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SSAMBRA – Strenghtening Smart Air MBR Applications

Membrane bioreactors (MBR) have replaced conventional secondary decanters of wastewater treatment plants with micro or ultrafiltration processes to improve the quality of water. This technological innovation improved the quality of water but is also responsible for the rise of exploitation costs. Smart Air MBR® is a real time automatic air scour control system able to achieve up to 22% energy savings in membrane bioreactors. The system, which was developed by LEQUIA researchers and patented by University of Girona and GS INIMA Environment S.A, was validated at full scale in the urban wastewater treatment of La Bisbal d’Empordà (Girona).


SSAMBRA project seeks to strengthen Smart Air MBR® applications, and to achieve both energy and fouling reduction. The project, which will last 2 years, will be carried out at Polymem plant in Toulouse (France) and LEQUIA laboratories in Girona. Polymem is a French manufacturer of organic hollow fibre membranes for water treatment.


Main objectives are:

  • To implement the Smart Air MBR® for different membrane configurations and manufacturers for urban wastewater and industrial wastewater treatment.
  • To demonstrate high reliability and robustness of the current control system by new knowledge and control rules which can be adapted for any membrane configuration and water treatment.
  • To evaluate the new manufactured membrane in terms of fouling mitigations and cost reductionTo participate in national and international conferences and congresses aiming to disseminate to the scientific community and private companies (involved in water treatment and reuse) the advantages and possibilities of a system that regulates the air-scour flow in real time according to the current status of the process.

Additional Info

  • Start: 2015
  • Duration: 24 months
  • LEQUIA grant: 98.771 Euros
  • Funding organisation: ACCIO
  • Reference: TECSPR14-2-0021-00

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