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Water Supply Vol 3 No 5 pp 267–273 © IWA Publishing 2003

Modelling and simulation of filtration performance in membrane bioreactor systems for municipal wastewater treatment

T. Wintgens*, J. Rosen**, T. Melin***, C. Brepols****, K. Drensla***** and N. Engelhardt******

*Department of Chemical Engineering, RWTH Aachen, Turmstrasse 46, 52056 Aachen, Germany (E-mail: wintgens@ivt.rwth-aachen.de)
**Department of Chemical Engineering, RWTH Aachen, Turmstrasse 46, 52056 Aachen, Germany
***Department of Chemical Engineering, RWTH Aachen, Turmstrasse 46, 52056 Aachen, Germany
****Erftverband, Paffendorfer Weg 42, 50126 Bergheim, Germany
*****Erftverband, Paffendorfer Weg 42, 50126 Bergheim, Germany
******Erftverband, Paffendorfer Weg 42, 50126 Bergheim, Germany


ABSTRACT
The paper outlines a model of the filtration performance of submerged capillary microfiltration modules in membrane bioreactor applications for wastewater treatment. The model was implemented for process simulation and calibrated by using operating data of the full-scale municipal wastewater treatment plant Rödingen, Germany, operated by Erft River Association (Erftverband), which is equipped with activated sludge treatment and microfiltration units for biomass retention. Mathematically recordable foundations of filtration resistances, such as cake layer forming and fouling, are presented along with a mass transfer model, describing the concentration polarisation on the feed-side and its dependence on a multiphase flow regime. The model simulates the long-term decrease in permeability of the membranes and outlines the influence of main operating parameters on flux performance. After parameter fitting for one filtration unit, the permeability evolution for a second unit could be also calculated.

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