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.
The MBR Blog
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.
I have, in my time, had the pleasure of conversing with such people working on both biological and membrane separation processes and there can be little doubt that they have all demonstrated a keen interest in the practicalities of the technologies.