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Investigating the effect of colloids on the performance of a biofilm membrane reactor (BF-MBR) for treatment of municipal wastewater

Water Research Commission (WRC)
Publication Date
  • Biofilm Membrane Reactor
  • Colloidal Fouling
  • Particle Size Distribution
  • Fractional Cod Distribution


Performance of membrane reactor in combination with moving-bed-biofilm reactor (BF-MBR) for treatment of municipal wastewater was investigated in relation to different organic loading rates; high and low rates. The membrane was operated with a constant flux of 50 LMH and 96% recovery. The fouling rate was evaluated as development of the trans-membrane pressure (TMP) during the operational time. Suspended solids (SS) concentrations, organic matter (COD/FCOD), particle size distributions (PSD), capillary suction time (CST) and time to filter (TTF) were measured daily and further related to TMP in order to determine major fouling factors. A higher fouling potential was observed for high-rate operating conditions. A fraction of organic matter below 1.2 ìm was mostly related to changes in TMP. Furthermore, a higher amount of particulate fraction below 0.1 ìm in membrane reactors during high-rate operating conditions presented a dominant contribution to membrane fouling and colloidal fouling.

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