Reliable and efficient operation of membrane bioreactors (MBR) for centralized municipal wastewater treatment strongly depends on a good monitoring of the membrane permeability, a value often used to quantify the transmissibility (i.e. the inverse of the flow resistance) of the membrane. By directly or indirectly evaluating this parameter the operator normally plans on the necessity and effectivity of maintenance activities. To allow the operator monitoring the membrane performance closely, the present paper proposes a method for online permeability based on the measurements of permeate flow, transmembrane pressure and water temperature. The theoretical background of the method is discussed and a data set of 250 days of continuous pilot operation of a municipal MBR equipped with three different standard membrane modules is used for testing. The method is numerically simple enough to allow being implemented on any programmable logical controller.

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