Evaluation of different configurations of hybrid membrane bioreactors for treatment of domestic wastewater

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Four membrane bioreactors (MBRs) with the same dimensions were studied for 180 days: three hybrid growth membrane bioreactors with biofilm attached in different packing media and a conventional MBR (C-MBR). The four MBRs had an identical membrane module of hollow fiber with a nominal porous diameter of 0.4 μm. The MBRs were: (1) a C-MBR; (2) a moving bed membrane bioreactor (MB-MBR), which was packed with 2 L of carrier Kaldnes-K1, presenting an exposed surface area of 678.90 m2/m3; (3) a non-submerged organic fixed bed (OFB-MBR) packed with 6.5 L of organic packing media composed of a mixture of cylindrical pieces of wood, providing an exposed surface area of 178.05 m2/m3; and (4) an inorganic fixed bed non-submerged membrane bioreactor (IFB-MBR) packed with 6 L of spherical volcanic pumice stone with an exposed surface area of 526.80 m2/m3. The four MBRs were fed at low organic loading (0.51 ± 0.19 kgCOD/m3 d). The results were recorded according to the behavior of the total resistance, transmembrane pressure (TMP), permeability, and removal percentages of the nutrients during the experimental time. The results showed that the MB-MBR presented the better performance on membrane filtration, while the higher nutrient removals were detected in the OFB-MBR and IFB-MBR.

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