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Frontiers of Environmental Science & Engineering

Front. Environ. Sci. Eng.    2018, Vol. 12 Issue (3) : 1
Energy reduction of a submerged membrane bioreactor using a polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) hollow-fiber membrane
Taro Miyoshi1(), Thanh Phong Nguyen1, Terumi Tsumuraya1, Hiromu Tanaka2, Toru Morita2, Hiroki Itokawa3, Toshikazu Hashimoto3
1. Maezawa Industries, Inc., 5-11, Naka-cho, Kawaguchi City, Saitama 332-8556, Japan
2. Sumitomo Electric Industries, LTD., 1-950, Asashironishi, Kumatori-cho, Sennan-gun, Osaka 590-0458, Japan
3. Japan Sewage Works Agency, 2-31-27, Yushima, Bunkyo City, Tokyo 113-0034, Japan
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The fiber length and packing density of the PTFE membrane element were increased.

The MBR was stably operated under an SADm of 0.13 m3·m-2·hr-1.

Specific energy consumption was estimated to be less than 0.4 kWh·m-3.

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 daily-averaged 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.

Keywords Energy-saving      Membrane bioreactor      Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) membrane      Hollow fiber      Power consumption     
Corresponding Authors: Taro Miyoshi   
Issue Date: 10 June 2018
 Cite this article:   
Taro Miyoshi,Thanh Phong Nguyen,Terumi Tsumuraya, et al. Energy reduction of a submerged membrane bioreactor using a polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) hollow-fiber membrane[J]. Front. Environ. Sci. Eng., 2018, 12(3): 1.
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Taro Miyoshi
Thanh Phong Nguyen
Terumi Tsumuraya
Hiromu Tanaka
Toru Morita
Hiroki Itokawa
Toshikazu Hashimoto
Fig.1  Schematic description of the pilot MBR with modified PTFE membrane
Fig.2  Diurnal flux fluctuation pattern of the flow rate fluctuation experiment
Item Value Basis
Minimum temperature (°C) 15
Net flux
(Constant flow rate operation; m3·m-2·d-1)
0.6 Results of the pilot test performed in this study
Daily averaged flux
(flow rate fluctuation operation; m3·m-2·d-1)
0.5 Results of the pilot test performed in this study
HRT (hr) 6 Aerobic tank: 3 h, Anoxic tank: 3 h
MLSS concentration (mg·L-1) 9000 In the aerobic tank
MLVSS concentration (mg·L-1) 7200 In the aerobic tank
Recirculation ratio 2.0
DO concentration in aerobic tank (mg·L-1) 1.5
Oxygen transfer efficiency
(membrane aeration; %)
8 Results of the aeration test using well water
Oxygen transfer efficiency
(biology aeration; %)
25 Information obtained from the manufacturer
a factor 0.65 Typically in the range of 0.6–0.7
BOD concentration (feed water; mg·L-1) 200 Typical concentration of Japanese municipal wastewater
SS concentration(feed water; mg·L-1) 200 Typical concentration of Japanese municipal wastewater
T–N concentration (feed water; mg·L-1) 35 Typical concentration of Japanese municipal wastewater
T–Pa concentration (feed water; mg·L-1) 4.0 Typical concentration of Japanese municipal wastewater
BOD concentration (treated water; mg·L-1) 3.0 Typical treated water quality of MBRs in Japan
SS concentration (treated water) N.D.
T–N concentration (treated water; mg·L-1) 10 Japanese standard for the MLE-MBR process
T–Pa concentration (treated water; mg·L-1) 0.5 Japanese standard for the MLE-MBR process with coagulant dose
Tab.1  Specifications used for the estimation of the energy consumption
Fig.3  Apparatuses considered for the estimation of the specific energy consumption
Item Constant flow experiment
(August 8–December 8)
Flow rate fluctuation experiment
(December 8–January 9)
Raw water Treated water Raw water Treated water
BOD (mg·L-1) 138 0.5 102 0.4
T–N (mg·L-1) 26.6 6.9 19.8 7.5
NH4+–N (mg·L-1) 17.6 1.5 13.2 1.1
SS (mg·L-1) 152 N.D. 124 N.D.
Tab.2  Average water quality of raw wastewater and treated water in each experiment
Fig.4  Changes in TMP and membrane flux during constant flow rate operation
Fig.5  Changes in TMP and membrane flux during flow rate fluctuation operation
Membrane element Conventional Modified
Conventional-1 Conventional-2 Modified-1 Modified-2
SADm (m3·m-2·hr-1) 0.30 0.24 0.13a 0.13a
Membrane flux
0.6 0.6 0.6 0.5
(daily averaged)
Air-flow rate
(membrane aeration; m3·hr-1)
1909 1527 846 976
Air-flow rate
(biology aeration; m3·hr-1)
2010 2392 3073 2943
Oxygen demandb
(kg O2·d-1)
3919 3919 3919 3919
Flow equalization tank ×
Tab.3  Operating conditions of the hypothetical MBR used for the estimation of the energy consumption
Fig.6  Specific energy consumption for each operating condition
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