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MBBR systems: Disadvantages?

Can i know more about the disdavantages of MBBR systems?





Basically, the MBBR was adopted to take care of some of the disadvantages in SAFF, FAB or ASP processes like Aesthaetics, compact area, lower power consumption, fluctuating flow rate, addition of modules for upgradation and mobility. These are strong points ofthe MBBR vis a vis other two technologies.

The weakness of the system is that it can be made only in capsules of specific size and not like ASP where the more the flow, the larger the basin. In MBBR or FAB or SAFF for that matter, one has to add capsules of different size. You could not make MBBR tank of 40m x 20m x 4m depth and hope for it to work.The fluidisation has to be carried out by dividing the large tank in smaller sizes. Alternatively, the requirement of media would be much higher.

That is one major reason why MBBR may not be used for larger flows in excess of 10 MLD.


Dear Ranjini,

MBBR is general term for this technology. This works well in terms of organic & solids removal but has some problems like change of media after some time, odour etc. It is the modified form of Trickling Filter (TF). The culture is suspended in MBBR whereas in TF it is fixed. It is not recommended to take shock loads (hydraulic & organic).

Hope this suffice your query.

Nadeem Khalil
Indian Institute of Technology Delhi
Department of Applied Mechanics
Hauz Khas, New Delhi – 110016


I disagree that MBBR cannot take the shock loads as they are made in series it is easier for them to take the shock loads.

Also they have been in operation in Europe for more then 14 years without change of media. Only thing is that quality of media should be ascertained that it is made of only virgin material.


I disagree with the 10MLD limitation. There are several plants which uses MBBR technology but has far higher capacities. For example the Sharjah municipality STP is augmented from 37.5 MLD to 53 MLD with the use of MBBR. Also the first MBBR plant is working since 1989 in Norway with the original media added then.


Dear Sir,

I would like to know the cost,power with consumables and lifetime between convention type and MBBR.



Hi Ranjini,

There are as such not many disadvantages for MBBR system except the little extra amount you may need to spend on the media, most of which will be recovered by means of saving civil cost, diffuser cost etc. The grids will be cheaper than taht of ASP/ EA and the aeration tanks are much smaller. Absolutely no replacement of media ( If you are using the original Media from AnoxKaldnes, the inventor of MBBR Technology) as the properly designed sieves retain them in the tank.

The efficiency of the system depends on how well you design the whole plant as per your requirement


Dear All Friends!!!

Had been through comments of all.

First of all, both FAB & MBBR are suspended moving media based technologies

Second in selection of STP technologies present MBR- Membrane Bio is the best

If we have to consider Media based technology then, i have a very good example of FAB technolgy of THERMAX LTD., Its a pune based company, Which has on same lines installation of 135 MLD FAB STP in Punjab.

The cost of running this plant is a little higher but you get mant other benefits like no sludge recycling desired, no person to monitor MLSS ( mixed liquor suspended solids or in lay man language bacteria count). If power failure is there system can withstand without areation upto 8 hrs & when power comes back automatically gets commissioned.

My best wishes to all

Lalit Kaul

8. MBBR and FAB

Hi Fellows

If you have any technical  queries of clarifications  required regarding MBBR please let us know or alternatively can find some info on


Shellay Virk

9. Who is the best MBBR STP manufacturer in India

Suggest few manufacturers of MBBR based STP in India

10. MBBR based STP Manufacturer

Hi David,
We are based in Nagpur and specialized in STP. Ganesh Enviro is a division of "Aqua Enviro Systems", having our own manufacturing facility. Please let us know if we can be of any help for your treatment needs. You may please visit

You may please contact us at / /

Best regards,

11. Need details about the growth kinetics of MBBR

Can you send me some details about the growth kinetics of MBBR?

12. Best MBBR Company

I think Ion Exchange(I) Ltd. is the best, as we have seen many of their plants working in very good conditions.  Most importantly it's Modular system is MS with FRP coating which is Unique.

13. MBR or MBBR-which is better?


Can I know which is the better one, MBBR or MBR?


14. MBR, MBBR, STP & FAB - What is the difference?


I want to know the difference between the various types of treatment technologies.

Regards to all

15. There not many disadvantages for MBBR systems

Installation of 38 M.L.D, sewerage treatment plant is under progress in Karim Nagar (A.P)

There are as such not many disadvantages for MBBR system except the little extra amount you may need to spend on the media, most of which will be recovered by means of saving diffuser costs etc. The grids will be cheaper than that of ASP/EA and the aeration tanks are much smaller.

