A novel process maximizing energy conservation potential of biological treatment: Super fast membrane bioreactor

Seval Sözen*, Senem Teksoy-Başaran, İpek Ergal, Cansu Karaca, Buşra Allı, Cansın Razbonyalı, Emine Ubay-Çokgör, Derin Orhon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


The study evaluated the microbial behavior of a submerged super fast membrane reactor (SFMBR) with settled sewage and a soluble synthetic substrate (peptone mixture) exhibiting similar biodegradation characteristics with sewage. A laboratory scale SFMBR was run at very low sludge retention times of 0.5–2.0 d and a hydraulic retention time of 8 h. Effluent COD was always lower than the soluble COD in the reactor and remained in the range 14–28 mg/L for the peptone mixture and 36–44 mg/L for settled sewage. Significant characteristics of SFMBR performance were assessed by particle size distribution analysis; respirometry; modeling defining related process kinetics; and molecular analysis, which revealed changes in microbial community composition under different operating conditions. Model simulation was also performed for raw sewage for revealing COD fractionation in the permeate and biomass in the reactor for the same operating conditions. The results indicated, as predicted, partial removal of the particulate slowly biodegradable COD fraction while soluble biodegradable COD components were almost totally removed. Modeling also highlighted energy conservation and recovery as the major feature of SFMBR, which was assessed to vary between 54% and 77%, a range significantly higher than what can be achieved with different activated sludge alternatives.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)337-347
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Membrane Science
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier B.V.


This study was conducted as part of a research & development project funded by The Scientific & Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK) with the Project number of 109Y261 . TUBITAK is kindly acknowledged for its financial support.

FundersFunder number
The Scientific & Technological Research Council of Turkey


    • Modeling
    • Particle size distribution analysis
    • Respirometry
    • Settled sewage and peptone mixture
    • Super fast membrane bioreactor


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