plant. A pump feeds the water on the volume flow which can be chosen between 1 and
together with the settled sediment (throughput: 1.7 L/s) 8 m3/d.
in intervals from the tank into the denitrification stage,
which consists of three PE tanks equipped with agitators. The excess sludge and the waste water flow from the fish
The volume of the denitrification stage can be adjusted hatchery tank which is not recycled are discharged into
to satisfy the requirements of the test operation by a ver- the waste water treatment plant.
tically adjustable overflow. Thus, the volume in the deni-
trification stage can be varied between 0.4 and 1.4 m3. The work up to market maturity is continued in a project
Nitrification takes place in the membrane stage with a of Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt (DBU) (German Fede-
volume of approx. 1 m3. This tank contains the membrane ral Foundation Environment).

220
Membrane Technology in Industrial Waste Water Treatment 3

Figure 3-37
Flow sheet of a circuit installation for the treatment of waste water from fish hatchery
[UMWELTBUNDESAMT 2004]

fresh water recycling flow


tank

membrane stage
nitrification stage

denitrification stage
waste water to
treatment plant DN 1 DN 2 DN 3 excess sludge

blower
installation
recirculation

3.5.11.3 UF

Power Stations, Dresden Gas and Steam Turbine Heating Power Station (GuD)

Membrane process Ultrafiltration

Start-up 1996

Objectives Cleaning of oil-contaminated cooling water or heating circuits by separation of emulsified oil from the

circuit water by means of ultrafiltration

Membrane surface area 15.2 m2

Modules Ceramic multichannel elements

Filtrate volume flow Up to 2.5 m3/h

Pretreatment Cartridge filter < 1 µm

Benefit Rehabilitation of the cooling or heating capacity of oil-contaminated cooling or heating circuits

without downtimes of the power station

The Dresden gas and steam turbine heating power station, branched intermediate cooling water system of the power
Nossener Brücke, was built in 1995. It has an electric out- station. This free oil has deposited at different heat-ex-
put of 270 MW, a thermal output of 455 MW of heating changing surfaces which resulted in deterioration of the
water and 25 MW of steam. Since 1997 the power station heat transfer and thus of the cooling performance of in-
belongs to the DREWAG. In the middle of the operating dividual pieces of equipment.
year 1996, turbine oil got into the long-winded and

221
3 Membrane Technology in Industrial Waste Water Treatment

Exchange of the cooling water quantity of approx. 90 m3 A RÖKU plant is conceived as a mobile unit and can be
and flushing of the cooling water system would not have adapted with high flexibility to the local condition. It
been sufficient to clean the cooling system because it con- consists of the main components prefiltration, raw water
sists of pipes of various diameters and different aggregates storage tank, ultrafiltration unit (Figure 3-39) with four
with hydraulic dead zones. Alternatively, it would have modules connected in series with 3.8 m3 of membrane
been necessary to change out all components of the pro- surface area each, circulation tank, filtrate tank, and a
cess equipment separately and to flush them. Besides the CIP device for cleaning of the membranes.
expenditure for cleaning of the individual aggregates,
temporary shut-down of the power station would have In the case of the Dresden gas and steam turbine power
been required. station, the oil sticking to the surfaces of the cooling wa-
ter circuit was emulsified with the help of a specifically
In order to solve the problem, a process was developed chosen emulsifier which was added to the cooling water.
jointly by the THERM-SERVICE für Kraftwerke und Indus- This emulsion was treated by the ultrafiltration unit con-
trie GmbH and the DPC, Dr.-Ing. Peters Consulting für nected in bypass. It is equipped with ceramic membranes
Membrantechnologie und Umwelttechnik, using the and operated in cross-flow mode. The treatment took
module technology of atech innovations GmbH. This place in batches. The permeate, which still contained
patented process was introduced under the designation part of the emulsifier, was recycled into the circuit. The
“RÖKU (Reinigung ölkontaminierter Kühlwasserkreisläu- concentrate, in which the oil micro-droplets separated
fe mit Ultrafiltration und Emulgierung bei laufendem from the emulsion, was discharged. In this way, about
Blockbetrieb – Cleaning of oil-contaminated cooling 1,600 L of oil were removed from the intermediate cool-
water circuits by ultrafiltration and emulsification at ing water circuit of the Dresden gas and steam turbine
running block operation)”. Compared to the conventional heating power station. After having attained the desired
procedure, the costs are lower and cost-intensive down- residual oil content, the emulsifier is removed from the
times are avoided. Figure 3-38 shows the flow sheet of circuit water, which is accordingly conditioned.
the RÖKU process.

Figure 3-38
Flow sheet of the RÖKU process [according to DPC 1997]

permeate
cooling water without oil tank

ultra-
filtration

concentrate

cooling water raw water circulation


cartridge filter
circulation storage tank
oil-loaded cooling water

emulsifier oil discharge

222
Membrane Technology in Industrial Waste Water Treatment 3

Other examples for the use of this ultrafiltration-based Figure 3-39


process were the rehabilitation in the heating power sta- Ultrafiltration unit for the RÖKU process
tion Zolling of Isar-Amper Works in 1997 (separation of [photo: THERM-SERVICE]
approx. 1,000 L of lubricating oil from the intermediate
cooling water circuit with a content of 300 m3) and in
1998 the cleaning of an intermediate cooling water cir-
cuit with a content of 130 m3 and 400 heating elements
in a hospital at Rottweil (removal of 2,600 L of lubricat-
ing oil).

3.5.11.4 UF

De-oiling of Bilge Water

Membrane process Ultrafiltration

Start-up 1989

Objectives Discharge of bilge water

Membrane surface area 23.6 m2

Modules Tube modules

Permeate volume flow 3 m3/h

Pretreatment Oil separation

Benefit Saving of volume on the ship, contribution to environmental protection

Various types of oily residues result from navigation (in- as well as river or sea water in unknown concentrations
land or other navigation), which accumulate in the bilge, [FURTMANN ET AL. 2001]. Therefore, the bilge water has
the deepest place in the machine room of a ship. This to be pumped out periodically, i. e. the oil-water mixture
oily waste water, called bilge water, is a mixture of oil, from the bilge has to be eliminated. In the past, the bilge
lubricating grease, fuel residues, cooling water, condensed water was pumped out into a water body, but this has
water, antifreeze and anticorrosive agents, cleaning agents, been prohibited since 1963.

223
3 Membrane Technology in Industrial Waste Water Treatment

Figure 3-40
Flow sheet of bilge de-oiling [according to DEUTSCH 2001]

sucking-off
oil phase
from the bilge delivery
ashore
separator
collecting tank for
used oil

water phase

concentrate

ultrafiltration recirculation after closing


the influent
permeate

In order to ensure the discharge of the bilge waters, the lected in a tank and, according to the water content,
riparian Federal States of river Rhine have established in reprocessed or submitted to thermal treatment. The ther-
1965 the Bilgenentwässerungsverband (bilge drainage as- mal treatment is performed by other companies.
sociation). This is a corporation under public law, which
is under legal supervision of the Land North-Rhine West- The water phase is fed to an ultrafiltration system (from
phalia. To fulfil its duties, the association makes use ot the company Berghof) operated in cross-flow mode. Tube
the Bilgenentölungsgesellschaft mbH (bilge de-oiling modules with polymer membranes and a molecular sepa-
company), which accepts and treats the bilge water free ration size of 100,000 Dalton separate more oil from the
of charge from all ships (independent of their country of water phase at an operating pressure of 7 bar. The total
origin). membrane surface area (23.6 m2) produces 3.0 m3 of fil-
trate per hour, which according to the permission of the
The Bilgenentölungsgesellschaft mbH was established in responsible water authority complies with the limit
1961 and employs 25 people. It is responsible for bilge values and is discharged directly into a water body.
de-oiling of all inland navigation ships in the Federal
Republic of Germany south of Münster. (For Hamburg, The concentrate is fed again to the ultrafiltration system
Bremen and Berlin, other institutions have taken over and is further concentrated. After several passes, only a
this task.) The company operates several bilge de-oiling few litres of oil-containing concentrate are left which are
boats which separate the oil from the water phase by also collected in the oil tank and either reused or dis-
gravity separators and, in addition, since 1989, by ultra- charged. Depending on their operation, the membranes
filtration. are backwashed once or twice a week. Practice has shown
that the service life of the membranes is about 15,000
The bilge water is sucked off and preseparated by a cas- operating hours.
cade oil separator (see Figure 3-40). The oil phase is col-

224
Membrane Technology in Industrial Waste Water Treatment 3

3.5.11.5
Swimming Pools

In swimming-pool water, in addition to small pollutants, From time to time the filter has to be cleaned by back-
also water-soluble and emulsifiable substances (e. g. sweat, washing (mostly with splash water). The sludge water
residues of skin cream and suntan lotions) accumulate from backwashing is collected and discharged into the
and must not exceed certain concentrations. In usual public sewer system.
swimming-pool operation, this is managed by dilution
with drinking water which is pumped into the filled pool. Between 30 L [DIN 19643] and 120 L of water per guest
Due to this pumping and water displacement by bathing are consumed by discharge of water into the sewer sys-
people, water – splash water – flows off via the overflow tem and addition of fresh drinking water.
launder into a splash-water tank. After having passed a
conditioning facility, the filtered water is fed back into Due to water evaporation and refilling, the water hard-
the swimming-pool. ness, consisting of lime and magnesium salts, increases.
From chlorination and correction of the pH, other salts
develop. Moreover, big swimming-pool companies with
brine pools face the problem that brine is carried over to
the normal swimming-pool water.

3.5.11.5.1 UF RO

Swimming Pool, Aquana Freizeitbad GmbH & Co. KG

Membrane processes Ultrafiltration (UF), Reverse osmosis (RO)

Start-up 1998

Objectives Reduction of the freshwater quantities needed

Membrane surface area 42 m2 (UF), 140 m2 (RO)

Modules Capillary modules (UF), spiral-wound modules (RO)

Permeate volume flow In total (UF and RO) 5 m3/h

Pretreatment Prefiltration

Benefit Saving of freshwater and energy for heating

Established in 1998, the city of Würselen is 100 % respon- For this purpose, two membrane filtration stages operate
sible for this leisure facility with 30 employees. in series to treat sludge water (from filter backwashing),
shower water, water from washbasins and rainwater. In
In order to reduce the large freshwater quantities which addition they remove substances such as organic chlorine
are necessary in conventional filtration, an ultrafiltration- compounds, washing and cleaning agents and urine com-
®
and reverse osmosis installation (degebran GmbH Anla- ponents (Figure 3-41). The membrane systems operate in
genbau) was planned and commissioned in 1998 in the cross-flow mode. After prefiltration, back-washable capil-
course of the new construction of Aquana Freizeitbad. lary membranes with a total filter surface area of 72 m2
separate in the first ultrafiltration stage solid pollutants
The plant is not integrated into the pool-water cycle, but and suspended substances. From this filter cycle, 10 % of
serves to recover about 70 % of the large water quantity concentrate is continuously withdrawn and discharged as
which is necessary for backwashing of the sand filters. waste water. The filtrate is fed to the second stage, the

