MagnaTree - harnessing biofilms for improved bioreactor efficiency

Lab-scale MagnaTree Prototype

How it Works

  • Demo video

  • The MagnaTree structure is implemented submerged in a bioreactor

  • Wastewater is recirculated through the MagnaTree structure

  • Biofilms on the structure's meshes metabolize pollutants

  • Bioreactor bulk liquid is filtered through dynamic membranes (biofilm layer that forms on meshes)


  1. Small footprint - operates like a membrane bioreactor

  2. Improves biofilm treatment - advective rather than diffusion-limited substrate transport

  3. Very low-energy fouling control - sparging not required

  4. Simple implementation - designed to be drop-in cassettes for retrofit or as modular treatment systems for decentralized applications


  • Applicable for low to high strength wastewater

  • No heating required to date for high methane yields (operation has been around 21 C)

  • Strong performance shown at lab-scale for dilute municipal wastewater and high-strength food waste

Ideal for:

  • Food & Bev. Industry

  • Dairy Processing Industry

  • Municipalities in Temperate Climates

Anaerobic Digestion

Municipal Retrofits

  • Increase capacity by reducing clarifier solids load (or completely eliminating clarifier need)

  • Increase capacity by adding biomass inventory 

  • Little operational complexity for maintaining dynamic membrane filtration

  • Can be used for carbon oxidation and nitrogen/phosphorous removal

Ideal for:

  • Secondary Process Intensification   (aerobic and anoxic possibilities) 

  • Primary Filtration