Mitsubishi Electric said that it will partner with Sembcorp Industries to test its Ozone Backwashing Energy-Saving Membrane Bioreactor (Eco-MBR), a new technology for low-energy wastewater treatment and water recycling.

The technology will be testbedded at Sembcorp’s water plants in Singapore prior to its commercial release.

Mitsubishi Electric claims that tests so far have resulted in high quantity of permeated water per membrane surface area which is twice the rate of conventional MBRs.

According to Mitsubishi, the key for achieving high permeability level is backwashing the membranes regularly with highly ozonated water which removes virtually all organic foulants. This increases water permeability through the membranes.

In addition to this, the Eco-MBR consumes less energy than conventional MBRs as it reduces air bubbles emitted from a blower that cleans the membrane surfaces. IT also enables the use of fewer membranes which result in smaller plant and system footprints.

By testbedding at Sembcorp’s facilities, Mitsubishi Electric opines that it will enable Eco-MBR’s performance to be proven in industrial setting ahead of its planned commercialisation in 2018.

Mitsubishi Electric claims that its technical expertise in developing more than 1700 ozone generators has been used in the development of Eco-MBR as a solution for areas around the world with increased demand for water.

In Singapore, water resources are limited and the government and industry have been applying water-reuse solutions to provide sustainable and alternative supplies of water for industrial use. At present, the country can supply about 30% of the nation’s water needs.

The pilot-project will be deployed at Sembcorp’s S$8m ($5.93m) Sembcorp Industrial Living Lab which was launched by Sembcorp and Singapore’s Economic Development Board to test support testbedding and commercialisation of new R&D projects.