Performance of Membrane Bioreactor (MBR) in High Phosphate Wastewater
Abstract:This study presents the performance of membrane
bioreactor in treating high phosphate wastewater. The laboratory
scale MBR was operated at permeate flux of 25 L/m2.h with a hollow
fiber membrane (polypropylene, approx. pore size 0.01 - 0.2 μm) at
hydraulic retention time (HRT) of 12 hrs. Scanning electron
microscopy (SEM) and energy diffusive X-ray (EDX) analyzer were
used to characterize the membrane foulants. Results showed that the
removal efficiencies of COD, TSS, NH3-N and PO4
3- were 93, 98, 80
and 30% respectively. On average 91% of influent soluble microbial
products (SMP) were eliminated, with the eliminations of
polysaccharides mostly above 80%. The main fouling resistance was
cake resistance. It should be noted that SMP were found in major
portions of mixed liquor that played a relatively significant role in
membrane fouling. SEM and EDX analyses indicated that the
foulants covering the membrane surfaces comprises not only organic
substances but also inorganic elements including Mg, Ca, Al, K and
 L.L. Blackall, G. Crocetti, A.M. Saunders, P.L. Bond, A review and
update of the microbiology of enhanced biological phosphorus removal
in wastewater treatment plants, Antonie Van Leeuwenhoek Int. J. Gen.
Mol. Microbiol. 81 (2002) 681-691.
 G. Akay, B. Keskinler, A. Cakici, U. Danis, Phosphate removal from
water by red mud using crossflow microfiltration,Water Res. 32 (1998)
 E. Oguz, Removal of phosphate from aqueous solution with blast
furnace slag, J. Hazard. Mater. 114 (2004) 131-137.
 Judd, S., The status of membrane bioreactor technology. Trends in
Biotechnology 26(2). (2008), 109-116.
 I.-S. Chang, P. Le Clech, B. Jefferson and S. Judd, Membrane fouling in
membrane bioreactors for wastewater treatment, J. Envir. Eng., 128
 N. Cicek, W. Yang and J. Ilg, Critical review of membrane bioreactors:
worldwide research and commercial applications in North America,
In: MBR5, Cranfield University, 2005.
 S. Rosenberger and M. Kraume, Parameters influencing filterability of
activated sludge in membrane bioreactors. Proc. AWWA Membrane
Technology, Atlanta, 2003.
 APHA, Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and
Wastewater, 20th ed., American Public Health Association/American
Water Works Association/ Water Environment Federation, Washington,
 M. Dubois, K.A. Gilles, J.K. Hamilton, P.A. Rebers, F. Smith,
Colorimetric method for determination of sugars and related
substances, Anal. Chem. 28 (1956) 350-356.
 E.H. Lowry, N.J. Rosebrough, R.A. Lewis Far, R.J. Randall, Protein
measurement with the folin phenol reagent, J. Biol. Chem. 193 (1951)
 B. Fr├ÿlund, R. Palmgren, K. Keiding, P.H. Nielsen, Extraction of
activated sludge biopolymers by a cation exchange resin, Water Res.
30 (1996) 1749-1758.
 Meng FG, Zhang HM, Yang FL, Liu LF. Characterization of cake layer
in submerged membrane bioreactor. Environ Sci Technol
 Huang L, Morrissey MT. Fouling of membranes during microfiltration
of surimi wash water: roles of pore blocking and surface cake
formation. J Membr Sci (1998);144:113-23.
 You HS, Huang CP, Pan JR, Chang SC. Behavior of membrane scaling
during crossflow filtration in the anaerobic MBR system. Sep Sci