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MBR capital cost
MBR operating cost
MBR database

Upgrading to MBR


Hollow fiber or flat sheet MBR?

Hollow fiber MBR

Most MBRs use hollow fiber membranes. As mentioned in the page of capital cost, the unit price of US$ 50 m2/s is for hollow fiber membranes. Hollow fiber membranes can be applied in both immersed MBR and side stream MBR. Some side stream MBRs may use ultraifiltration membrane (UF) instead of microfiltration (MF) membrane.  Hollow fiber membranes have higher packing density than flat sheet membranes.

Flat sheet MBR

Flat sheet membranes are believed to be more expensive than hollow fiber membranes, because fewer suppliers supply flat sheet membranes. The biggest advantages of flat sheet membrane is that permeate can be extracted out by gravity flow. If gravity flow is applied, effluent pumps are saved and energy will be saved in operating.  


Organic flat sheet membranes generally have longer life and less replacement rate compared with hollow fiber membrane with the same materials. Inorganic flat sheet membranes suppliers state the life of inorganic membranes can be 15-20 years. The life cycle cost of inorganic flat sheet membrane is still higher as its life is about 3 times of organic membrane and its price is about 4 to 5 times of organic membrane. Organic flat sheet membrane costs about USD180-200 / m2.


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