Membrane bioreactors (MBR) are being increasingly used for wastewater treatment. Mathematical modeling of MBR systems plays a key role in order to better explain their characteristics. Several MBR models have been presented in the literature focusing on different aspects: biological models, models which include soluble microbial products (SMP), physical models able to describe the membrane fouling and integrated models which couple the SMP models with the physical models. However, only a few integrated models have been developed which take into account the relationships between membrane fouling and biological processes. With respect to biological phosphorus removal in MBR systems, due to the complexity of the process, practical use of the models is still limited. There is a vast knowledge (and consequently vast amount of data) on nutrient removal for conventional-activated sludge systems but only limited information on phosphorus removal for MBRs. Calibration of these complex integrated models still remains the main bottleneck to their employment. The paper presents an integrated mathematical model able to simultaneously describe biological phosphorus removal, SMP formation/degradation and physical processes which also include the removal of organic matter. The model has been calibrated with data collected in a UCT-MBR pilot plant, located at the Palermo wastewater treatment plant, applying a modified version of a recently developed calibration protocol. The calibrated model provides acceptable correspondence with experimental data and can be considered a useful tool for MBR design and operation.
|Number of pages||16|
|Journal||Bioprocess and Biosystems Engineering|
|Publication status||Published - 2013|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes