Compressive rheology of biofouling: application to membrane bioreactors

S. J. Skinner*, A. D. Stickland, P. J. Scales, University of Melbourne, Australia

The operation of filtration membranes in membrane bioreactors (MBR) is severely affected by the formation of a bio-fouling layer that causes rapid increase in transmembrane pressure and results in frequent cleaning cycles. In many cases, the increase in transmembrane pressure has been inaccurately attributed to particulate fouling within the membrane.

However, the fouling layer or filter cake that builds up from wastewater treatment sludge is highly compressible, thus any model of filtration in a MBR must properly account for compression of the suspension network structure within the filter cake. The compressive rheology approach based on the theoretical framework developed by Buscall and White (1987) implicitly accounts for this compression by considering only local material properties (permeability and compressibility).

We examine the compressive rheology of the fouling layer that is external to the filter membrane....

Session: M5 - Fouling and Ceramic Membranes
Day: 12 October 2016
Time: 16:45 - 18:00 h

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