Development and Validation of a Multi-Configurable MBR Fouling Model

Janus, T. and P. Paul, Water Software Systems, Faculty of Computing Sciences and Engineering, De Montfort University, UK


Membrane bioreactors (MBRs) are a recent innovation in wastewater treatment that combines a
membrane filtration unit with a biological process (Tchobanoglous et al. 2003).The focus of this study is
only on membrane filtration. It concentrates on the development of a mathematical model describing
filtration and fouling on micro-filtration membranes and this work is based on the earlier published model
by Liang et al. (2006). Initial modelling experiments with the Liang model showed its deficiencies at
predicting trans-membrane pressures over a wide range of membrane fluxes. A very basic structure of
this model and its behavioural character limit its applicability to only limited number of operational
regimes. In an endeavour to develop a more universal yet simple model, the Liang model has been
extended and modified to include: backwash mechanism, cake and SMP deposit compressibility effects,
various cake removal models (air scouring and cross-flow velocity) and flux dependent SMP deposition
rates. The model was developed in MATLAB/Simulink environment and validated on experimental data
from a flux stepping experiment performed on a pilot scale with a tubular crossflow 0.45m membrane. A
second validation exercise was performed on long-term filtration data from a membrane pilot plant
equipped with a hollow fibre 0.05 mm membrane. The model proved to be in good agreement with the
measurements in both validation studies.

Key Words
Cake, Filtration, Fouling, MBR, Modelling, Simulation, SMP, Wastewater

Please fill in your details to download the proceedings

For more information about how Aqua Enviro
can help you, contact us...

8 Appleton Court, Calder Park, Wakefield, WF2 7AR, UK

Consultancy and Laboratory services: + 44 (0)1924 242255

Conferences and Training enquiries: +44 (0)1924 257891


  • By submitting this form, you agree that we may use the data you provide to contact you with information related to your request/submission and other relevant Aqua Enviro services. You can unsubscribe from Aqua Enviro marketing emails at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in the email. To learn more, see our Privacy Policy