Elastic Membrane-based Membrane Bioreactor (MBR) with High-Efficiency for Fouling Control


Membrane bioreactors are designed to remove contaminants from wastewater. This wastewater can come from residences, businesses, industries, and runoff water from rainfall and/or flooding. A membrane bioreactor (MBR) employs micro-filters (membranes). For currently available membranes, only the loosely attached foulants can be removed during the backwash process. By contrast, those particles, colloids and solutes that are comparable or smaller than the pore sizes can easily get stuck in the pores and cannot be removed by simple physical cleaning. In this case, harsh chemical treatment is often used to cleanse the fouling. However, repeated uses of chemical cleaning can accelerate membrane deterioration and shorten the membrane lifetime.


Researchers at Stony Brook University have invented a novel class of flat sheet membranes composed of elastic microfiltration membranes and a non-woven elastic substrate. This invention can be used in a Membrane Bioreactor system to improve the fouling removal efficiency. Preventing the accumulation of ?irremovable? foulants by using this invention, will decrease the amount of chemical cleaning demanded for Membrane Boireactor Systems, increasing the service life of the membrane and reducing the disposal of toxic and caustic spent chemicals used in the cleaning process.


- Significantly higher efficiency than currently commercialized membranes while maintaining high flux. - The pore sizes are adjustable depending on the applied trans-membrane pressure (TMP)


Preventing the buildup of fouling in Membrane Bioreactor Systems without using harsh chemicals.

Patent Status

Patent application submitted

Stage Of Development

PCT Filed.

Licensing Potential

Development partner - Commercial partner - Licensing

Licensing Status

Available for license. Stony Brook University is seeking to develop and commercialize, by an exclusive or non-exclusive license agreement and/or sponsored research, with a company active in the area.

Additional Info

Additional Information:

https://stonybrook.technologypublisher.com/files/sites/8621-elastic-membrane-based-membrane-bioreactor-(mbr)-with-high-efficiency-for-fouling-control.jpg Source: WFranz, pixabay.com/photos/sewage-plant-wastewater-4560229/, Pixabay Licence
Patent Information:
Case ID: R8621
For Information, Contact:
Donna Tumminello
Assistant Director
State University of New York at Stony Brook
Benjamin Chu
Ying Su
Benjamin Hsiao
Elastic membrane
Flat sheet
Fouling control
Membrane Bioreactor (MBR)