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Effect of biomass features on oxygen transfer in conventional activated sludge and membrane bioreactor systems

  • Autori: Capodici, M., Corsino, S.F., Di Trapani, D., Torregrossa Michele, Viviani Gaspare
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2019
  • Tipologia: Articolo in rivista
  • OA Link:


The aim of the present study was to compare the oxygen transfer efficiency in a conventional activated sludge and a membrane bioreactor system. The oxygen transfer was evaluated by means of the oxygen transfer coefficient (kLa)20 and α-factor calculation, under different total suspended solids concentration, extracellular polymeric substances, sludge apparent viscosity and size of the flocs. The (kLa)20 and α-factor showed an exponential decreasing trend with total suspended solid, with a stronger (kLa)20 dependence in the conventional activated sludge than the membrane bioreactor. It was noted that the (kLa)20 in the conventional activated sludge become comparable to that in membrane bioreactor when the TSS concentration in the conventional activated sludge was higher than 5 gTSS L-1. Operating under high carbon to nitrogen ratio, the (kLa)20 increased in both conventional activated sludge and membrane bioreactor because of the sludge deflocculation and a weaker dependence of (kLa)20 with total suspended solid was noted. The results indicated that the most important parameters on the oxygen transfer efficiency were in order: the total suspended solid concentration, flocs size, sludge apparent viscosity, the protein to polysaccharides ratio and extracellular polymeric substances content. Based on the influence of the main biomass features affecting the (kLa)20 and considering the typical operating conditions in both systems, those of membrane bioreactor appeared to be more favorable to oxygen transfer efficiency compared to conventional activated sludge process.