Abstract: Prevention and removal of fouling is often the most energy intensive process in Membrane Bioreactors (MBRs), responsible for 40% to 50% of the total specific energy consumed in submerged MBRs. In the past decade, methods were developed to quantify and qualify fouling, aiming to support optimization in MBR operation. Therefore, there is a need for an evaluation of the lessons learned and how to proceed. In this article, five different methods for measuring MBR activated sludge filterability and critical flux are described, commented and evaluated. Both parameters characterize the fouling potential in full-scale MBRs. The article focuses on the Delft Filtration Characterization method (DFCm) as a convenient tool to characterize sludge properties, namely on data processing, accuracy, reproducibility, reliability, and applicability, defining the boundaries of the DFCm. Significant progress was made concerning fouling measurements in particular by using straight forward approaches focusing on the applicability of the obtained results. Nevertheless, a fouling measurement method is still to be defined which is capable of being unequivocal, concerning the fouling parameters definitions; practical and simple, in terms of set-up and operation; broad and useful, in terms of obtained results. A step forward would be the standardization of the aforementioned method to assess the sludge filtration quality.
Keywords: membrane bioreactors; fouling; activated sludge; filterability; delft filtration characterization method (DFCm)
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Lousada-Ferreira, M.; Krzeminski, P.; Geilvoet, S.; Moreau, A.; Gil, J.A.; Evenblij, H.; van Lier, J.B.; van der Graaf, J.H.J.M. Filtration Characterization Method as Tool to Assess Membrane Bioreactor Sludge Filterability—The Delft Experience. Membranes 2014, 4, 227-242.
Lousada-Ferreira M, Krzeminski P, Geilvoet S, Moreau A, Gil JA, Evenblij H, van Lier JB, van der Graaf JHJM. Filtration Characterization Method as Tool to Assess Membrane Bioreactor Sludge Filterability—The Delft Experience. Membranes. 2014; 4(2):227-242.
Lousada-Ferreira, Maria; Krzeminski, Pawel; Geilvoet, Stefan; Moreau, Adrien; Gil, Jose A.; Evenblij, Herman; van Lier, Jules B.; van der Graaf, Jaap H.J.M. 2014. "Filtration Characterization Method as Tool to Assess Membrane Bioreactor Sludge Filterability—The Delft Experience." Membranes 4, no. 2: 227-242.