Does fouling in MBR depend on SMP?

Fouling still is one of the major issues of membrane bioreactor (MBR) research. Most attention is currently paid to extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) in either bound or soluble/colloidal (soluble microbial products, SMP) form. While several trends or correlations were reported, the comparability of results is still limited by the numerous differences in plant set-up and analytical methods. The aim of this study is to compare polysaccharide concentrations and their respective fouling potential in different MBR operated under different conditions using the same analytical and evaluation tools and considering all relevant differences. Results are also compared to literature findings in an attempt to come to more generally valid conclusions. Results indicate that SMP influence fouling only under certain conditions such as low sludge age and large pore size.

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