We’ve spent a few months now here at Qatar University looking at clogging in membrane channels, with our single-channel bench-scale plant. We're taking a few litres of sludge from a nearby MBR and running tests at relatively high flux and slightly diminished air scour rates.
The MBR Blog
Sharp-eyed readers of this blog may have received the impression that I am not a huge fan of MBR research publications based on fouling. It could be argued that there is far too much effort dedicated to this single area and there is at least some fuel for this particular fire.
Many of the challenges faced by MBRs have very little to do with the membrane technology and everything to do with the components or issues around it. This can include the software, the screens, the maintenance scheduling, the training but also influent flow and quality.
The term 'MABR' was first introduced by Mike Semmens of the University of Minnesota. The large body of research at Cranfield University was actually preceded by a collaborative research programme on MABRs between Tom Stephenson of Cranfield and Semmens in the early 1990s.
With infinite time and resources we can model just about anything. Unfortunately we only have limited amounts of these, which means that we sometimes have to assume (higher) spheres. But due to these limitations, as for any other project, matching the expectations and the potential is of utmost importance.