225
3 Membrane Technology in Industrial Waste Water Treatment

Figure 3-41
Water recirculation and treatment at the Aquana Freizeitbad [according to DEGEBRAN ® ]

swimming-pool overflow
channel

splash water tank

normal operation filter backwashing

shower
waste

clean water
rain
activated carbon waste
sludge water
adsorber

permeate
filtrate
reverse osmosis ultrafiltration prefilter raw water

brine as process concentrate


water

reverse osmosis installation, where spiral-wound Thanks to this process, up to 80 % of the freshwater
2
modules (140 m filter surface area) also reject dissolved quantity used before, needed as filling water, is saved.
substances. The permeate of this second stage is recycled In addition the energy demand is reduced because it is
via activated-carbon adsorption into the swimming-pool possible to recycle the permeate in warm state into the
water cycle, while the brine, which contains more salts, pool cycle without additional heating. The amortization
is used as process water. The total capacity of the system period of the investment of 383,000 Euro is calculated at
is 5 m3 per hour. three years.

226
Membrane Technology in Industrial Waste Water Treatment 3

3.5.11.5.2 UF

Swimming Pool, Freizeitbad Copa Ca Backum

Membrane process Ultrafiltration

Start-up August 1998

Objectives Reduction of the freshwater quantity needed and ensuring disinfected water

Membrane surface area 300 m2

Modules Hollow-fibre membranes

Permeate volume flow 10 m3/h

Pretreatment Sedimentation, particle separation by screening

Aftertreatment Oxidation, adsorption, disinfection

Benefit Saving of freshwater and energy

The Freizeitbad Copa Ca Backum (leisure facility) is oper- To remove the developing covering layer from the mem-
ated by the Hertener Stadtwerken GmbH (municipal ser- brane, backwashing every half hour (by reversing the flow),
vices). With the objective to reduce the freshwater de- combined with air cleaning (hourly), is necessary. Che-
mand and to ensure a hygienic water quality, the Herte- mical (alkaline) cleaning of the membranes is performed
5)
ner Stadtwerke GmbH and the L.V.H.T.-Institut , Essen every four weeks. With this operating mode, the service
(scientific assistance) developed a process for the treat- life of the membranes is expected to be five years.
ment of waste waters from public swimming-pools and
commercial plants. Since August 1998, this process com- After additional treatment stages (oxidation as well as
bination, which includes membrane technology, has been adsorption on activated carbon and final disinfection
used in the Freizeitbad Copa Ca Backum for the treatment with chlorine), the filtrate has drinking water quality. It
of pool water, sludge water and shower water. is collected in a storage tank and used as pure water for
filling of the swimming pool or for filter backwashing.
The used water from bathing and part of the shower water
are collected in a raw-water tank, where particulate sub- The sludge water from filter backwashing is discharged
stances settle and are separated by a screen (Figure 3-42). into the raw-water tank and flows together with the used
The downstream ultrafiltration installation serves for pool water and the shower water through the treatment
pre-liminary treatment of the combined process water. cycle described above. Water losses resulting from the
Polymeric hollow-fibre membranes (Pall system) separate treatment and through evaporation or carry over in the
in dead-end mode undissolved particles and turbidity as bath are compensated for by feeding freshwater.
well as oils, fats and ointments, so that only dissolved
substances are fed to the following process stages. In Although freshwater is regularly fed, the salt content in
total, the six modules with a filter surface area of 50 m2 the swimming-pool water may increase by up to 10 – 15 %
3
each process a permeate volume of 10 m per hour. in a year, due to recirculation of the backwashing water
and evaporation losses. But this is not relevant since ac-
cording to DIN 19643 the complete pool volume must be
exchanged once a year.

5) L.V.H.T.- Lehr- und Versuchsgesellschaft für innovative Hygiene-Technik mbH, Institut für angewandte Bau- und Bäderhygiene GmbH, Essen

227
3 Membrane Technology in Industrial Waste Water Treatment

Figure 3-42
Water treatment at the Freizeitbad Copa Ca Backum [according to L. V. H. T. 2001]

shower water
swimming-pool

sludge water filling water


sludge water from
raw water storage tank
backwashing

filtrate
ultrafiltration oxidation adsorption final disinfection

backwashing water

In the process combination presented above, the mem-


brane technology is only employed as an upstream treat-
ment stage. The economic advantages, such as savings of
freshwater and energy, are therefore related to the whole
system. With adherence to freshwater savings of 60 %
and the forecasted energy savings of 50 %, the plant will
be amortized after approx. 3 – 5 years.

