Submerged membrane bioreactors (MBRs) have been gaining in popularity in various types of wastewater treatment. One drawback of submerged MBRs is difficulty in removing nitrogen as they are accompanied with intensive aeration inside the reactor and therefore principally operated under aerobic conditions. In order to address this problem, a simple modification for submerged MBRs, insertion of baffles to create alternative aerobic/anoxic conditions, was proposed. In this study, the performance of the proposed baffled membrane bioreactor (BMBR) was investigated based on a pilot-scale experiment using a real municipal wastewater. With appropriate operating conditions, the BMBR could remove more than 70% of total nitrogen contained in the feed water without any external carbon source. The BMBR demonstrated a good treatment performance in terms of TOC and phosphorus removal as well. Increase of trans-membrane pressure difference was subtle, which might be attributed to the alternative creation of aerobic/anoxic conditions.

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