Study of (ir)reversible fouling in MBRs under various operating conditions using new on-line fouling sensor
Faculty of Sciences. Bioscience Engineering
Engineering sciences. Technology
Separation and purification technology. - Amsterdam
, p. 208-215
University of Antwerp
In this study, a new fouling sensor was validated under different conditions of hydraulic (HRT) and sludge retention time (SRT). The MBR-VFM (membrane bioreactor-VITO Fouling Measurement) allows the simultaneous determination of the physically reversible and irreversible fouling potential of a mixed liquor during a single crossflow filtration test. In accordance with the on-line filtration behavior, the measured reversible and irreversible fouling propensities differed significantly between MBRs operated at different combinations of HRT-SRT. Moreover, a significant negative correlation was found between the on-line permeability and the reversible and irreversible fouling propensity measured by the MBR-VFM. This corresponded to observations made on membrane recovery after physical or chemical cleaning actions. Higher reversible and irreversible fouling were observed at lower HRT, presumably as a consequence of increased concentrations of foulants present. The effect of SRT was much smaller and restricted to the reversible fouling component. Possible explanations for the increased fouling at prolonged SRT are the higher sludge and colloid concentration and the smaller floc size. It can be concluded that the MBR-VFM is a useful tool to monitor fluctuations in a mixed liquors (ir)reversible fouling potential and can contribute to a deeper understanding of the occurring fouling phenomena.