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Evidence is cited in support of a reversible upper limit to the concentration of mixed liquor suspended solids that can be maintained in a submerged membrane bioreactor. It is hypothesized that this upper limit is due to the rheological properties of the suspension. It is also demonstrated that the form of a model, developed to describe the viscosity of suspensions, can be used to characterize this upper limit. Using such a model, two characteristics of the suspension are useful for describing behaviors: 1) the maximum packing density (MLSSmax) and 2) a sensitivity parameter (Ψ). For the work reported herein, MLSSmax ranged from 24 to 34 g/L and Ψ ranged from 0.01 to 0.7. Systems with low Ψ values were successful in operating much closer to MLSSmax. In addition to the increased solids concentration, other factors, such as membrane module design, the sludge age, the shear stress, and the quantity of EPS likely affect the values determined in this project.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2001-01-01

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  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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