Novel membrane bioreactor (MBR) coupled with a nonwoven fabric filter for household wastewater treatment

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Water Research, 2010, 44 (3), pp. 751 - 760
Issue Date:
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Conventional and modified membrane bioreactors (MBRs) are increasingly used in small-scale wastewater treatment. However, their widespread applications are hindered by their relatively high cost and operational complexity. In this study, we investigate a new concept of wastewater treatment using a nonwoven fabric filter bag (NFFB) as the membrane bioreactor. Activated sludge is charged in the nonwoven fabric filter bag and membrane filtration via the fabric is achieved under gravity flow without a suction pump. This study found that the biofilm layer formed inside the NFFB achieved 10 mg/L of suspended solids in the permeate within 20 min of initial operation. The dynamic biofilter layer showed good filterability and the specific membrane resistance consisted of 0.3-1.9 × 1012 m/kg. Due to the low F/M ratio (0.04-0.10 kg BOD5/m3/d) and the resultant low sludge yield, the reactor was operated without forming excess sludge. Although the reactor provided aerobic conditions, denitrification occurred in the biofilm layer to recover the alkalinity, thereby eliminating the need to supplement the alkalinity. This study indicates that the NFFB system provides a high potential of effective wastewater treatment with simple operation at reduced cost, and hence offer an attractive solution for widespread use in rural and sparsely populated areas. Crown Copyright © 2009.
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