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This paper presents the results of 195 d of pilot-scale submerged membrane bioreactor (SMBR) experiments on settled municipal wastewater. Short-term and long-term experiments were performed to assess membrane fouling at high solids concentrations. For the short-term experiments, the membrane flux was maintained constant at 30 L/m2.h (LMH) and coarse bubble aeration rates of 9.4, 14.2, and 18.9 L/s were tested on steady-state SMBR mixed liquor at 10-d, 20-d and 30-d MCRTs using the membrane as a thickening device. The long-term experiments were performed by increasing the MLSS concentrations through a “no wasting” approach (no biomass wasting). The membrane specific flux declined with increasing MLSS concentration in all experiments. Increasing the coarse bubble aeration rate increased the specific flux at a given MLSS concentration. Mixed liquor properties affected the influence of MLSS concentration on specific flux decline in the short-term experiments, but not in the long-term experiments. Mixed liquor behaved as a power law fluid and its viscosity was related to the specific flux decline for a given coarse bubble aeration rate in the short-term experiments. Finally, the rate of increasing MLSS concentration influenced the specific flux decline corresponding to a given MLSS concentration.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2005-01-01

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