We have developed a novel biofilm-membrane reactor (BMR) in which a nitrifying biofilm is fixed on the surface of a rotating membrane disk. With this reactor, both strict solid-liquid separation and oxidation of ammonia nitrogen can be simultaneously performed. Based on the results obtained in previous bench-scale experiments, a pilot-scale study was conducted using river water at a water purification plant. The results obtained in the pilot study can be summarized as follows. (1) By implementation of pre-treatment (coagulation and sedimentation) and simple membrane cleaning (sponge cleaning), the filter run could be continued for 17 months without any chemical washing. (2) Sufficient nitrification was observed when water temperature was high. Deterioration in nitrification efficiency during winter was reduced by the addition of phosphorus. (3) In addition to nitrification, biological oxidation of AOC and manganese can be expected with the BMR. In this study, both AOC and manganese concentration in the permeate decreased to a level less than 10 μg/L. (4) Irreversible membrane fouling, which was thought to be mainly caused by manganese, became significant as the operation period became longer.

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