228
Membrane Technology in Industrial Waste Water Treatment 3

3.6
Sample Applications of Plants Outside of Germany

The use of different membrane processes in Germany is in chapter 3.5 according to the branches of industry in
described in the subsections of chapter 3.5. The subsec- which the installations are used. All examples described
tions of this chapter deal with examples from internatio- in the following are listed in Table 3-6.
nal practice. The examples are sorted in the same way as

Table 3-6
Sample applications for the use of membrane technology in industrial waste water treatment outside of
Germany

Branch of Company Location Start-up Membrane Modules Membrane sur- Chapter

industry process face area m2


Food industry Kellogg Manchester 2004 UF Tube modules 5  216 3.6.1.1

(Great Britain)
Chemical Raisio Chemicals Veurne 2004 UF Immersed 1,188 3.6.1.2
industry (Belgium) rotating plate

modules
Food industry Dairygold Mitchelstown 2000 UF Tube modules 648 3.6.1.3

(Ireland)
Food industry Dairy Crest Davidstow Camel- 2003 UF Tube modules 486 3.6.1.4

ford Creamery

(Great Britain)
Malthouses Sobelgra n. v. Antwerpen 2004 UF Immersed capil- 8,000 3.6.1.5

(Belgium) lary modules


Laundries Laundry Massop Kerkrade 1998 RO Spiral-wound 250 3.6.2

(The Netherlands) modules


Pharmaceutical Sandoz/ Barcelona 2003 MF Immersed plate 1,440 3.6.3
industry BIOCHEMIE (Spain) modules
Animal carcass SARIA Bayet 2000 UF Immersed capil- 1,800 3.6.4.1
disposal (France) lary modules
Mechanical-bio- Tirme Mallorca 2004 UF Tube modules 100 3.6.4.3
logical waste (Spain)
treatment

229
3 Membrane Technology in Industrial Waste Water Treatment

3.6.1
Food Industry

3.6.1.1 UF

Muesli Production at the Kellogg Company,


Great Britain

Membrane process Ultrafiltration

Start-up 2004

Objectives Compliance with the requirements for indirect discharge and reduction of the costs for waste water treatment

Membrane surface area 5 x 216 m2

Modules Tube modules

Permeate volume flow 60 – 80 m3/h

Pretreatment Rotary screen and decanting centrifuge

Benefit Reduction of the effluent charge, expandable waste water treatment plant with low space requirement

Today the Kellogg Company has 25,000 employees in Depending on the production batch, the waste water
19 countries who make more than 50 different cereal may contain solids which are removed by a rotary screen.
products in 19 countries. However, cocoa powder cannot be separated by sieving.
In this case, the waste water containing cocoa powder is
At the Manchester site, considerable quantities of flush- detected by turbidimetry and is subsequently fed into a
ing water and waste water with different constituents decanting centrifuge for the separation of solid matter.
(corn components, cocoa, sugar etc.) result from the pro- The liquid phase is fed to the biological treatment stage
duction of muesli. Up to 2003, the waste water was only where the dissolved organic constituents are degraded.
treated by a curved screen to separate the solid matter. The biological treatment stage is realized according to the
activated sludge process, combined with externally arrang-
The main reason for the planning of an efficient waste ed ultrafiltration for biomass separation according to the
water treatment plant in 2003 construction was the con- BIOMEMBRAT ® process from Wehrle Umwelt GmbH.
tinuously increasing waste water fees. It was put into The five-line ultrafiltration installation (Figure 3-44) is
operation in 2004. operated in cross-flow mode. It produces 60 – 80 m3 of
permeate per hour. Depending on the waste water quantity,
For expansion of the waste water treatment plant, a pro- the individual UF lines can be connected or disconnected.
cess was to be chosen which had a low demand for space The resulting excess sludge is mixed with the cocoa-
and was able to cope with highly variable pollution loads containing waste water in the aerated storage tank of the
and water quantities. Moreover, it should be expandable decanting centrifuge. The solids are subsequently separated
with the ability to recycle the treated waste water. Figure in the decanting centrifuge and discharged.
3-43 shows the flow sheet of the waste water treatment
plant.

230
Membrane Technology in Industrial Waste Water Treatment 3

Figure 3-43
Flow sheet of the waste water treatment plant at the Kellogg Company in Manchester
[according to WEHRLE UMWELT GMBH 2004]

ultrafiltration

activated sludge
buffer tank
tank

feed liquid phase

rotary screen
receiving
water

turbidi-
solids metry storage tank
decanter
decanter

recirculation
solids

Figure 3-44 and the energy costs for activated sludge separation by
Cross-flow ultrafiltration at the Kellog Company in the cross-flow ultrafiltration membranes. On top of that
Manchester [photo: WEHRLE UMWELT GMBH 2004] there are the costs for membrane replacement (membrane
exchange every four years is prognosticated) and the costs
for the application of membrane cleaning agents (chemi-
cal cleaning every 6 – 8 weeks, according to empirical
values from other installations).

The energy consumption of the biological stage depends


on the incoming COD load. The energy uptake of the ex-
ternal cross-flow ultrafiltration is a function of the
specific filtrate capacity. The possibility to connect indi-
vidual ultrafiltration lines depending on the waste water
quantity and an automatic control of the aeration devices
allows for an energy-saving operation mode of the waste
water treatment plant.

The investment for the membrane installation was


930,000 Euro. The operating costs for the external cross-
The costs for waste water treatment mainly consist of the flow ultrafiltration system amount to 0.36 s/m3 of perme-
energy costs for aeration of the biological treatment stage ate, for the biological stage they are 0.38 s/m3.

