A comparative pilot-scale evaluation of gas-sparged and granular activated carbon-fluidized anaerobic membrane bioreactors for domestic wastewater treatment.


CDM Smith, 14432 SE Eastgate Way, Suite 100, Bellevue, WA 98007, USA. Electronic address: [Email]


Two significantly different pilot-scale AnMBRs were used to treat screened domestic wastewater for over one year. Both systems similarly reduced BOD5 and COD by 86-90% within a 13-32 °C temperature range and at comparable COD loading rates of 1.3-1.4 kg-COD m-3 d-1 and membrane fluxes of 7.6-7.9 L m-2 h-1 (LMH). However, the GAC-fluidized AnMBR achieved these results at a 65% shorter hydraulic retention time than the gas-sparged AnMBR. The gas-sparged AnMBR was able to operate at a similar operating permeability with greater reactor concentrations of suspended solids and colloidal organics than the GAC-fluidized AnMBR. Also, the membranes were damaged more in the GAC-fluidized system. To better capture the relative advantages of each system a hybrid AnMBR comprised of a GAC-fluidized bioreactor connected to a separate gas-sparged ultrafiltration membrane system is proposed. This will likely be more effective, efficient, robust, resilient, and cost-effective.


Anaerobic membrane bioreactor,Domestic wastewater,Fouling,GAC-fluidized,Gas-sparged,Hybrid AnMBR,