For membrane bioreactors (MBR) with enhanced nutrients removal, rather complex recirculation schemes based on the biological requirements are commonly recommended. The aim of this work was to evaluate other recirculation options. For a laboratory scale MBR, four different recirculation schemes were tested. The MBR was operated with COD degradation, nitrification, post-denitrification without carbon dosing and biological phosphorus removal. For all configurations, efficient COD, nitrogen and phosphorus removal could be achieved. There were no big differences in elimination efficiency between the configurations (COD elimination: 96.6–97.9%, nitrogen removal: 89.7–92.1% and phosphorus removal: 97.4–99.4%). Changes in the degradation, release and uptake rates were levelled out by the changes in contact time and biomass distribution. With relatively constant outflow concentrations, different configurations are still interesting with regard to oxygen consumption, simplicity of plant operation or support of certain degradation pathways such as biological phosphorus removal or denitrification.

This content is only available as a PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.