231
3 Membrane Technology in Industrial Waste Water Treatment

3.6.1.2 UF

Primary Starch Production at Raisio Chemicals, Belgium

Membrane process Ultrafiltration

Start-up 2004

Objectives Efficient and compact waste water treatment

Membrane surface area 1,188 m2

Modules Immersed rotating plate membranes

Permeate volume flow Max. 12 m3/h

Pretreatment No mechanical pretreatment

Benefit Reduction of the fresh-water demand and of the waste water, reduction of costs

Figure 3-45
Flow sheet of the membrane bioreactor at Raisio Chemicals [according to HUBER AG 2004]

membrane system permeate


tank

waste water
collector
waste water

blower
installation

production

At the site Veurne/Belgium, the Finnish company Raisio Figure 3-46


Chemicals, which was taken over in March 2004 by Ciba Huber VRM ® process (rotating modules)
Spezialitätenchemie, makes primary starch products from [photos: HUBER AG 2004]
starch for the food industry, photographic industry and
the pharmaceutical industry.

The processing of the primary starch products requires


large amounts of fresh-water, so that a closed water circuit
would be useful for both economic and ecological reasons.
A waste water treatment plant suited for the site Veurne
had to be not only efficient but also compact due to re-
stricted space. Figure 3-45 shows the flow sheet of the
membrane bioreactor.

232
Membrane Technology in Industrial Waste Water Treatment 3

The process technology for the installation, which was process is the rotating plate membranes immersed in the
commissioned in 2004, consists of a mixing and com- waste water. By the rotating membrane plates, combined
pensating tank, the membrane bioreactor and a permeate with air input, optimized covering layer removal can be
storage tank. The waste water from the production is attained. The membrane installation can be expanded
homogenized and fed into the activated sludge stage with up to two additional plate membrane modules of
3
(V = 1,800 m ) in which two plate membrane modules of the type VRM ® 20/252.The treated waste water is fed into
the type VRM® 20/198 from the company Huber are the production process via a permeate storage tank.
®
immersed (Figure 3-46). A special feature of the VRM

3.6.1.3 UF

Dairygold Food Products, Ireland

Membrane process Ultrafiltration

Start-up 2000

Objectives Compliance with the demands on the effluent quality during the milk season

Membrane surface area 648 m2

Modules Tube modules

Permeate volume flow 80 - 90 m3/h

Benefit Relief of the existing activated sludge plant, compliance with the effluent standards

Dairygold Food Products is one of the biggest and lead- ment of the waste water from whey treatment (approx.
ing dairies in Europe, with its headquarters in Michels- 2,000 m3/d) by a membrane bioreactor. In 2000, a new
town, Ireland. Dairygold Food Products produces milk installation according to the BIOMEMBRAT ® process
powder, cheese and butter and runs a meat and sausage from the company Wehrle Umwelt GmbH was built.
factory. At the site in Michelstwon, 5,000 m3 of waste
water are produced per day which is treated by a conven- The concept provides the operation of the membrane
tional activated sludge plant. During the milk season installation during the summer months with higher
from March to November the waste water volume increa- loads and its shutting-down in winter. During winter
ses to 7,000 m3/d, due to whey processing. The increase time, the membrane modules are preserved and stored.
of the waste water volume and of the COD load exceeded The required short start-up phase in the beginning of the
the treatment capacity of the existing activated sludge season is of special importance. Especially in times with
plant so that in the milk season the biological treatment peak loads, the membrane installation contributes to a
stage was overloaded, which resulted in an exceedance of considerable improvement in the effluent concentrations
the effluent limits. This situation was the reason to study of the whole waste water treatment plant. Figure 3-47
the technical and economic efficiency of separate treat- shows the flow sheet of the waste water treatment plant.

233
3 Membrane Technology in Industrial Waste Water Treatment

Figure 3-47
Flow sheet of the waste water treatment plant at Dairygold Food Products, Ireland
[according to WEHRLE UMWELT GMBH 2004]

denitrification and
nitrification tank

clarifier

recirculation

sludge

receiving
feed membrane stage
water

seasonal
activity
denitrification and
nitrification tank

recirculation

recirculation

Figure 3-48 The membrane bioreactor consists of an upstream deni-


Complete plant at Dairygold Food Products with trification tank (V = 400 m3), a nitrification tank (V =
the membrane installation in the foreground 2,000 m3) and four lines of ultrafiltration, which are oper-
[WEHRLE UMWELT GMBH 2004] ated in cross-flow mode and serve to separate the biomass.
Each of the four ultrafiltration lines has a membrane
surface area of 162 m2. They can be connected or discon-
nected individually depending on the waste water quan-
tity. The membranes are tube modules with an inner dia-
meter of the tubes of 8 mm. The mean transmembrane
pressure difference in operation is 0.8 bar. The individual
ultrafiltration lines have to be cleaned chemically in inter-
vals of approx. 4 – 6 weeks to ensure a constant filtration
capacity. During the last four years the membranes have
not been replaced. A service life of 5 – 6 years is expected.

The COD inflow concentration of up to 3,600 mg/L


(2,600 mg/L on average) is reduced to 50 mg/L in the
effluent. The effluent requirements of BOD5 < 12 mg/L,
TKN < 15 mg/L and Ptot < 10 mg/l are reliably fulfilled.

234
Membrane Technology in Industrial Waste Water Treatment 3

From 2000 to 2003, the specific energy consumption was total operating costs. The specific operating costs of the
3 3
approx. 5 kWh/m on average, approx. 2.8 kWh/m of which overall membrane bioreactor are approx. 0.90 Euro per m3
was used for ventilation and recirculation and 2.2 kWh/m3 of permeate. However, it must be taken into account that
for membrane filtration. The energy consumption of the the membrane installation only works about 7 months
biological treatment stage mainly depends on the COD per year. The investment for the membrane installation
and notrogen loads. was approx. 700,000 Euro.

