An experimental study was carried out in order to evaluate the possibility of upgrading the conventional activated sludge WWTP of Seano (Prato, Italy) which treats municipal and textile wastewaters, by using membrane bioreactor (MBR) technology. The MBR pilot plant, set up within Seano WWTP, was fed with mixed municipal–industrial wastewaters during the first experimental period and with pure industrial wastewaters during the second. Performances and operation of the MBR were evaluated in terms of permeate characteristics and variability (COD, colour, surfactants, total N and P) and other operational parameters (sludge growth and observed yield). According to the experimental results the MBR permeate quality was always superior to the Seano WWTP one and it was suitable for industrial reuse in the textile district of the Prato area. Respirometric tests provided a modified IWA ASM1 model which fits very well the experimental data and can be used for the design and the monitoring of a full-scale MBR pilot plant.

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