Université d’INHA – Incheon – South Korea

« Anaerobic Fluidized Bed MBR for Low-strength Wastewater Treatment: Fouling, Biofim and Transfer Mechanisms »

A new approach to control membrane foulin for anaerobic fluidized bed membrane bioreactor.


Membrane fouling is still major obstacle to be resolved in anaerobic membrane bioreactor (AnMBR) technology because it can reduce membrane permeability with requirements of frequent chemical cleaning, thereby shortening membrane life-time. Currently, the general approach applied to reduce membrane fouling in anaerobic MBR technology is the introduction of biogas produced below membranes to create upward shear rate or cross-flow velocity across the membrane surfaces. Although these methods are effective, they require much energy. Anaerobic fluidized bed membrane bioreactor (AFMBR) is to combine anaerobic fluidized bed bioreactor with submerged membrane filtration. Granular activated carbon (GAC) that are heavier than water can be added to the MBR, and fluidized by recirculating bulk reactor fluid alone from the bottom of the reactor. The beneficial effect of media fluidization on fouling reduction can be confirmed to be the physical contact of the fluidized media with membrane surfaces, as the recirculation flow rate itself is too much low to prevent membrane fouling. Nevertheless, the extent of membrane fouling in the AFMBR can be affected strongly by the physicochemical properties and packing ratios of the fluidized media. Mechanical scouring with the same type of media tends to be more effective with larger media than with smaller media. The membrane fouling in the AFMBR is also related to the mass media added (or packing density) and recirculation flow rate, and these variables can also affect overall energy requirement for fluidization interdisciplinary. Lower packing ratio is beneficial with respect to energy requirement, but in turn is associated with an increase in the fouling rate. Better understanding of other aspects of fluidized media is also needed. In polydisperse suspension, particle sizes in the AFMBR can play an important role in membrane fouling. The interactions between foulant materials and types of media on membrane fouling needs to be much better established. This presentation will show the effect of media characteristics and packing ratio on fouling control and energy consumption in AFMBR system for the treatment of domestic wastewater. In addition, the importance of particle sizes in foulants on membrane fouling and understanding interactions between the foulants and GAC media will be presented with experimental results obtained from laboratory-scale AFMBR system.


AFMBR, membrane fouling, GAC, fluidized media, energy consumption, particle sizes

Short Bio:

Jeonghwan Kim
Department of Environmental Engineering
INHA University, Incheon, Republic of Korea. Email:

1. 2014-current: Associate Professor, Department of Environmental Engineering, Inha University
2. 2010-2014: Assistant Professor, Department of Environmental Engineering, Inha University
3. 2008-2010: Full-time lecture, Department of Environmental Engineering, Inha University
4. 2006-2008: Research Associate, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Michigan State University
5. 2005: Ph.D. Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Research interests:

Membrane bioreactor technology, hybrid catalytic membrane system, membrane desalinations, development of functional hybrid membranes, fouling mechanisms, membrane process

VIEM Doctor Jeonghwan(Jon) Kim – 17/7/2015
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