Influence of mixed liquor suspended solids on the removal efficiency of a hybrid membrane bioreactor

  • Palmarin, Matthew J. ;
  • Young, Stephanie
  • Received : 2014.11.03
  • Accepted : 2015.12.18
  • Published : 2016.01.25


The characterization of treatment performance with respect to mixed liquor suspended solids (MLSS) concentration enables greater control over system performance and contaminant removal efficiency. Hybrid membrane bioreactors (HMBRs) have yet to be well characterized in this regard, particularly in the context of greywater treatment. The aim of this study, therefore, was to determine the optimal MLSS concentration for a decentralized HMBR greywater reclamation system under typical loading conditions. Treatment performance was measured at MLSS concentrations ranging from 1000 to 4000 mg/L. The treated effluent was characterized in terms of biochemical oxygen demand ($BOD_5$), chemical oxygen demand (COD), turbidity, ammonia ($NH_3$), total phosphorus (TP), total kjeldahl nitrogen (TKN), and total nitrogen (TN). An MLSS concentration ranging from 3000 to 4000 mg/L yielded optimal results, with $BOD_5$, COD, turbidity, $NH_3$, TP, TKN, and TN removals reaching 99.2%, 97.8%, 99.8%, 99.9%, 97.9%, 95.1%, and 44.8%, respectively. The corresponding food-to-microorganism ratio during these trials was approximately 0.23 to 0.28. Operation at an MLSS concentration of 1000 mg/L resulted in an irrecoverable loss of floc, and contaminant residuals exceeded typical guideline values for reuse in non-potable water applications. Therefore, it is suggested that operation at or below this threshold be avoided.


greywater reclamation;hybrid membrane bioreactor;membrane bioreactor;mixed liquor suspended solids


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