1 Introduction</h5> In spite of the growing applications of submerged membrane bioreactors (MBRs), the reduction of flux over time caused by membrane fouling remains the major issue to be resolved to ensure the sustainability of this technology ( Drews, 2010; Meng et al., 2009; Le-Clech et al., 2006; Chang et al., 2002 ). Fouling has been typically classified as reversible (recoverable by physical methods) and irreversible (recoverable by chemical cleaning). This classification is not entirely useful as membrane permeability deteriorates over time, even when the best management practices are implemented. Meng et al. (2009) classified fouling as removable through physical cleaning, irremovable or removable only through chemical cleaning and irreversible fouling that cannot be removed by any means. Even more precisely, Drews (2010) classified fouling into reversible, irreversible that can be removed through maintenance cleaning, irreversible that can be removed through the major chemical cleaning and the irrecoverable fouling. Regardless of the fouling types and classification systems it was generally agreed that activated sludge characteristics determine the severity and the propensity for membrane fouling. Fouling increases with the increase of the mixed liquor suspended solids (MLSS) concentration ( Trussel et al., 2007; Psoch and Schiewer, 2006; Defrance et
Water Research – Elsevier
Published: Oct 15, 2013
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