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Characteristics of a Good Carrier Media


Tom owns a production factory. Every day, the factory produces 10 kg of a certain product. Based on his experience, Tom knows that, on average, one

trained worker with correct tools could manage to pack and ship out 1 kg of the product daily. Being a predictive man, Tom considers the probability that one

worker might get sick. To be on the safe side, he has 11trained workers instead of 10. This helps him prevent an overcapacity situation in the warehouse in

the event that one of them is sick or the factory has to increase its production capacity. With his 11 trained workers and correct tools, Tom’s factory

operates smoothly every day without trouble.


Now, let’s compare this with the biological wastewater treatment process. The product is the organic load to be removed by means of wastewater

treatment; the trained workers and tools are equivalent to the carrier media and biomass in the wastewater treatment process, respectively. Similar to the

workers who cannot pack and ship out the products without tools, the carrier MBBR media cannot

remove the organic load from the wastewater without biomass.


If one day Tom’s factory starts producing another product that requires a different packing method, he doesn’t dismiss his 11 workers and hire a new

group. Rather, he allows his workers time to become familiar with their new working tools. The same applies to biological wastewater treatment: The biomass

that grows on the carrier MBBR bio carrier media will gradually adapt itself to remove a

different type of organic load or concentration.


In order for Tom to ensure his factory can run smoothly, he needs both skilled workers and a good set of tools for them to use. The lack of either will

slow down the packing speed. For biological wastewater treatment with MBBR, the biomass as well as the carrier media that acts as the housing for the

bacteria are very important.


A good MBBR carrier media provides more than just a protected habitat for the bacteria to grow; it also ensures that all bacteria that grow on it are

sufficiently supplied with nutrients for their metabolism. During the biological treatment process, the bacteria consume dissolved organic substances.

Without sufficient nutrients, the growth of the bacteria is hindered, or worse, the bacteria die off. These phenomena will reduce the removal efficiency and

lead to an unqualified wastewater discharge. Hence, a proper selection of the carrier media is essential. This decision will affect both the organic removal

performance and the cost required to run the plant.


A good MBBR carrier has the following characteristics:


? A large protected surface area to maximize the amount of biomass;


? A porous surface to strengthen the biomass’s adhesion;


? An optimal substrate diffusion depth to ensure the metabolism;


? Wear-resistance for durability.


In terms of treatment, a good MBBR carrier aquaculture filter media ensures that all

biomass is active to remove the organic substances from the water. From the user’s perspective, a good MBBR carrier media eases the operation and provides a

variety of savings, such as in construction and operation.