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Open Access Evaluation of a Gravity Flow Membrane Bioreactor for Treating Municipal Wastewater

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The biomass concentrator reactor (BCR), a gravity flow membrane bioreactor (MBR) design, was evaluated for use in treating a municipal wastewater stream. The BCR operates with less than 2.5 cm of pressure head and uses a 3 to 4 mm thick tortuous path membrane with pore size ranging from 18 to 28 μm to achieve solids separation. A two-stage, aerobic/anoxic reactor was evaluated for the removal of chemical oxygen demand (COD), ammonia, total nitrogen, and solids separation. The reactor was fed 72 L/day, with a hydraulic retention time of 9.3 hours, and had a solids retention time of 20 days. The influent COD was reduced by 93%, whereas, influent ammonia was reduced below 0.1 mg/L and total nitrogen was reduced by 53.7%. A lack of readily biodegradable COD limited denitrification and thus total nitrogen removal. The reactor solids were retained completely in the reactor by the membrane for the duration of testing.
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Keywords: biomass concentrator reactor; denitrification; gravity flow; membrane bioreactor; nitrification; wastewater treatment

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 February 2018

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  • Water Environment Research (WER) is published monthly, including an annual Literature Review. A subscription to WER includes access to the latest content back to 1992, as well as access to fast track articles. An individual subscription is valid for 12 months from month of purchase.

    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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