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QUA's EnviQ Submerged MBR successfully treats wastewater for one of the world’s largest vaccine producers

Serum River water MBRQUA’s EnviQ® submerged ultrafiltration membranes have been successfully treating sewage and industrial waste laden water with high organics since 2016 to provide product turbidity consistently <1 NTU.

Model: 24 numbers of EnviQ® E32C (12 Per Stream)

Capacity: 2 x 83.3 m3/hr (2 x 367 gpm)

Facility: Pharmaceutical manufacturing plant

Product Turbidity: < 1 NTU     Product BOD: < 5 mg/L     Product COD: < 20 mg/L

Project Background

The customer is a renowned pharmaceutical company based in India, and is one of the world’s largest producers of vaccines. The customer initiated an expan­sion of its manufacturing facility for vaccine production that resulted in an addi­tional water requirement for the plant’s needs.

The key challenges were:  

  • The feed source was sewage and industrial laden water.
  • The BOD could be as high as 50 mg/L.

  • The plant had limited space for construction of a new water treatment system to accommodate the extra flow.

The customer evaluated two options: a membrane bio­reactor (MBR) solution and conventional physical/chem­ical treatment, followed by media filters or ultrafiltration.

Due to the space constraints the membrane bioreactor (MBR) solution was chosen due to its capability of minimizing unit operations while still producing high quality, ultrafil­tration-grade water for the client’s uses. MBR systems are robust and can handle organic fluctuations easily. As membranes are used as a physical barrier for solid liquid separation, these systems promise consistent high effluent quality in term of TSS and organic removal, and also require less chemical for disinfection. MBR systems take approximately one fourth the space of a conventional activated sludge system.

The customer then reviewed several MBR options and se­lected QUA’s EnviQ® submerged MBR technology due to its technological advantages and the customer's positive experience working with QUA in the past. QUA had previously installed its Q-SEP® ultrafil­tration system in the plant to treat process water, and the UF system has been suc­cessfully operating for several years with QUA's support.

QUA's EnviQ was selected as its design offers ultrafiltration quality product water with a stronger and more rugged PVDF flat sheet membrane. Due to their lack of an external frame, the membrane cartridges are able to withstand harsh conditions while minimizing biofouling, which is very important due to the high BOD nature of this water.

Serum EnviQ MBR river water CROPPED

QUA Solution

QUA provided EnviQ® Submerged MBR technology to treat feed water with high organics for a process water application. The solution designed consists of 12 EnviQ® 32C units in two streams, with a 24 total units installed. The system treats 4 million liters per day (MLD) for use as process water for the pharmaceutical plant’s operation. The plant was commissioned in 2016 and has been running successfully since then.

QUA was available throughout the system design and engineering process, as well as the commissioning phase of the project to ensure the solution was successful for the client. This water treatment solution is important to the customer’s long-term expansion and vaccine production goals, and EnviQ® successfully delivered a reliable solution for the plant’s needs.

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