Challenges and development directions of membrane bioreactors operated on passenger ships in international shipping
Keywords:ultrafiltration, gray wastewater, black wastewater, water reuse
In membrane bioreactor (MBR) technology, the activated sludge method is integrated with the separation of solid particles by ultrafiltration (UF). The technology ensures a high effluent quality, a shortened hydraulic retention time and a long sludge age that promotes slowly growing microorganisms and low sludge production. These advantages and the modular construction mean that MBRs have started to treat wastewater generated on passenger ships to adjust the treatment systems to the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships. The aim of this paper is to present operational aspects of MBRs treating wastewater generated on ships, which are different from the aspects of MBR operation on land. This paper describes the consequences of separate treatment of gray wastewater (from showers, washing machines and kitchens) and black wastewater (from toilets), and of discontinuous flow of wastewater resulting from very high variability in the passenger numer and the use of the MBR as a ship ballast element. The possibility of introducing a water recovery technology using the existing infrastructure on passenger ships as well as the hybrid UF/reverse osmosis technology is presented. The findings demonstrated that gray effluent may be reused for marine main engine cooling jackets of high and low temperature, ship boilers or ship laundry.
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