The energy demand of the ultrafiltration and the mem-


brane replacement costs make up approx. 23 % of the

3.6.1.4 UF

Dairy Crest Limited, Great Britain

Membrane process Ultrafiltration

Start-up 2003

Objectives Expansion of the capacity of the waste water treatment plant

Membrane surface area 486 m2

Modules Tube modules

Permeate volume flow ~ 50 m3/h

Pretreatment Flotation

Benefit Increase of the production capacity at the same site

The company Dairy Crest, one of the leading dairies in After flotation, the waste water flow is divided. The daily
England, has increased its production capacity in the waste water flow is approx. 2,000 m3/d, 1,200 m3/d of
Davidstow Creamery at the site Camelford. This resulted which are fed into the new membrane stage and 800 m3/d
in an increase in the waste water volume and load. Since into the existing conventional plant. The effluents of
the Dairy Crest waste water treatment plant had no cor- both installations, operated in parallel, are then com-
responding reserve capacities, it had to be expanded. The bined and discharged into the receiving water. The three-
waste water treatment process concept used at Dairygold, line membrane installation is equipped with tube mod-
Ireland, has also been implemented at the site of the ules with a membrane surface area of 162 m2 per line. It
company Dairy Crest. is possible to expand the installation by a fourth line.

The existing conventional activated sludge plant had two The BIOMEMBRAT ® installation in the Davidstow Cream-
lines. During expansion, one of these lines was replaced ery at the site Camelford is able to reduce the influent
®
with a BIOMEMBRAT installation (Figure 3-49). In addi- COD load by approx. 98 %, and the Ntot and Ptot loads by
tion, a flotation process was arranged upstream of the approx. 90 % each. The demands on the effluent of BOD5
biological stage to separate grease and suspended matter < 10 mg/L and NH4-N < 6 mg/l are met with reliability.
and thus relieve the downstream treatment stages.
The investment for the membrane installation was
550,000 Euro.

235
3 Membrane Technology in Industrial Waste Water Treatment

Figure 3-49
Flow sheet of the waste water treatment at Dairy Crest, Great Britain
[according to WEHRLE UMWELT GMBH 2004]

denitrification and nitrification tank

clarifier

recirculation

feed sludge

flotation
buffer
process
receiving
water

membrane stage

denitrification and nitrification tank

recirculation

3.6.1.5 UF

Malthouse Sobelgra n. v., Belgium

Membrane process Microfiltration

Start-up 2004

Objectives Compact, space-saving and efficient waste water treatment plant, pretreatment upstream of a planned

reverse osmosis installation

Membrane surface area 8,000 m2

Modules Immersed capillary membrane modules

Permeate volume flow 80 – 100 m3/h

Pretreatment Curved screen

Benefit Expansion of the waste water treatment capacity without extensive site construction. In future,

part of the treated waste water will be reused.

236
Membrane Technology in Industrial Waste Water Treatment 3

Figure 3-50 The company-owned waste water treatment plant treats


Aerial photograph of the malthouse Sobelgra in the waste water from barley processing by a combination
the Antwerpen harbour [photo: PURON AG] of mechanical presieving, biological stage and membrane
filtration (Figure 3-51).

After removal of coarse impurities by two curved screens


(mesh size: 1.0 mm), the waste water flows into the acti-
vated sludge stage, which consists of two tanks for deni-
trification and nitrification connected in series. The
membrane stage serving for separation of the biomass is
arranged downstream of the activated sludge stage. The
16 membrane modules from the company PURON AG
(Figure 3-52) have been installed in two separate cham-
bers. A third chamber is available for future expansion of
the plant (represented as dotted line in Figure 3-51). The
chambers are fed from below so that the waste water flows
upward through the membranes modules. The permeate
is withdrawn from the membrane modules by means of
The Belgian malthouse Sobelgra is situated in the Antwer- negative pressure. The concentrated activated sludge is
pen harbour and belongs to the multinational Boortmalt recycled into the activated sludge tanks. The membrane
group. Sobelgra produces malt for breweries and is at pre- surface area in the immersed modules is 8,000 m3, it is
sent increasing its production capacity from 110,000 to able to treat the entire waste water of the company. With
250,000 t/a. This means that the works will become the this, the installation has a capacity of more than 2,000 m3/d.
biggest independent malthouse in Belgium. To maintain the filtration capacity of the membrane mod-
ules, backwashing with filtrate takes place in regular
Within the scope of production increase, the capacity of intervals, combined with air rinsing of the membrane
the existing company-owned waste water treatment plant modules. The chambers can be emptied independently of
had also to be doubled. Due to limited space at the facto- each other for cleaning and maintenance purposes.
ry site (Figure 3-50), it was impossible to expand the plant
according to the conventional activated sludge process. About 80 % of the treated waste water will be reused in
The reasons to install the membrane bioreactor process the production process after installation of the planned
were its compact size and the high volume-specific degra- reverse osmosis installation.
dation capacity.

