Alternative design of a hybrid biofilm reactor was developed and evaluated experimentally in this article, aimed to minimize a suspended solid in the effluent and to manage an excess sludge produced in a membrane bioreactor (MBR) system. A hybrid vertical anaerobic sludge‐aerated
biofilm reactor (HyVAB) was proposed and coupled with external submerged membrane filtration for wastewater treatment application. The HyVAB featured an upper chamber of aerobic biofilm, a lower chamber of anaerobic activated sludge, and a roof-shaped separator located between the chambers,
to prevent diffusion of dissolved oxygen to the anaerobic chamber. The lower chamber was used for anaerobic digestion of aerobic sludge waste. The effects of hydraulic retention time in the HyVAB on effluent quality and on membrane fouling were studied. The average suspended solids concentration
in the effluent was found to be lower than 15 mg/L. The optimum operating conditions for the HyVAB MBR were investigated.
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