GE’s ZeeWeed MBR: effective technology for wastewater reuse

GE’s ZeeWeed MBR is one of the leading and effective technologies for municipal and industrial wastewater treatment and reuse
 GE has more than 20 years of design, engineering, installation, commissioning and operations experience of MBR systems since the first installation in 1993. GE’s ZeeWeed Membrane Bioreactor (MBR) technology is being increasingly adopted by leading customers across India such as Reliance Industries, Infosys Limited, Nestle and Toyota for reuse applications. The solution is proven with over 800 wastewater installations globally, ranging from 50 KLD to 100+ MLD.
Process description ZeeWeed MBR process is a wastewater treatment technology that combines suspended growth biological treatment with immersed membrane filtration. The heart of the process is the ZeeWeed ultra filtration membranes act as the solid-liquid separation step in the process, in place of the secondary clarifiers and tertiary filters of conventional treatment processes.
The result is high quality permeate with very low suspended solids, capable of meeting the most stringent reuse standards globally. The membrane is a reinforced hollow fibre ultra filtration membrane made of PVDF construction, highly resistant to chemicals, including acids, bases and chlorine, which are used for membrane cleaning.
Individual membrane fibres are combined to form the module, the basic building block of the MBR systems. Modules are further assembled together in ‘cassettes’, which are then installed in the wastewater treatment tanks to complete the process.
MBR for wastewater reuse • Compact footprint: MBR requires compact footprint compared to conventional treatment and minimises construction costs. The ZeeWeed MBR process typically operates at mixed liquor suspended solids (MLSS) concentrations in the range of 8,000 to 10,000 mg/L, which is substantially greater than conventional activated sludge processes, and it can lower construction footprint by 60 per cent.
• Effluent quality: Biological oxygen demand (BOD) and total suspended solids (TSS) are the factors to be considered here. MBR system can achieve consistent effluent quality of BOD1 < 5mg/L, TSS2 < 5mg/L and turbidity < 0.5 NTU compared to conventional effluent quality of BOD < 30mg/L. Depending on the specific application and design requirements, a ZeeWeed MBR plant can achieve high quality nitrified effluent. Phosphorus removal is readily achieved through biological means and/or the addition of metal salts to the feed wastewater or mixed liquor.
• Ideal for retrofit of conventional systems: Conventional systems can be upgraded to higher capacity or improved quality of treated wastewater with MBR systems, thus saving on civil costs.
• Process reliability: ZeeWeed MBR effluent quality is not susceptible to hydraulic or organic surges which can negatively affect effluent quality in conventional activated sludge and fixed film plants. At periods of low flow (and organic load), the sludge within the reactor basin simply digests itself without affecting the effluent quality.
• Resistance to fouling: The ZeeWeed membrane is an ‘Outside-In’ membrane where the flow of water is from the outside of the membrane to the inside of the hollow fibre, meaning that the inside only sees clean, membrane-filtered water. The bacteria and inert solids removed from the wastewater remain outside the membrane and never enter the membrane to cause fouling.
• Exceptional membrane durability: The ZeeWeed membrane has been designed for great durability and resistance to breakage. To achieve this high level of membrane durability ZENON utilises a patented internal support to which the membrane is bonded. This support strengthens the membrane and protects it against tearing and breakage without reducing its flux capacity
Anand Krishnamurthy,Senior Marketing Manager, GE Water & Process Technologies,

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