A high strength industrial wastewater was treated using a pilot scale submerged membrane bioreactor (MBR) at a sludge retention time (SRT) of 200 d. The MBR was operated at a high sludge concentration of 20 g/L and a low F/M ratio of 0.11 during 300 d of operation. It was found that the MBR could achieve COD and TOC overall removal efficiencies at more than 99 and 98% TN removal. The turbidity of the permeate was consistently in the range of 0.123 to 0.136 NTU and colour254 absorbance readings varied from 0.0912 to 0.0962 a.u. cm−1. The sludge concentration was inversely proportional to the hydraulic retention time (HRT), yielded excellent organic removal and extremely low sludge production (0.0016 kgVSS/day).

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