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Field testing of polymeric mesh and ash-based ceramic membranes in a membrane bioreactor (MBR) for decentralised sewage treatment

PK Tewari, RK Singh, VS Batra, M Balakrishnan


This paper presents the initial findings of field testing of 2 low-cost membrane filters, viz. 30 ìm polymeric mesh and 2–6 ìm macroporous waste-ash based ceramic filter, in a submerged membrane bioreactor (MBR) employing batch anoxic and aerobic conditions. The influent was raw wastewater from a residential complex located near Delhi, India. The results indicated that the ceramic filter was able to operate for longer periods without cleaning; however, there is a limit to the transmembrane pressure it can withstand. The suspended solids retention was high with both filters (average of 96%). Moderate reduction in chemical oxygen demand (COD), total nitrogen (NH4+) and total phosphorus (PO43-) was achieved. The improvements in operation required in such systems are also underlined.
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