Activated sludge properties in a submerged membrane bioreactor: effect of COD/TKN ratio of wastewater

Erkan H., Engin G., Kulil B., Günalp G.

INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY, vol.14, pp.933-942, 2017 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 14
  • Publication Date: 2017
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s13762-016-1201-2
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.933-942
  • Keywords: Submerged membrane bioreactor, Activated sludge, Extracellular polymeric substances, Zeta potential, Relative hydrophobicity, FILTRATION CHARACTERISTICS, RETENTION TIME, NITROGEN RATIO, CARBON, SYSTEM, IMPACT, MBR
  • Yıldız Technical University Affiliated: Yes


The properties of activated sludge are very important in a membrane bioreactor (MBR) in terms of membrane fouling. The most important parameters affecting the membrane fouling can be listed as mixed liquor suspended solid (MLSS) concentration, soluble microbial products (SMPs), extracellular polymeric substances (EPSs), floc size, aeration and viscosity of both supernatant and activated sludge. The COD/TKN ratio also affects the physical properties of sludge in MBR system. This study aimed to investigate the effect of chemical oxygen demand-to-total Kjeldahl nitrogen (COD/TKN) ratio of feed wastewater treated in an MBR on biological components of activated sludge. The activated sludge characteristics were determined by quantitative analyses such as MLSS, EPS, SMP, floc size distribution, zeta potential, relative hydrophobicity and capillary suction time in a submerged MBR treating simulated wastewater having different COD/TKN ratios (16, 56 and 107). The COD and TKN removal efficiencies were found to be almost equal in the sMBRs having different COD/TKN ratios. However, it was seen that the EPS content and SMP concentration in the supernatant increased with increasing COD/TKN ratio. The results indicated that the COD/TKN ratio of feed should be considered as an effective parameter on activated sludge properties in sMBR systems.