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Open AccessArticle

Patterned Membrane in an Energy-Efficient Tilted Panel Filtration System for Fouling Control in Activated Sludge Filtration

1
Chemical Engineering Department, Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS, Seri Iskandar, Perak 32610, Malaysia
2
Faculty of Integrated Technologies, Universiti Brunei Darussalam, Jalan Tungku Link BE1410, Brunei
3
Department of Chemical Engineering, COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, Lahore 54000, Pakistan
4
Advanced Membrane Technology Research Centre (AMTEC), School of Chemical and Energy Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, UTM Johor Bahru 81310, Malaysia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Polymers 2020, 12(2), 432; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12020432 (registering DOI)
Received: 14 November 2019 / Revised: 9 December 2019 / Accepted: 3 January 2020 / Published: 12 February 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer-Based Membrane Technology and Applications)
A membrane bioreactor enhances the overall biological performance of a conventional activated sludge system for wastewater treatment by producing high-quality effluent suitable for reuse. However, membrane fouling hinders the widespread application of membrane bioreactors by reducing the hydraulic performance, shortening membrane lifespan, and increasing the operational costs for membrane fouling management. This study assesses the combined effect of membrane surface corrugation and a tilted panel in enhancing the impact of air bubbling for membrane fouling control in activated sludge filtration, applicable for membrane bioreactors. The filterability performance of such a system was further tested under variable parameters: Filtration cycle, aeration rate, and intermittent aeration. Results show that a combination of surface corrugation and panel tilting enhances the impact of aeration and leads to 87% permeance increment. The results of the parametric study shows that the highest permeance was achieved under short filtration–relaxation cycle of 5 min, high aeration rate of 1.5 L/min, and short switching period of 2.5 min, to yield the permeances of 465 ± 18, 447 ± 2, and 369 ± 9 L/(m2h bar), respectively. The high permeances lead to higher operational flux that helps to lower the membrane area as well as energy consumption. Initial estimation of the fully aerated system yields the energy input of 0.152 kWh/m3, much lower than data from the full-scale references of <0.4 kWh/m3. Further energy savings and a lower system footprint can still be achieved by applying the two-sided panel with a switching system, which will be addressed in the future.
Keywords: corrugated membrane; membrane fouling control; membrane bioreactor; tilted panel; activated sludge corrugated membrane; membrane fouling control; membrane bioreactor; tilted panel; activated sludge
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MDPI and ACS Style

Osman, A.; Mat Nawi, N.I.; Samsuri, S.; Bilad, M.R.; Shamsuddin, N.; Khan, A.L.; Jaafar, J.; Nordin, N.A.H. Patterned Membrane in an Energy-Efficient Tilted Panel Filtration System for Fouling Control in Activated Sludge Filtration. Polymers 2020, 12, 432.

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