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The control of membrane fouling is essential for the successful long-term operation of the membrane module. The AnMBR was operated for 120 days under different flux conditions and permeation/relaxation rates. For the purpose of this study, the 120 day operation period was divided into seven stages according to the physical cleaning times. Physical cleaning was carried out by washing the membrane with water. As shown in Table 5, the fluxes of the hollow-fibre membrane ranged roughly between 3.0 and 5.1 L/(m2·h) during stage 1–4, depending on the permeation/relaxation ratio of 10/1, in agreement with previous investigations of AnMBR system equipped with hollow-fiber membrane (Kim et al. 2011; Xu et al. 2011). And a similar flux of 3 L/(m2·h) in the treatment of swine manure wastewater with an AnMBR fitted with a tubular membrane (Padmasiri et al. 2007). Figure 5 shows TMP and membrane flux variation under different operation conditions. Under the permeation/relaxation rate of 10/1 (stage 1–4), physical cleaning was carried out every 15 days, and the TMP of the membrane was returned to the initial value after physical cleaning. However, the TMP and membrane fouling rate increased rapidly during stages 1–3 with similar membrane flux. Thus, membrane fouling could be alleviated by regular physical cleaning in a short time, but other control measures were still needed for long term operation.
Table 5

Operation parameters of the membrane module during seven stages of operationa

StageFlux (L/(m2·h))Intermittent ratio (min/min)Operation time (d)Membrane cleaningViscosity (Pa·s)Fouling rate [×108 1/(m·day)]Rt ∼ t (R2)b
3.0 10/1 15 Physical 2.80 1.93 0.942 
3.6 10/1 15 Physical 3.10 2.26 0.909 
3.5 10/1 15 Physical 3.30 3.38 0.955 
5.1 10/1 15 Physical 3.45 3.66 0.984 
5c 5.8 10/1 15 Physical 3.44 1.29 0.964 
5.6 5/1 20 Physical 4.12 0.85 0.946 
3.9 10/1 20 Chemical 4.45 0.75 0.831 
StageFlux (L/(m2·h))Intermittent ratio (min/min)Operation time (d)Membrane cleaningViscosity (Pa·s)Fouling rate [×108 1/(m·day)]Rt ∼ t (R2)b
3.0 10/1 15 Physical 2.80 1.93 0.942 
3.6 10/1 15 Physical 3.10 2.26 0.909 
3.5 10/1 15 Physical 3.30 3.38 0.955 
5.1 10/1 15 Physical 3.45 3.66 0.984 
5c 5.8 10/1 15 Physical 3.44 1.29 0.964 
5.6 5/1 20 Physical 4.12 0.85 0.946 
3.9 10/1 20 Chemical 4.45 0.75 0.831 

aAccording to the physical cleaning time.

bR2 represents for the determination coefficient of the linear regression equation between membrane fouling resistance (Rt) and time (t).

cThe AnMBR system was started rapidly again after a 40 day pause.

Figure 5

TMP and membrane flux variation under different operation conditions.

Figure 5

TMP and membrane flux variation under different operation conditions.

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