Tech File: BioBarrier MarineMBR

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

October 20, 2020

(Photo: Scienco/FAST)

(Photo: Scienco/FAST)

The BioBarrier MarineMBR series of Type II sewage treatment plant (STP) from marine sewage and water treatment specialist Scienco/FAST is engineered to help meet the increasingly stringent needs of U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) and International Maritime Organization (IMO) water quality standards and is ideal for water reuse applications, its manufacturer says.

With its decades-long history providing adaptable and proven marine sewage devices, environmentally-friendly cleaners and other industrial water management technologies, Scienco/FAST, a BioMicrobics subsidiary, offers membrane technology treatment options that remove 99.9% of pollutants and contaminants found in vessels’ sewage sources, including domestic and high strength wastewater flows.

The BioBarrier MarineMBR uses an advanced process that acts as an impenetrable physical barrier for nearly every common pollutant found in wastewater. Certified by the USCG to 33 CFR Part 159 standards and to IMO resolution MEPC.227(64), the system is capable of treating with freshwater or saltwater (input <6.5% salinity) flushing or combination of the two.

“The Marine BioBarrier MBR cleans black and grey water and galley waste water to the highest standards, removing viruses for water reuse opportunities such as toilet flushing or washing machinery. Essentially, the water is cleaner than rain water,” says BioMicrobics’ president, Bob Rebori, who explained that the system was designed to be a simpler version of other more complicated options on the market. “Everything we do with our marine sanitation devices (MSD) is to make them very simple to install, operate and maintain over the life of the vessel or platform. Every system has a wet functionality test prior to shipping to minimize installation time.”

The company’s systems are also known for their durability and reliability, and Rebori says about half of Scienco/FAST installs are retrofit projects, often replacing other manufacturers’ systems that have failed.

Part of the MarineFAST product line, the BioBarrier MarineMBR was created by a team of Scienco/FAST and BioMicrobics water/wastewater process and design engineers, who worked with a control panel expert to centralize all the controls on a single touch screen. Each system operates automatically and is controlled by a three level float switch and timing relays in the control cabinet: BOD less than 5 mg/L, TSS less than 2 mg/L, Turbidity less than 0.2 NTU and Fecal coliform less than 200 CFU/100 mL (without disinfection).

BioBarrier membrane bioreactors are engineered to treat all sources of blackwater and greywater in varying strengths and dependent on daily wastewater flow. The Scienco/FAST custom MarineMBR steel tank provides access for maintenance and removal of the membranes for deep cleaning or replacement.  As well as the maintenance on the filtrate pumps and easy to access blower(s), while keeping as much of the equipment below deck and out of sight. All penetrations for air lines, filtrate outflow and electric cables are installed below the main deck. A submersible pump is mounted on the membrane module housing and used as the filtrate pump.

“We are seeing a lot of interest for vessels that sail in sensitive waters and vessels and offshore facilities needing water reuse.” Rebori says. “We have several in Alaska and British Columbia waters. Now that we have formally announced their availability, we are getting more inquiries. Within a year, it will likely be another mainstay product line of ours.”

Other certifications received for the BioBarrier MBR technology include the NSF/ANSI (National Sanitation Foundation International) Standards 40, class 1; 245 for Nitrogen Reduction; 350 for Water Reuse, and EN12566-3 (European standard for onsite sewage Treatment plants for up to 50 people) and with future approvals, such as with ASTM’s ships and marine technology committee (F25), is developing another proposed standard (WK73063).

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