The aim of this work is to analyse the biological performances of two immersed membranes bioreactors focusing on the biomass adaptation to complex substrate degradation and the performance in term of permeate quality. Two influents were selected: a synthetic complex influent (acetate/Viandox®, MBR1) and a real seafood processing wastewater (surimi product, MBR2). The MBR systems were operated for long periods without any sludge extraction except for sampling. Organic matter removal, sludge production and quality of the treated wastewater were analysed and studied. COD removal efficiencies after a period of biomass adaptation were higher than 97% and 95% for the synthetic and real wastewater respectively. In both cases, the COD of the treated wastewater was lower than 50 mg.L−1. In spite of salt concentration in the real wastewater a biomass adaptation process occurs. In the overall operational period, a 0.058 gCODP.gCODT−1 and a 0.12 gCODP.gCODT−1 observed sludge yields were obtained for the MBR1 and MBR2 respectively. These values are approximately 5 to 10 times lower than those measured in conventional activated sludge process. These results showed that the presence of particular and some of non-easily degradable compounds in the influent of MBR2 didn't limit the performance of MBR in term of COD removal achieved. The results have also confirmed the excellent permeate quality for water reuse from MBRs systems.

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