Skip to main content

Mathematical Modeling of Membrane Fouling in Submerged Membrane Bioreactors Effect of Colloids

The full text article is not available for purchase.

The publisher only permits individual articles to be downloaded by subscribers.

or click here to sign up for a free trial


A mathematical model is developed that accounts for internal fouling of membranes due to soluble microbial products during subcritical flux operation, and for supercritical flux fouling due to cake formation and compression. Critical flux equations based on limiting behavior balancing massic transport to and from the membrane accurately predict observed critical flux determinations. Massic flux from the membrane, backtransport, exhibits a maximum value that produces a maximum limit to scouring efficiency. The need for inclusion of cake compression effects to accurately predict observed fouling resistance is confirmed. Critical fluxes for colloidal particles defined operationally for particles with sizes between 1.5 and 0.04 um are significantly lower than critical fluxes for larger biological floc particles. This is in accordance with previously reported observations. The higher specific resistance and lower fluxes make colloidal particles the likely most important contributor to overall fouling in MBRs under practical operational conditions. Soluble microbial products due to the smaller size are significant for long term pore plugging fouling more than cake based fouling.

Keywords: Model; bioreactor; cake; colloids; compression; fouling; membrane; soluble microbial products; submerged

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2010

More about this publication?
  • 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 These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

    WEF Members: Sign in (right panel) with your IngentaConnect user name and password to receive complimentary access.
  • Subscribe to this Title
  • Membership Information
  • About WEF Proceedings
  • WEFTEC Conference Information
  • Ingenta Connect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites

Access Key

Free Content
Free content
New Content
New content
Open Access Content
Open access content
Subscribed Content
Subscribed content
Free Trial Content
Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more