Graywater reclamation by a shredded tire biofilter and a membrane bioreactor in series

Meng Hu, Tian C. Zhang, John Stansbury, Jill Neal, Aijiao Zhou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The search for sustainable and effective water reclamation technologies has been stimulated by increasingly urgent water scarcity. Graywater (GW) is an excellent potential resource for relieving the water scarcity problem because it has a relatively low pollution level and because it is abundant and accessible. GW makes up approximately 70% of domestic wastewater. A new technology, shredded tire biofilter (STB), combined with a membrane bioreactor (MBR), was demonstrated to be an efficient method for treating GW to a level that satisfies the USEPA's water reuse guidelines. In the proposed technology, the MBR ensured adequate effluent water quality, and the STB pretreated the GW. The technology may significantly reduce the energy required to treat GW by MBRs alone. It was further observed that increasing hydraulic retention time and decreasing shredded tire particle size enhanced the removal of BOD5 in the STBs. Analysis of biofilms on shredded tire chips showed that microorganisms could attach and grow on tire shreds. Moreover, this combination would be economically feasible and environmentally sustainable for an average household (i.e., three to four people), making it a potentially promising technology for decentralized wastewater treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)84-91
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Environmental Engineering (United States)
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Decentralized wastewater treatment
  • Graywater reclamation
  • Membrane bioreactor (MBR)
  • Scrap tire
  • Sustainable technology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Civil and Structural Engineering


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