Membrane bioreactors (MBRs) for wastewater treatment offer the advantage of a complete removal of solids from the effluent. The secondary clarifier is replaced by a membrane filtration and therefore high biomass concentrations (MLSS) in the reactor are possible. The design of the aeration system is vital for an energy efficient operation of any wastewater treatment plant. Hence the exact measurement of oxygen transfer rates (OTR) and α-values is important. For MBRs these values reported in literature differ considerably. The OTR can be measured using non-steady state methods or using the off-gas method. The non-steady state methods additionally require the determination of the respiration rate (oxygen uptake rate ≡ OUR), which usually is measured in lab scale units. As there are differences of OUR between lab scale and full scale measurements, off-gas tests (which do not require an additional respiration test) were performed in order to compare both methods at high MLSS concentrations. Both methods result in the same average value of OTR. Due to variations in loading and wastewater composition variations of OTR in time can be pointed out using the off-gas method. For the first time a comparison of different oxygen transfer tests in full scale membrane bioreactors is presented.

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