A newly developed membrane performance enhancer (MPE) was used to prevent membrane fouling in a membrane bioreactor (MBR) process. It transpired that 1,000 mg/l of MPE reduced polysaccharide levels from 41 mg/l to 21 mg/l on average under the experimental condition. Repeated experiments also confirmed that 50–1,000 mg/l of MPE could reduce membrane fouling significantly and increase the intervals between membrane cleanings. Depending on MPE dosages and experimental conditions, trans-membrane pressure (TMP) increase was suppressed for 20–30 days, while baseline TMP surged within a few days. In addition, MPE allowed MBR operation even at 50,000 mg/l of total solid and reduced permeate COD. However, no evidence of toxicity for sludge was found from respiratory works.

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