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Energy reduction of a submerged membrane bioreactor using a polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) hollow-fiber membrane

Miyoshi, Taro, Nguyen, ThanhPhong, Tsumuraya, Terumi, Tanaka, Hiromu, Morita, Toru, Itokawa, Hiroki, Hashimoto, Toshikazu
Frontiers of environmental science & engineering 2018 v.12 no.3 pp. 1
aeration, air, cleaning, energy, membrane bioreactors, municipal wastewater, polytetrafluoroethylene, specific energy, strength (mechanics), surface area
In this study, we modified a polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) hollow-fiber membrane element used for submerged membrane bioreactors (MBRs) to reduce the energy consumption during MBR processes. The high mechanical strength of the PTFE membrane made it possible to increase the effective length of the membrane fiber from 2 to 3 m. In addition, the packing density was increased by 20% by optimizing the membrane element configuration. These modifications improve the efficiency of membrane cleaning associated with aeration. The target of specific energy consumption was less than 0.4 kWh·m–³ in this study. The continuous operation of a pilot MBR treating real municipal wastewater revealed that the MBR utilizing the modified membrane element can be stably operated under a specific air demand per membrane surface area (SADm) of 0.13 m³·m–²·hr–¹ when the dailyaveraged membrane fluxes for the constant flow rate and flow rate fluctuating modes of operation were set to 0.6 and 0.5 m³·m–²·d–¹, respectively. The specific energy consumption under these operating conditions was estimated to be less than 0.37 kWh·m–³. These results strongly suggest that operating an MBR equipped with the modified membrane element with a specific energy consumption of less than 0.4 kWh·m–³ is highly possible.