The sewage treatment method that uses water treatment membrane is called membrane separation bioreactor (MBR). The MBR started to spread for wastewater recycling in foreign countries because the quality of water treated by this method is excellent. However, it consumes two times more energy than the conventional activated sludge method for treatment. Kubota will start the demonstration operation of a new plant that reduces energy consumption of the MBR by 40% this year. The company opened up the way to reduce energy consumption by more than 30% through the newly developed water treatment membrane with two times more disposal capacity and control approach that adjusts air supply depending on the treatment condition. While running the new plant, it plans to decrease energy consumption by as much as 40% and put it on the sewage and wastewater recycling market in 2014.
The new plant is equipped with a water treatment membrane that permeates one ton of water per square meter daily. Because water permeate flow doubled, the required number of water treatment membranes halved. Subsequently, this halved the energy flushing air consumes to eliminate the contamination attached to the treatment membranes. Ultimately, the company plans to decrease the energy consumption to a quarter of the present level with the aid of the system to monitor the contamination of the membranes and adjust the air volume. Kubota is the world second largest producer of water treatment membranes for the MBR. The company is strengthening its competitive edge in the energy-saving plant market. The world wastewater recycling market is estimated to increase 20 times over the current level to 2 trillion yen in 2025.