Low dose powdered activated carbon addition at high sludge retention times to reduce fouling in membrane bioreactors

Maxime Remy, P. van der Marel, A. Zwijnenburg, Wim Rulkens, Hardy Temmink

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademic

72 Citations (Scopus)


The addition of a low concentration of PAC (0.5 g L−1 of sludge, i.e. a dose of 4 mg L−1 of wastewater), in combination with a relatively long SRT (50 days), to improve membrane filtration performance was investigated in two pilot-scale MBRs treating real municipal wastewater. Continuous filterability tests at high flux showed the possibility to run for 18 h at 72 L m−2 h−1 and 180 h at 50 L m−2 h−1, while significant fouling occurred without PAC. In addition, measurements of the critical flux showed an increase of 10% for this strategy. Low dosage and high retention time makes it feasible and cost effective. Further advantages with regard to permeate quality and possible micropollutants removal are currently under investigation.
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)345-350
JournalWater research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • Powdered activated carbon
  • Membrane fouling
  • Activated sludge
  • IR-80092
  • Membrane bioreactor

Cite this