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Factors that affect the permeability of commercial hollow-fibre membranes in a submerged anaerobic MBR (HF-SAnMBR) system

, : Factors that affect the permeability of commercial hollow-fibre membranes in a submerged anaerobic MBR (HF-SAnMBR) system. Water Research 47(3): 1277-1288

A demonstration plant with two commercial HF ultrafiltration membrane modules (PURON(®), Koch Membrane Systems, PUR-PSH31) was operated with urban wastewater. The effect of the main operating variables on membrane performance at sub-critical and supra-critical filtration conditions was tested. The physical operating variables that affected membrane performance most were gas sparging intensity and back-flush (BF) frequency. Indeed, low gas sparging intensities (around 0.23 Nm(3) h(-1) m(-2)) and low BF frequencies (30-s back-flush for every 10 basic filtration-relaxation cycles) were enough to enable membranes to be operated sub-critically even when levels of mixed liquor total solids were high (up to 25 g L(-1)). On the other hand, significant gas sparging intensities and BF frequencies were required in order to maintain long-term operating at supra-critical filtration conditions. After operating for more than two years at sub-critical conditions (transmembrane flux between 9 and 13.3 LMH at gas sparging intensities of around 0.23 Nm(3) h(-1) m(-2) and MLTS levels from around 10-30 g L(-1)) no significant irreversible/irrecoverable fouling problems were detected (membrane permeability remained above 100 LMH bar(-1) and total filtration resistance remained below 10(13) m(-1)), therefore no chemical cleaning was conducted. Membrane performance was similar to the aerobic HF membranes operated in full-scale MBR plants.


PMID: 23260179

DOI: 10.1016/j.watres.2012.11.055

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