Gas-lift anaerobic dynamic membrane bioreactors for high strength synthetic wastewater treatment: Effect of biogas sparging velocity and HRT on treatment performance

Mustafa Evren Ersahin*, Juan B. Gimenez, Hale Ozgun, Yu Tao, Henri Spanjers, Jules B. van Lier

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Citations (Scopus)


A laboratory scale external anaerobic dynamic membrane bioreactor (AnDMBR) treating high strength wastewater (influent COD ≈ 20 g/L) was operated to assess the effect of biogas sparging velocity (GSV) and hydraulic retention time (HRT) on removal efficiency and dynamic membrane (DM) filtration characteristics. An increase in GSV resulted in a decrease in DM filtration resistance. DM or cake layer was identified as the main contributor to the total filtration resistance. The external AnDMBR achieved over 99% COD removal efficiency irrespective of the GSV. The results showed that the DM formation process proceeded until a stable cake layer was reached. Reducing of HRT resulted in an increase in protein/carbohydrate ratio in soluble microbial products (SMP) and an increase in biomass concentration in the bioreactor. Therefore, HRT affected TMP and total filtration resistance in the AnDMBR. A high permeate quality was obtained by an effective DM layer at organic loading rates (OLRs) between 2 and 3.6 kg COD/m3 d. Based on the fluxes observed in this research, the filter cloth costs would be in the range of 0.17 €/m3 of treated wastewater. The investment and operational costs of the AnDMBRs are expected to be substantially lower than that of conventional membrane filtration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)46-53
Number of pages8
JournalChemical Engineering Journal
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Elsevier B.V.


The authors would like to express their gratitude for the PhD Fellowship awards provided by HUYGENS Scholarship Programme to M. Evren Ersahin, by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness to Juan B. Gimenez, by the Turkish Academy of Sciences (TUBA) to Hale Ozgun and by the China Scholarship Council to Yu Tao. This publication was produced as part of the DynaFil project in which KWR Watercycle Research Institute, TU Delft, Waternet, STOWA, Logisticon Water Treatment, Waterboard Brabantse Delta and Bert Daamen participate. The project (EVTP01084) is partly funded by the Dutch Government via AgentschapNL under the Energy and Innovation Grant, Effective and Efficient Digestion chain.

FundersFunder number
Dutch Government
Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad
Türkiye Bilimler Akademisi
China Scholarship CouncilEVTP01084


    • Anaerobic membrane bioreactor
    • Dynamic membrane
    • Feasibility
    • Gas sparging velocity
    • Wastewater treatment


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