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Bioresour Technol. 2013 Jun;137:404-8. doi: 10.1016/j.biortech.2013.03.158. Epub 2013 Mar 30.

New insights into membrane fouling in submerged MBR under sub-critical flux condition.

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  • 1Institute of Resources and Environmental Engineering, Shanxi University, Taiyuan 030006, PR China.


This study investigated the membrane fouling in MBRs under sub-critical flux condition. Results showed membrane fouling at subcritical flux evolved through a three-stage process: a slow linear increase in transmembrane pressure (TMP) (stage I), followed by an exponential increase in TMP (stage II), and finally a rapid linear TMP rise was observed at stage III. It was found that bound EPS would play a significant role in fouling development at stage I, while SMPs appeared to be the major contributor to self-accelerating fouling phenomena observed at stage II. At stage III, the entire membrane was covered by a cake layer of flocs, as the result, the fouling rate was likely determined by floc characteristics. This study offers new insights into the fouling development under sub-critical flux condition.

Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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