Rapid Start-up and Loading of an Attached Growth, Simultaneous Nitrification/Denitrification Membrane Aerated Bioreactor


Membrane aerated bioreactors (MABR) are attached-growth biological systems used for simultaneous nitrification and denitrification to reclaim water from waste. This design is an innovative approach to common terrestrial wastewater treatments for nitrogen and carbon removal and implementing a biologically-based water treatment system for long- duration human exploration is an attractive, low energy alternative to physiochemical processes. Two obstacles to implementing such a system are (1) the “start-up” duration from inoculation to steady-state operations and (2) the amount of surface area needed for the biological activity to occur. The Advanced Water Recovery Systems (AWRS) team at JSC explored these two issues through two tests; a rapid inoculation study and a wastewater loading study. Results from these tests demonstrate that the duration from inoculation to steady state can be reduced to under two weeks, and that despite low ammonium removal rates, the MABRs are oversized.


Bellevue, Washington
Caitlin E. Meyer, Johnson Space Center, USA
Stuart Pensinger, Johnson Space Center, USA
Karen D. Pickering, Johnson Space Center, USA
Daniel Barta, Johnson Space Center, USA
Sarah A. Shull, Johnson Space Center, USA
Leticia M. Vega, Jacobs Engineering, USA
Dylan Christenson, Texas Tech University, USA
W. Andrew Jackson, Texas Tech University, USA
The 45th International Conference on Environmental Systems was held in Bellevue, Washington, USA on 12 July 2015 through 16 July 2015.