In this study, a mathematical model for the submerged membrane bioreactor (SMBR) was developed by combining the activated sludge model (ASM) with a membrane resistance-in-series model. Some modifications were introduced to make ASM to be suitable for describing the characteristics of SMBR. A set of the 1st-order differential equations was established for 13 dependent variables relevant to particles and soluble matters. Performing model simulations for various conditions, the time when a membrane would be fouled could be predicted as well as the effluent quality. From simulation results, F/M ratio and SRT can be considered as major factors of the soluble microbial products (SMP) concentration in a reactor and it is clear that SMP can play an important role in membrane fouling and water quality simultaneously. The model would be very helpful in optimizing operation conditions as well as in designing an optimal SMBR system.

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