Expands availability of wastewater treatment solutions despite global supply shortages
- Newly formed membrane bioreactor (MBR) Technology Hub is delivering cutting-edge wastewater treatment products from local and global technology providers like MANN+HUMMEL, Toray Membrane USA, BluBox by Sciens, STREAMETRIC and WTA Technologies.
- The MBR Hub is a resource center for the innovation and support of MBR products and projects. It offers membrane technologies that are backward-compatible with most MBR systems regardless of existing membrane type or brand.
- From the MBR Hub, M|MBR supports BluBox to deliver pre-built and standardized, modular wastewater treatment solutions that can be deployable in 14 to 20 weeks versus 6 months to over a year.
- Customers and partners can contact M|MBR for product information, facility tours and demos.
- Meet M|MBR product experts at WEFTEC22 in New Orleans at booths hosted by MANN+HUMMEL (#2052), STREAMETRIC (#2054), WTA (#1853), and Toray (#1316).
AUSTIN, Texas—Oct. 7, 2022—Membrane bioreactor (MBR) services leader M|MBR Systems today announced the creation of the Austin-based MBR Technology Hub (MBR Hub) to make MBR parts, solutions and modular systems readily accessible to protect lakes, rivers, aquifers, and streams from damaging pollution. The mission of the Hub is to drive innovation, rapidly deploy modular MBR solutions, and provide compatible replacement parts for all MBR plants in service today.
Historically, the ability of stakeholders to access MBR solutions has been limited by antiquated delivery methods, siloed proprietary designs and, most recently, global supply chain shortages. Through collaborations with Texas businesses and global partners like MANN+HUMMEL, Toray Membrane USA, BluBox by Sciens, WTA Technologies, and Hi-Line Industries, M|MBR has created a more efficient conduit between MBR technology providers and end users. From the Hub, M|MBR can now rapidly design and ship membrane solutions in days or weeks. In contrast, traditional delivery methods, often segmented and dependent on overseas shipments, can take 6 months to a year or more.
“Owners and operators can’t afford to wait a year for MBR parts, they can’t be limited to one source for help, and they shouldn’t be stuck with less efficient, older products,” said Dennis Livingston, technical services director and co-founder of M|MBR Systems. “The MBR Technology Hub brings together global product leaders, system integrators and application experts, under one roof, to make this critical MBR technology more accessible through collaboration. We’re connecting global technology leaders to small businesses in Texas to do big things when it comes to protecting one of our most valuable resources: clean water.”
The nation’s water crisis, worsened by climate change, is driving the need for best available technology (BAT) when it comes to solving wastewater treatment problems. Experts are turning to membrane technologies like MBR as the BAT for wastewater treatment and a key part of water conservation and sustainability strategies. In addition to new and retrofit projects, approximately 2,000-plus aging MBR plants in the U.S. need parts for maintenance and are often under pressure to increase capacity. These plants can benefit from today’s polymeric, flexible flat-sheet MBR technologies from the Hub that are at least five times more efficient than their rigid, flat-plate predecessors were two decades ago.
MBR Industry Distribution Center Consolidates Innovations and Speeds Delivery
Leveraging two decades of experience, M|MBR has expanded its partnership with Hi-Line Industries to create the Hub as a universal resource center for MBR services, parts and modular solutions in Brenham, TX.
The M|MBR team specializes in the design and delivery of modular MBR technologies. Most recently they developed a “palletized MBR” for small, point-of-use applications.
For larger systems, M|MBR, BluBox, Hi-Line and Hyperion designed the BluBox Modular MBR System. Each BluBox unit can treat up to 130,000 gallons per day (gpd). The units are fully integrated, pre-built and pre-tested at the MBR Hub in the Hi-Line facility. There are usually at least five systems in some stage of production or in inventory. Customers in some markets can purchase BluBox units directly from M|MBR. Customers can also go directly to BluBox, a subsidiary of Sciens Capital, to lease, rent or purchase equipment that is built and stored at Hi-Line. A BluBox can typically be delivered in 14 to 20 weeks.
Many existing MBR plants equipped with flat-plate technologies now have an option for membrane parts supply through the MBR Hub. For owners that want to increase membrane filtration area or address persistent performance challenges, M|MBR can select replacement equipment from Hub inventory that will fit seamlessly into existing infrastructure. The replacement products supplied by M|MBR are backward compatible, which means that they drop into place, require no other changes, and have similar or better performance. M|MBR and Hub partners can deliver and install drop-in, upgrade solutions to increase filtration capacity from 30 to 300 percent depending on the existing product type and site constraints.
History of Innovation, Integration and Partner Collaboration
The MBR Hub is built on M|MBR Systems’ history in pioneering MBR technology. In 2001, Livingston helped deliver the first MBR in the U.S. using flat-plate membrane technology. Since then, members of the M|MBR team have been involved with 325-plus MBR systems ranging in size from 5,000 gallons gpd to 42 million gpd. The M|MBR team supported the development of 13 different membrane technologies; in addition, they also helped bring to market polymer technologies, alternative oxygen delivery systems and various digital tools.
At the Hub, technology partners rely on M|MBR to guide end users to select the right solution based on customer preferences, project requirements and product specifications. Some of the MBR innovations available from the Hub include:
- MANN+HUMMEL BIO-CEL® L-2 Membrane Modules are M|MBR’s primary ultrafiltration (UF) solution. The L-2 is 15 to 39 times more durable in key areas than its predecessors and is clogging resistant. The next-generation BIO-CEL M+ has a stackable, modular design and utilizes a higher-capacity PVDF membrane. The L-2 and M+ modules are compatible with select Ovivo and Microdyn Nadir systems.
