Effects of a sidestream concentrated oxygen supply system on the membrane filtration performance of a high-loaded membrane bioreactor

Sang Yeob Kim*, Josip Curko, Marin Matosic, Aridai Herrera, Carlos M. Lopez-Vazquez, Damir Brdjanovic, Hector A. Garcia

*Corresponding author for this work

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To investigate the influence of high-pressure and shear effects introduced by a concentrated oxygen supply system on the membrane filtration performance, a laboratory-scale membrane bioreactor (MBR) fed artificial municipal wastewater was operated continuously for 80 days in four phases equipped with different aerations systems: (P1) bubble diffusers (days 0–40), (P2) concentrated oxygen supply system, the supersaturated dissolved oxygen (SDOX) (days 41–56), (P3) bubble diffusers (days 57–74), and (P4) SDOX (days 75–80). Various sludge physical-chemical parameters, visual inspection of the membrane, and permeability evaluations were performed. Results showed that the high-pressure effects contributed to fouling of the membranes compared to the bubble diffuser aeration system. Biofouling by microorganisms appeared to be the main contributor to the cake layer when bubble diffusers were used, while fouling by organic matter seemed to be the main contributor to the cake layer when SDOX was used. Small particle size distribution (PSD) (ranging from 1 to 10 and 1–50 μm in size) fractions are a main parameter affecting the intense fouling of membranes (e.g., formation of a dense and thin cake layer). However, PSD alone cannot explain the worsened membrane fouling tendency. Therefore, it can be assumed that a combination of several factors (which certainly includes PSD) led to the severe membrane fouling caused by the high-pressure and shear.

Original languageEnglish
Article number116914
Number of pages13
JournalEnvironmental Research
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Bubble diffuser
  • Cake layer
  • High-pressure
  • Membrane fouling
  • Oxygen transfer
  • Particle size distribution

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