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Upgrade Wastewater Treatment Plants with Submerged MABR Technology


Upgrade Wastewater Treatment Plants with Submerged MABR Technology


With increased urbanization, wastewater treatment plants face new challenges

When a conventional activated sludge wastewater treatment facility has reached its limit, Fluence's SUBRE can come to the rescue. Instead of enlarging current plants and building new basins, SUBRE towers are submerged in existing chambers, improving effluent quality, lowering the use of chemicals, saving energy and operational costs, and increasing capacity. SUBRE upgrades wastewater plants using membrane aerated biofilm reactor (MABR) modules. SUBRE is designed to upgrade existing basins with capacities of 2,000-100,000 m³/d (0.5-22 MGD) or improve effluent qualities to meet stringent nutrient regulations.

SUBRE enables:

  • Increased treatment capacity to accommodate higher inflows
  • Reduced TN and TP in effluent water (biological nutrient removal)
  • Progress toward energy-neutral treatment

In a SUBRE upgrade, towers of up to four levels of MABR modules are submerged in the anoxic zone of the WWTP (in a fully aerated reactor with no anoxic zone, construction of a separating wall will be required).

Easy-to-install MABR modules are energy-efficient and cost-effective, and ensure high effluent quality due to simultaneous nitrification-denitrification. The SUBRE towers are suitable for installation in basins ranging from 1.5 m to 6 m (5-20 feet) deep. The towers are anchored to the basin floor and are aerated by a separate low-pressure, low-flow blower. Coarse bubble diffusers are used for periodic mixing of the suspended biomass (utilizing existing aeration blowers if possible).

The retrofit can be performed with minimal interruption, one basin at a time. Results seen in one to three weeks include an improved effluent quality or increased capacity, and up to a 30% decrease in the plant's overall energy use. And, SUBRE will greatly save on operational expenses.

A SUBRE upgrade will achieve:

  • Enhanced nitrogen removal
  • Enhanced bio-phosphorous removal
  • Increased capacity
  • Improved effluent quality
  • A decrease in operational costs of up to 30%

MABR Modules outperform attached growth solutions such as MBBR and IFAS with:

  • Higher nitrification rate achieved in a once-through process
  • Enhanced biological phosphorus removal
  • Reduced energy costs
  • Lower chemicals usage

Enhance Wastewater Treatment Capacity and Efficiency with SUBRE

Are you looking for ways to get more from your existing wastewater treatment plant? Contact our experts for more information on how you can increase capacity, cut energy use, and improve effluent quality with SUBRE.

Looking for a new wastewater treatment system? Learn more about Fluence’s Aspiral™ Smart Packaged MABR plants.

SUBRE Features and Benefits

  • Upgrades existing WWTPs with basin capacities of 2,000-100,000 m³/d (0.5-22 MGD)
  • Available in towers of one to four MABR modules
  • Ideal for expanding treatment capacity of plants without expanding footprint
  • Up to 80% TP removal in biological stage
  • Stable effluent quality complies with stringent regulations
  • Up to 20% OPEX reduction
  • Reduces carbon addition by up to 30%
  • Full technical support and membrane warranty
  • Zero footprint and no additional construction
  • Simple to operate
  • Progress toward energy-neutral treatment



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