237
3 Membrane Technology in Industrial Waste Water Treatment

Figure 3-51
Flow sheet of the company-owned waste water treatment plant of the company Sobelgra
[according to PURON AG]

blower
membrane stage
installation

sieve bend 1.0 mm


biological reactor

feed

sieve bend 1.0 mm

recirculation

recycling

Figure 3-52
Schematic representation of the membrane bioreactor (left) and membrane modules (right)
[photo: PURON AG]

238
Membrane Technology in Industrial Waste Water Treatment 3

3.6.2 RO

Laundry Massop, The Netherlands

Membrane process Reverse osmosis

Start-up 1998

Objectives Conservation of water and energy

Membrane surface area approx. 250 m2

Modules Spiral-wound modules

Permeate volume flow 8 m3/h

Pretreatment Integrated two-stage filter (fluff screen)

Benefit Saving of freshwater, energy and chemicals

The following example illustrates the employment of The waste water passes an (integrated) two-stage filter
membrane technology for the treatment of waste water (fluff screen), before it flows into the reverse osmosis in-
from laundries. The installation described is used in a stallation, which is equipped with spiral-wound modules
laundry in The Netherlands and is similar to two installa- from polyethylene membranes. With a membrane surface
tions which will be commissioned in the near future in a area of 250 m2 and at an operating pressure of 10 bar, the
laundry at Lemgo and another one at Olsberg. The reali- permeate flow is approx. 8 m3 per hour. The permeate is
zation of these projects is supported by funds from a reused as washing water. The brine is discharged into the
6)
development program of the Ministry for Environment public sewer system.
and Nature Conservation, Agriculture and Consumer Pro-
tection (MUNLV) of the Land North-Rhine Westphalia. The membranes are backwashed once a day and cleaned
with commercial chemicals every third month. Practical
The company Massop at Kerkrade cleans laundry from operation has shown that under these circumstances the
hospitals and hotels. The waste water from washing is service life of the membranes is two years.
loaded with contaminants, surfactants, bacteria and salts,
so that it has to treated.
Figure 3-53
The reason for the employment of a membrane installa- Reverse osmosis installation at the laundry Massop,
tion was the possibility to save water and energy. When Kerkrade [ROTH 2001]
planning the installation, it was especially important to
consider the close interaction between the membrane
and the detergent applied. For parallel development of
the reverse osmosis (Figure 3-53) and the suitable deter-
gent, the company Henkel-Ecolab GmbH & Co. OHG
(production of detergents and washing agents) coopera-
ted with the company Wientjens, NL. The installation
has operated successfully since 1998 and treats the water
to a sufficient quality for reuse in the washing process.

6) Development program for production-integrated environmental protection: “Action group for ecological and sustainable water management NRW”

239
3 Membrane Technology in Industrial Waste Water Treatment

The employment of reverse osmosis for waste water treat- The development and employment of membrane proces-
ment and the reutilization of the treated water as process ses for the treatment of laundry waste water is currently
water offer ecological and economic advantages. Besides being pursued intensely. Besides the described process,
reduced detergent consumption, water (80 %), energy (50 %) there are other membrane solutions for the treatment of
and softening chemicals (80 %) are also saved. The instal- laundry waste water that are being developed. In plann-
lation at Kerkrade is leased, which is profitable for the ing, it is critical to consider the interaction between the
operator. The amortization period of such an installation membrane and the detergent applied, so that cooperation
may vary depending on the location and the general con- between installation- or membrane manufacturer and the
ditions, thus it has to be determined for each single case. detergent producer is imperative.

3.6.3 MF

Pharmaceutical Industry,
Penicillin Production at the Company Sandoz/Biochemistry, Spain

Membrane process Microfiltration

Start-up 2003

Objectives Expansion of the waste water treatment capacity at the site of the company-owned WWTP

Membrane surface area 1,440 m2

Modules Immersed plate membranes

Permeate volume flow ~ 400 m3/d

Pretreatment

Benefit Protection of the site when increasing the production volume

With approx. 13,000 employees all over the world, the Within the scope of pilot tests at the site Kundl of the
company Sandoz (formerly company Biochemie) works company Sandoz, the membrane bioreactor process using
in the fields of development and production of pharma- immersed plate membranes from the company Kubota
ceutical, biopharmaceutical and industrial products. In was compared to other membrane systems at the site of
Barcelona, the company Sandoz makes penicillin for the the company Sandoz (formerly company Biochemie) and
production of medicine. implemented as a large-scale installation already in 1999.
The waste water treatment plant at Kundl was expanded
Up to now, the waste water generated from the produc- in 2002 to a membrane surface area of 1,440 m2.
tion process at the site in Barcelona was treated by con-
ventional processes. The quality of the treated waste Based on the experience acquired at Kundl and on account
water strongly varied. Moreover, an increase in the pro- of the comparable boundary conditions, the membrane
duction volume at Barcelona was planned which requir- bioreactor at Barcelona was equipped with a membrane
ed an expansion of the company-owned waste water surface area of 1,440 m2 without further pilot tests. Figure
treatment plant. Since an expansion with conventional 3-54 shows the flow sheet of the membrane bioreactor at
process engineering was impossible because of limited the site Barcelona.
space, it was decided to build a membrane bioreactor.
The installation was commissioned in February 2003.

