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Performance of a Submerged Membrane Bioreactor System for Biological Nutrient Removal

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A pilot submerged membrane bioreactor coupled with biological nutrient removal was used to treat the primary effluent at a municipal wastewater treatment plant. Long-term experiments were conducted by varying hydraulic retention time from 6 to 8 hours and solids retention time from 20 to 50 days, respectively. The performance was assessed by monitoring key wastewater parameters, including chemical oxygen demand (COD), nitrogen, and phosphorus concentration in individual anoxic, anaerobic, aerobic, and membrane separation zones. Results showed that the tested system can consistently achieve COD, nitrogen, and phosphorus removal efficiencies at 80 to 98%, 70 to 93%, and 89 to 98%, respectively. Effluent COD remained low as a result of efficient solid retention, even though there was great variation in influent quality. However, total nitrogen increased proportionally with influent concentration. At a 50-day solids retention time, higher COD and nitrogen oxides specific utilization rates in the anoxic zone resulted in a high production of nitrogen oxides in the subsequent aerobic zone.
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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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