Case Study

MBR System Treats Nut Processor's High Strength Wastewater with Ease

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The TITAN MBR™ provides high quality effluent while minimizing precious land usage at this Hawaii nut processing facility.

The macadamia nut is indeed favored by many as a high quality nut, evidenced by its extensive use in desserts or simply as a premium stand-alone snack. One of the world’s leading producers of these delicious nuts produces more than 15 million pounds each year from its Hawaii processing plant.


Producing the nuts is a rather meticulous process, however, that involves multiple steps including collection, high-strength cracking, cleaning and dehydration. The nut-cleaning process generated an average of 8,500 gallons per day (32 cubic meters) and up to a maximum of 10,000 gallons per day (38 cubic meters) of high-strength wastewater. It contained shell residuals in concentrations of 2,500 mg/L BOD and 1,000 mg/l TSS. Newer permit guidelines required effluent quality improvements, while limited facility space necessitated the purchase of equipment with minimal footprints. The nut processor undertook an overhaul of its treatment processes that included upstream fine screening, a dissolved air flotation treatment plant, and advanced biological treatment.


Designers gravitated towards membrane bioreactor technology for advanced treatment, and after careful consideration of a variety of different systems selected the Smith & Loveless TITAN MBR™. The system was selected due to its high quality effluent, minimal footprint, and pre-engineered design.

The TITAN MBR™’s membranes are fully submerged in the aeration zone, offering a reduced footprint when compared with other MBR systems. The nut processor’s pre-engineered system was constructed of 31’ x 12’ tankage that was completely factory-built and prepared for simple installation upon delivery.

The TITAN MBR™ offers many additional benefits compared to traditional biological treatment systems, including eliminating the need for downstream clarifiers and providing water reuse capabilities for a number of functions. The system can be customized to include a variety of integral zones depending on the user’s needs, including nutrient removal, sludge holding and post-aeration.


The nut processor’s TITAN MBR™ was installed utilizing existing facilities and occupies a minimal footprint. After a few years of operation, the TITAN MBR™ delivers high quality effluent that exceeds all permit requirements.

The system operates with minimal operation requirements of the client. A simple seasonal chemical cleaning process requires only a few hours of labor, all while the plant remains fully operational. This enables plant resources to remain more focused on the really important thing: producing those tasty nuts.