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Influence of Operating Conditions on Fouling Behavior in Wastewater Membrane Bioreactor Processes

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Membrane fouling was studied using three pilot-scale submerged membrane bioreactors operated at a series of permeation and aeration conditions to treat municipal wastewater. The transmembrane pressure increases were used to calculate the fouling ratios to compare the relative fouling rates. The results showed that the trends of fouling resistances differed greatly, depending on the permeate flux and mixed liquor characteristics. A stable fouling resistance can result when the filtration is operated at sustainable permeate flux conditions. At the unsustainable permeate flux conditions, the fouling resistance increased exponentially as the filtration progresses. In all the cases, the fouling ratios increased with permeate flux and decreased with aeration intensity. Furthermore, the effects of aeration intensity on fouling ratio is independent of the permeate flux and vice versa. Finally, the variation of fouling ratios at different operating conditions strongly depends on the sludge characteristics of mixed liquor and it appears that more than one parameter of mixed liquor is needed to define their relationship.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2006-01-01

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