ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201806.0187.v1
Subject: Chemistry, Chemical Engineering Keywords: membrane bioreactor (MBR); wastewater; rotating membranes; static membranes; fouling; modelling
Online: 12 June 2018 (10:48:01 CEST)
Fouling by activated sludge in membrane bioreactor (MBR) processes for wastewater treatment can be reduced using several strategies such as backflushing, relaxation, and chemical cleaning. Some proprietary systems such as Avanti’s RPU-185 Flexidisks MBR use novel circular rotating, flat sheet membranes to assist in limiting this fouling. An attempt has already been made to model this novel rotating fouling process by developing a simulation model based on first principles and traditional fouling mechanisms. In order to directly compare the potential benefits of rotational MBR system, a follow-up study was carried out using Avanti’s newly developed static (non-rotating) Flexidisks MBR system. This new process uses the same proprietary and patented membrane modular arrangement as used in the circular rotational unit, but is configured instead as a static square-shaped unit which is in-line with the more traditional and popular format used for submerged flat sheet MBR systems. During this study, the results from operating the static pilot unit were simulated and modelled using a standard fouling model coupled with a viscosity to mixed liquor relationship model. These results were then compared with those obtained from running the rotating MBR model however with rotational switching functions turned off and rotational parameters set to a static mode. This comparison was done to ascertain whether the basic premise of the developed rotational model was sound in empirical terms when compared to a standard MBR flux model. The study concluded that relatively good agreement was reached between the two types of models, thus vindicating the usage of a complex rotational MBR model. Follow on studies will now compare results from the rotating MBR system using rotational models developed by other researchers to ascertain the effectiveness rotating MBR modelling approach.