Sperta System
What is the difference between MBR and MBBR

What is the difference between MBR and MBBR?

Table of Contents

In the ever-evolving world of wastewater treatment, there are two prominent technologies: MBR (Membrane Bioreactor) and MBBR (Moving Bed Biofilm Reactor). Both have unique strengths, but how do they stack up against each other?

At a high level, MBR combines membrane filtration with biological treatment, while MBBR uses biofilm carriers for microbial growth. Each offers distinct advantages and challenges, making them suitable for wastewater treatment scenarios.

To make an informed decision on which method to use, it’s essential to delve deeper into their operational differences, advantages, and challenges.

How Does MBR Work?

MBR is a sophisticated technology that merges biological degradation processes with membrane filtration. Simply, it uses microorganisms to break down waste and a membrane to filter out the treated water. This dual approach ensures that the water coming out is of high quality.


MBBR, on the other hand, relies on small plastic carriers that float in the wastewater. These carriers provide a surface for microorganisms to grow. As the carriers move, the microorganisms break down the waste, treating the water in the process.

What are the Advantages of MBR?

MBR’s primary strength lies in its ability to produce high-quality effluent. The treated water is often so clean that it can be reused. Additionally, MBR systems are compact, making them ideal for places with limited space. Their operational flexibility also means they can handle varying wastewater conditions.

How About MBBR’s Strengths?

MBBR stands out for its simplicity. It’s easy to operate and doesn’t require specialized knowledge. The system is also robust and able to handle sudden increases in waste without breaking down. And since there’s no need to recirculate sludge, the process is more straightforward.

Are There Challenges with MBR?

Like all technologies, MBR has challenges. The membranes can get clogged, requiring regular maintenance. This fouling can also lead to higher energy use, increasing operational costs.

What About MBBR’s Challenges?

MBBR systems often require post-treatment to ensure the water meets quality standards. There’s also the potential for the biofilm to detach from the carriers, which can lead to issues in the treatment process.

MBR vs. MBBR: A Quick Comparison

OperationCombines biological treatment with membrane filtrationUses biofilm carriers for microbial growth
AdvantagesHigh-quality effluent, compact design, operational flexibilitySimplicity, robustness, no sludge recirculation
ChallengesMembrane fouling, higher energy consumptionNeed for post-treatment, biofilm detachment

Which One Should You Choose?

The decision between MBR and MBBR boils down to your specific needs. If you’re looking for high-quality treated water and have limited space, MBR might be the way to go. However, if you want a simple, robust system, MBBR could be a better fit.


Both MBR and MBBR offer unique advantages in wastewater treatment. By understanding their differences, strengths, and challenges, you can make an informed decision that best suits your needs.

The above is information about MBR vs MBBR. If you still have questions about the membrane bioreactor or need to purchase MBR membranes, don’t hesitate to contact SPERTA.

Shanghai SPERTA Environmental Technology Co., Ltd. has specialized in producing water treatment products for many years. The company has the core technology of producing MBR membrane components. It has a high production capacity, aiming to build a high-quality brand of MBR production and sales all over the world. If you have any needs, please feel free to contact us.

Kevin Chen

Kevin Chen

Hi, I'm the author of this post and have been in this field for over 5 years. If you have questions regarding the MBR membrane products or want to purchase the MBR membrane, please feel free to contact me by email. kevin@spertasystems.com

Like this article?

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on Linkdin
Share on Pinterest

More to explorer

What are the Advantages of MBR?

The MBR system offers a range of advantages, from producing high-quality treated water to being space-efficient, making it a top choice for modern wastewater treatment.

What are the advantages of the MBR Membrane?

What are the advantages of the MBR Membrane?

MBR membrane bioreactor is a biological reaction system that combines membrane separation technology and bioreactor, which can improve the separation of sludge and water, and the quality of effluent can also reach a high level.

How To Avoid MBR Membrane Fouling?

How To Avoid MBR Membrane Fouling?

The MBR membrane should be cleaned after operating for a period of time. Effective cleaning can prevent fouling caused by colloid, salt scaling, microorganisms, and other substances and can also eliminate the possibility of damage to the membrane elements caused by large particles.

Need MBR Membrane for your plants?
Get The Latest Updates

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

No spam, notifications only about new article updates regarding MBR membrane Technologies.

Sperta System

Ask For A Quick Quote

We will contact you within 6 hours, please pay attention to the email with the suffix “@spertasystems.com”.