A Long-Term Application of a Pilot Airlift Membrane Bioreactor for Domestic Wastewater Treatment

Fei Yang, Ying Wang, Amos Bick, Asher Brenner, Eric Ben-David, Gideon Oron

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    5 Scopus citations


    Current and impending legislation for public health and environmental compliance regarding effluent are becoming very stringent. For unrestricted domestic effluent reuse and environmental friendly disposal, the need for advanced treatment processes has attracted great attention during the last decade. Membrane-based treatment technologies for low quality water have exhibited improved performance as well as a reduction of operating and maintenance expenses. Membrane technology also provides a preferable alternative for wastewater reclamation in small and isolated communities. This study presents a long term study of an airlift membrane bioreactor (MBR) for domestic wastewater treatment using a hollow fibre membrane module of ZW-10 under ambient desert conditions (Kiryat Sde-Boker, Israel). In this system, the crossflow velocity across the membrane surface was induced by a cylindrical draft tube to reduce the membrane fouling. Under optimal operating conditions, the system was stable and efficient without external chemical cleaning during the experimental period. The system produces a high quality permeate, and the removal efficiencies of COD and BOD5 were around 94% and 99%, respectively. Nitrate concentration in the effluent (permeate) was higher (by 40%) than that in the reactor mixed liquor, probably due to extra nitrification carried out by Nitrospira bacteria on the membrane biofilm. The system shows potential and promising applications for localized, decentralized sewage treatment facilities.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)212-217
    Number of pages6
    JournalDesalination and Water Treatment
    Issue number1-3
    StatePublished - 2009


    • Airlift membrane bioreactor
    • Crossflow velocity
    • Draft tube
    • Membrane fouling
    • Unrestricted reuse

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Water Science and Technology
    • Ocean Engineering
    • Pollution


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