The objective of this study is to investigate solids concentration and extracellular polymeric substance (EPS) effects on the membrane fouling in the submerged membrane bioreactor. The relationship between the solids retention time (SRT) and the amount of EPS is observed in three lab-scale MBRs. Additionally, the EPS effect on membrane fouling is quantified by calculating the specific cake resistance (α) using an unstirred batch cell test. By observing the sludge over a long period under various SRT scenarios, a wide range of EPS and membrane fouling data is obtained. These observations provide sufficient evidence of the functional relationship between SRT, EPS and α. As SRT decreases, the amount of EPS bound in sludge floc becomes higher in the high MLSS condition (>5,000 mg/L). The amount of EPS in the sludge floc has positive influence on α. A sigmoid trend between EPS and α is observed and the functional relationship obtained by dimensional analysis is consistent with the experimental results.

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