Absolutely no replacement of media is needed as the properly designed sieves retain them in the tank.

The efficiency of the system depends on how well you design the whole plant as per your requirement.

16. What is the difference between MBBR & FAB technology

Can anyone throw light on the difference between MBBR & FAB??

Regards to all.


We are one of the best manufactures in water an waste water treatment plants.

Please visit for more elaborated details.

18. Best solution for Sewage treatment

We are searching for the best solution for sewage treatment for 100 person.

Please guide me, with the best one for our advanced membrane biological reactors activated sludge process submerged aerobic fixed film reactor, up flow anaerobic sludge blanket moving bed biofilm reactor.

19. How does MBBR work on dyeing effluent?

I understand that this is a good technology, but how does it work on textiles (dyeing) effluent? I know retention time is an important factor, but here is not important!

20. MBBR / FAB vs MBR


Saw through this conservation by chance , I am adding below my observations on the subject- In biological waste water treatment we essentially have two types of bio cultures 1/- Suspended Growth ( Microbes which grow in suspension and populate as individual microbes growing in suspension in the fluid they also attach them selves together ) , example of this type are Activated Sludge including extended aeration and various modifications of activated sludge , like MLEE , AS + , A2O etc 2/- Fixed Film Growth ( Microbes which grow best attached to a surface ) like Trickling Filters , high rate bio filters , MBBR ( Moving Bed Bio Reactor - the media is suspended in the fluid and moves hence the name ) FAB is a propriety name to the MBBR process given by Thermax , whereas as MBBR is a Generic name ) 3/- Hybrid Technologies like IFAS ( Integrated Fixed Film Activated Sludge ) This is a mixture of MBBR + Suspended Growth Bio Reactor . 4/- MBR ( Membrane Bio Reactor ) it is essentially a suspended growth Activated Sludge Technology with the solid / bio mass separation being done in through a membrane instead of a gravity clarifer .

MBBR is a good technology , however a of its major faults lies in the inability of tasking corrective process action , like its possible in Activated sludge systems like adjusting the concentration of MLSS ( ie bio mass concentration ) and adjusting the mean cell residence time , F/M ratio to cater for upsets caused by environmental ( lie temperature ) or high or low load ( flow & strength ) . We can not make such adjustments in MBBR , all the adjustments that could be made are reduction of flow / load .

The MBBR design is very much dependent upon type of media and its active surface area available for bio growth . MBBR is still very much a empirical process with system designed on organic / solid loading , surface area , which are a very much technology provider dependent .

At the present juncture the kinetics of MBBR are still not very well defined like the activated sludge where all kinetics are well defined and modeling of the system is possible . For MBBR one still has to make a certain amount of assumptions for design and get them wrong you have a disaster . MBBR is presently 95 % Knowledge of Technology available with the developers of Technology ( Anox , Kaldness , Hydroxyl, Aquawise and a lot of technology imitators ) and 5 % media . Too little or too much media , to little air or too much air all cause problems there is a lot of knowledge in MBBR Technology & System Engineering design which is still propriety. A word of caution if going in for MBBR select a good technology provider or you can be in problems .

From the openness and reliability of technology I would support presently Suspended Growth Technology versus any Fixed Film Technology as its a mature technology and well developed and should be adopted gor large green feild plants . MBBR or for that matter IFAS is a technology more suited for retrofitting of existing WWTP,s and improving performance plus capacity without adding too much tankage volume . MBBR is the buz word because the seller sells more material ( ie media ) and its still a good margin business . Whatever the technology proper engineering is needed for sucessfull implementation.

Cheers to 2012 ..and welcoming 2013

Subhash Verma

21. MMBR vs Suspended growth, how you arrived at your conclusion

Dear Subhas Verma,

The article you have written at this blog is the conclusion we had arrived a long time back. I have gone through several articles, authentic book (which prescribed software based design) but never came across any design based on first principle. However I would very much like to know how you arrived at your conclusion.

22. Need info on cost & better system to set up 250 KLD- MBBR/SAFFR


Please tell me the approximate cost for setting up a 250 KLD Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) and which system is best for it - Moving Bed Biofilm Reactor (MBBR) or Submerged Aerobic Fixed Film Reactor (SAFFR)

23. Is MBBR suitable for ETP where BOD is 5000

Would like to know whether MBBR technology is suitable for industry where BOD of effluent is 5000.

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