- WTA MYTEX Membrane Modules are M|MBR’s microfiltration (MF) solution. MYTEX module configurations are highly customizable, flexible and durable. MYTEX modules from the MBR Hub are built using US-manufactured, stainless-steel frames and locally made diffusers. MYTEX modules have a transmembrane pressure limit that is 2 to 4 times higher than similar products.
- Toray MBR Membrane Modules are directly compatible with selected systems by Enviroquip, Ovivo, and Kubota that use rigid plates. Most Toray modules delivered from the Hub are built using US-manufactured, stainless-steel frames and locally made diffusers. In some cases, Hub modules can be used to double the filtration area of a legacy MBR system.
- STREAMETRIC Remote Monitoring is M|MBR’s standard platform for remote performance tracking and plant diagnostics. M|MBR helped develop STREAMETRIC’s powerful, easy-to-use monitoring platform. Data insights and automated reports are used to optimize MBR operations.
Customers can order MBR Hub parts, services and modular solutions today from M|MBR Systems.
- Go to the MBR Hub web page to register for product information, facility tours and demos.
- Watch the MBR Hub video.
- Read what industry leaders are saying about MBR.
- Read the blog for more information.
- Attendees of WEFTEC22 in New Orleans can meet M|MBR product experts at booths hosted by MANN+HUMMEL (#2052), STREAMETRIC (#2054), WTA (#1853), and Toray (#1316).
About M|MBR Systems
M|MBR Systems is dedicated to the delivery, service and optimization of membrane bioreactor (MBR) projects for wastewater treatment. The company’s history includes the first rigid flat plate and flexible flat sheet MBR systems in the U.S., nearly 325 complete systems, and numerous MBR-related innovations. Leveraging two decades of MBR experience, strategic partnerships, and powerful web-based analytics, the M|MBR team specializes in system optimization and the rapid delivery of modular MBR solutions. From its Austin-based MBR Technology Hub, M|MBR can ship replacement membrane equipment for most major brands in days and can quickly deploy completely integrated, pre-assembled MBR systems in weeks.
What Industry Leaders Are Saying About MBR Technologies
Blaine Garrett, Construction Manager, Atwell Group:
“Since M|MBR upgraded our plant from rigid plates by another supplier to the Toray flexible flat-sheet membranes, it can treat 50 to 100 percent more flow and it operates reliably. The M|MBR team helped to get our plant on track after two years of problems. The upgrade and expansion could save us over a million dollars.”
Trevor Miller, Superintendent for Running Springs Water District (California):
“We’re a small community. M|MBR gave us creative, cost-effective solutions that helped us maximize our investments. So, when we needed to upgrade our fine screening, we repurposed a unit from a nearby community and modified our existing coarse screen. After (M|MBR) upgraded our plant last year to WTA MYTEX membranes, we were able to handle 20 percent more flow during the winter. We’re adding another 25 percent capacity now. This most recent upgrade cost hundreds of thousands of dollars less than alternatives.”
Dennis Wing, Utilities Director, Santa Ana Utilities Department, California:
“We’ve been able to treat 25 to 40 percent more flow through our existing MBR system since we put in the new MANN+HUMMEL BIO-CEL L-2 membranes about a year ago. M|MBR worked closely with our staff to install the new units and to optimize our plant. They keep us connected and running using STREAMETRIC remote monitoring. By going with M|MBR, we avoided a lot of headaches and saved hundreds of thousands of dollars.”
Rick Barrett, CEO, BluBox:
“Traditional wastewater treatment plants can take years to design, construct and commission. With help from our partner M|MBR, we can deliver a made-in-America BluBox modular MBR system in about 14 weeks. Membrane modules are pulled from inventory at the MBR Hub for our BluBox Units so that we can put wastewater treatment solutions into the hands of municipalities and developers fast.”
Matthew Rutherford, Technical Service Engineering Manager, MANN+HUMMEL:
“A common challenge with older MBR systems is called clogging. The MANN+HUMMEL BIO-CEL® L-2 module is one of the most clogging-resistant products available. It’s also one of our most durable products. Our new product called the BIO-CEL M+ builds on nearly two decades of industry experience and is equipped with high-capacity membrane material. Customers looking to replace legacy products should reach out to M|MBR for quick delivery.”
Kevin Stock, CEO, STREAMETRIC:
“Many remote monitoring tools are complicated to set up and to use. Operators need easy access to online data and insightful reports to help them run MBR systems. Jointly developed with M|MBR, STREAMETRIC reports put customizable, actionable data into the hands of decision makers fast. Using this cloud-based tool, customers can proactively prevent problems and maximize the return on their MBR investments.”
Sean Carter, Sales Director, Toray Membrane USA:
“In the wake of worldwide supply chain issues, equipment lead times have dramatically increased. But from the Tech Hub, M|MBR can deliver Toray-based modules from USA stocking locations that can be dropped onto a competitor’s diffuser in a matter of hours and in some cases nearly double filtration capacity. The Tech Hub makes it easier for customers to benefit from Toray’s innovative membranes combined with M|MBR’s trusted service from some of the industry’s top experts.
Carsten Bachert, Managing Director, WTA Technologies:
“Owners looking to retrofit existing wastewater treatment systems, need right-sized membrane equipment. One size doesn’t fit all. WTA’s MYTEX module specifications can be tailored to match project requirements and customer preferences. We can do this faster, and better, by working together with M|MBR. Customized modules, built at the MBR Tech Hub, can drop into place and maximize treatment capacity.”