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MBR Treatment for Low Levels of Phosphorus

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A demonstration project was initiated to determine the ability of a Membrane Bioreactor (MBR) facility to consistently meet the requirements of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality for total phosphorus in the effluent to be less than 0.03 mg/l. In order to ensure that the process would function during adverse wintertime conditions the study was performed during a period from October 14, 2004 through March 15, 2005. The process incorporated the use of alum precipitation and a Kubota, flat-plate membrane module in an Enviroquip designed pilot system. The facility was operated by Highland Treatment, Inc and analytical work was performed by several certified laboratories.

The MBR operated at a constant flux of 10.0 gfd and at MLSS concentrations varying between 6,940 and 26,180 mg/l and at freezing temperatures. Membrane permeability remained high throughout the study indicating no irreversible or permanent fouling had occurred, even during events where one or more of the MBR basins froze over, resulting in a mechanical failure. The maximum recorded Trans-Membrane Pressure (TMP) was 1.9 psi with an average of 0.5 psi.

To maintain membrane performance, one maintenance clean-in-place (CIP) was performed during the six-months of operation. Using a 0.5% solution of sodium hypochlorite the CIP took approximately three hours.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2008

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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 These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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