240
Membrane Technology in Industrial Waste Water Treatment 3

Figure 3-54
Flow sheet of the membrane bioreactor in Barcelona [according to AGGERWASSER GMBH 2004]

biological reactor

membrane stage
1

blower receiving
installation water

feed

blower
installation
3

recirculation

After treatment in the existing high-load biological stage approximately doubled. The two-line membrane instal-
3
with 3 reactors of 500 m each, the waste water volume lation consists of 6 plate membrane packages from the
of approx. 400 m3/d flows into the membrane separation company Kubota of the type EK 300. Filtering takes place
stage. For operation of the membrane installation, the TS at a constant transmembrane pressure of 0.05 – 0.15 bar.
content in the activated sludge tanks was increased from Chemical in-situ cleaning is done automatically twice a
approx. 6 g/L to 12 – 16 g/L. With this, the biological de- year. The permeate is discharged into a municipal waste
gradation capacity of the waste water treatment plant is water treatment plant for further treatment.

Figure 3-55
Membrane bioreactor and membrane modules under construction at the company Sandoz in Spain
[photos: AGGERWASSER GMBH 2004]

241
3 Membrane Technology in Industrial Waste Water Treatment

3.6.4
Miscellaneous

3.6.4.1 UF

Animal Carcass Disposal Plant of SARIA


Bio-Industries, France

Membrane process Ultrafiltration

Start-up 2000, expansion in 2002

Objectives Compliance with increasing effluent standards and adaptation to capacity enlargement

Membrane surface area 1,800 m2

Modules Immersed capillary membrane modules

Permeate volume flow ~ 40 - 50 m3/h

Pretreatment Fine screen

Benefit Economic expansion and adaptation of the waste water treatment plant to the state of the art

The company SARIA Bio-Industries operates in Bayet, in The individual waste water flows from the animal carcass
Central France, an aminal carcass disposal plant. Up to plant are pretreated in part by flotation, treated mechani-
240,000 t of slaughterhouse waste and perished animals cally by a fine screen and homogenized in a mixing and
3
are processed per year at this site. About 1,100 m of pro- storage tank. The pretreated waste water is pumped into
duction waste water with a mean COD concentration of an activated sludge tank (V = 4,000 m3) where the orga-
16,000 mg/L are produced per day. Due to increasing de- nic substances are degraded (Figure 3-56). The activated
mands on the effluent quality and increasing operational sludge flows through a curved screen with a mesh size of
capacity, the waste water treatment plant at the site of 750 µm to protect the membranes from coarse matter
the animal carcass disposal plant at the site Bayet had to before it is fed in free overflow into the membrane stage.
be adapted to the state of the art. The membrane stage is realized with four lines (Figure
3-57). Each line is integrated in a filtration container and
The decision-maker of the animal carcass disposal plant contains capillary membrane modules from the company
chose in 2000 to convert the existing waste water treat- ZENON (Figure 3-58). At present approx. 1,800 m3 of mem-
ment plant to a membrane bioreactor. After successful brane surface area are installed. The first membrane line
two-year operation, the installation was expanded already consists of four immersed modules of the type 500a, the
in 2002. second line has two immersed modules of the type 500c.

By treatment of the waste water in the membrane biore-


actor it is possible to attain COD effluent concentrations
of < 300 mg/L. Thus, the COD load in the installation is
reduced by 98 %.

242
Membrane Technology in Industrial Waste Water Treatment 3

Figure 3-56
Flow sheet of the membrane bioreactor at SARIA Bio-Industries in Bayet
[according to ZENON GMBH 2004]

membrane stage

receiving
water
blower
installation

biological reactor fine sieve


4.000 m3 750 µm
feed

blower
installation

recirculation

Figure 3-57 Figure 3-58


General view of the membrane bioreactor of the Container with fitted modules at SARIA Bio-Indus-
animal carcass disposal plant in Bayet tries in Bayet [photo: ZENON GMBH 2004]
[photo: ZENON GMBH 2004]

membrane containers

243
3 Membrane Technology in Industrial Waste Water Treatment

3.6.4.2
Mechanical-Biological Waste Treatment Plant

Mechanical-biological waste treatment has become es- Depending on the treatment process, approximately half
tablished in Europe as a concept for the treatment of of the treated solid waste results as waste water which
municipal waste. Biological conversion can take place in needs treatment. The composition of the waste water
composting plants (aerobically) or in fermentation plants mainly depends on the raw solid waste (water content,
(anaerobically). Biological conversion in mechanical-bio- organic part) and on the fermentation process (wet, dry).
logical waste treatment plants aims at biodegradation of The concentrations of the individual parameters may
the organic constituents to reduce the waste volume and strongly vary. In principle, intensive conversion during
to get a stabilized final product. From biodegradation fermentation means higher pollutant concentrations in
and dewatering results complex, high-loaded waste water. the process waste water.

3.6.4.2.1 UF

Waste Disposal at the Company TIRME, Spain

Membrane process Ultrafiltration

Start-up 2004

Objectives Closed production water circuit

Membrane surface area 100 m2

Modules Tube modules

Permeate volume flow 5 – 6 m3/h

Pretreatment Fine screen

Benefit Savings of freshwater and waste water

Besides a waste incineration plant, the company TIRME treats the waste water to such an extent that part of it can
also runs a plant for material separation and mechanical- be used after treatment for this purpose. The installation
biological waste treatment at Mallorca. At this site, approx. consists of a mechanical pretreatment stage, an activated
3
45,000 m of high-strength waste water are produced an- sludge stage and an ultrafiltration installation (Figure 3-59).
nually which mainly comes from the mechanical-biologi-
cal waste treatment plant. Additional waste water result The plant is designed for a throughput of approx.