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Reexamination of the Gas Sparging Mechanism for Membrane Fouling Control

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Optimization in fouling control is indispensable in the operation of Membrane Bioreactors (MBRs) for reduction of the overall operational and capital costs. Many strategies have been developed to control and minimize membrane fouling. However, as hydrodynamic conditions have been poorly understood, benefits of “air cycling” over the “continuous aeration” cannot be explained. A new concept was introduced to explain this phenomenon, that is, the intensity of turbulence caused by the bubble is dependent upon the bubble size and the Rising Water Velocity (RWV). Experiment and the subsequent numerical study show the validity of this new approach.

Keywords: Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD); Membrane Bioreactors (MBRs); Rising Water Velocity (RWV); cross flow; fouling control; relative velocity; shear force; “10-10s mode”; “air cycling”; “continuous aeration”

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2010-01-01

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