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Integrated Wastewater Treatment Process using Mesh Filter Modules for Direct Activated Sludge Separation

Project Leader
Fuchs Werner, Project Leader
Type of Research
Applied Research
Project partners
Aquaplus CZ, Husova 25, 69002 Breclav, Czech Republic.
Contact person: Klara Rothscheinova;
Function of the Project Partner: Partner
EnviCare Engineering GmbH, Wittekweg 9, 8010 Graz, Austria.
Contact person: Dr. Bernhard Mayr;
Function of the Project Partner: Partner
Glogar Environmental Technologies, Peterbauerstraße 6 , 4481 Asten, Austria.
Contact person: Werner Vatier;
Function of the Project Partner: Partner
Institute of Chemical Technology Prague, Technická 5, 166 28 Praha 6, Czech Republic.
Contact person: Prof. Pavel Hasal, Department of Chemical Engineering;
Function of the Project Partner: Partner
MEMOS Membranes Modules Systems GmbH, Siemensstrasse 11, 72805 Lichtenstein, Germany.
Contact person: Dr. Berthold Günder;
Function of the Project Partner: Partner
SAATI SPA, Via Milano, 14, 22070 Appiano Gentile (CO), Italy.
Contact person: Dr. Paolo Fracas;
Function of the Project Partner: Partner
SIDER ARC Spa, Via G. Galilei, 45, 20010 Cornaredo (MI) , Italy.
Contact person: Eng. Barbara Fontana;
Function of the Project Partner: Partner
University of the Studies of Milan - Bicocca, Piazza dell'Ateneo Nuovo, 1, 20126 Milano, Italy.
Contact person: Prof. Claudia Riccardi, Dipartimento di Fisica G. Occhialini - Centro di Eccellenza PlasmaPrometeo;
Function of the Project Partner: Partner
Aichberger Gertrud, Project Staff (bis 15.01.2008)
Loderer Christian, Project Staff (bis 31.12.2014)
BOKU Research Units
Institute for Environmental Biotechnology
Funded by
Commission of the European Communities, Rue de la Loi, Brussels, European Union
The challenges of removing contaminations from wastewater with maximum reliability and efficiency by using wastewater treatment processes, plants and systems are growing, offering good opportunities for new and advanced technologies.
One such innovative wastewater treatment system is the membrane bioreactor, an activated sludge process, where the secondary settling tank is substituted by a membrane filtration unit.
The main advantages are high sludge concentrations and an excellent effluent quality. The driving force for the application of membrane bioreactors is a small area requirement combined with effluent disinfection. Membrane bioreactors become a highly attractive system where stringent standards have to be met, e.g. for discharge in bathing water or for water reuse.
However, membrane bioreactors still need further improvement for a wider spread application. The main hindrances are high investments for membrane modules and high costs for membrane replacement and high operation costs due to increased energy demand.
The innovation of this project is to overcome these drawbacks by the substitution of membranes by a cheaper filtration technique, offering higher flux rates at lower filter pressures. As activated sludge appears in form of flocs, a coarser filter material can be used to separate activated sludge from treated wastewater. The retention of sludge flocs leads to the formation of a secondary layer on the mesh surface, which serves as the actual filter membrane. By this means, even smaller particles than suggested by the mesh size are retained.
Because of its high pore size, the filter mesh resembles almost no filter resistance.
Another principal problem of membranes is fouling. Persistent deposits can only be removed by intensive periodical cleaning with chemical agents.
In the MESH system, the secondary layer is periodically removed and a fresh layer is built up. Thus, the problem of fouling can be largely avoided and less frequent and intensive cleaning is necessary.
The expected advantages can be summarized as follows: Cheap filter material, high flux rates, low filter resistance and hence trans filter pressure, low cleaning effort.
In summary this results in: High effluent quality and plant reliability at low investments and low operational costs.
surface physics; waste-water purification; water resources engineering; environmental technology; product design; environmental protection;
Cloth filtration; Membranes;
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