This study shows the results of an Anaerobic Membrane Bioreactor with immersed filtration cartridges for granular biomass retention working at high hydraulic loading rates. Biomass retention capabilities, granular biomass structure and activity, filtration cartridges flux and organic material degradation performance were evaluated. Four reactors with a volume of 0.005 m3 were tested. Two different filtration cartridges were used (10 and 100 μm) with effective surface area of 0.05 m2. The filtration cartridges were submerged in the reactors for suction type filtration. Three organic loading rates were tested in the first two reactors and seven in the other two. Selective biomass washout and an increment in the biomass methanogenic activity was observed in the reactors at hydraulic loading rates between 1.2 and 4.5 m/h. Analyses of biomass granulometry showed an increase of larger size granular biomass. The immersed membrane anaerobic bioreactor maintain most of the advantages without biomass activity loss.

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