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Aerobic and Anaerobic Membrane Bioreactors for Municipal Wastewater Treatment

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An aerobic bioreactor and an anaerobic bioreactor, each coupled with a microfiltration membrane filter (MBR), were operated at different hydraulic retention times (HRTs) with primary effluent from the City of Elmhurst, Illinois, municipal-wastewater-treatment plant. The soluble chemical oxygen demand (COD) removal performance of the anaerobic MBR system was similar to that of the aerobic MBR under the same operational conditions, without the added cost of aeration. The results indicated that the solids deposition rate on the membrane surface was lower in the case of anaerobic MBR compared to the aerobic MBR, indicating possible lower loss in water-flux rates. This research found that an anaerobic MBR is a feasible and economical option for municipal-wastewater-treatment plants seeking COD removal by a biological process followed by a separate nitrification and denitrification system.

Keywords: aeration; aerobic and anaerobic microfiltration membrane filter; denitrification; nitrification; soluble chemical oxygen demand removal

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: February 1, 2006

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  • Water Environment Research® (WER®) publishes peer-reviewed research papers, research notes, state-of-the-art and critical reviews on original, fundamental and applied research in all scientific and technical areas related to water quality, pollution control, and management. An annual Literature Review provides a review of published books and articles on water quality topics from the previous year.

    Published as: Sewage Works Journal, 1928 - 1949; Sewage and Industrial Wastes, 1950 - 1959; Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, 1959 - Oct 1989; Research Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, Nov 1989 - 1991; Water Environment Research, 1992 - present.
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