Use of flocculants for increasing permeate flux in anaerobic membrane bioreactors

H. Díaz, L. Azócar, A. Torres, S. I.C. Lopes, D. Jeison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Biomass retention, required for high rate anaerobic wastewater treatment, can be accomplished coupling an anaerobic bioreactor with membrane filtration. However, low flux seems to be a common factor when operating anaerobic membrane bioreactors (AnMBRs). Modification of biomass properties may represent a strategy for improving membrane flux. The addition of flocculants was tested as a tool for flux increase. Six different products were tested in dead-end filtration experiments. Based on the results, two products were selected for cross-flow tests. The one presenting better performance (Nalco MPE50) was tested in a laboratory-scale continuous AnMBR. Results show that the flocculant was able to substantially increase flux. Indeed, the flux-increasing effect was observed for several weeks after flocculant addition. Therefore, the use of flocculants seems to be an interesting tool to cope with temporary increases in required flux.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2237-2242
Number of pages6
JournalWater Science and Technology
Issue number11
StatePublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Anaerobic
  • Flocculant
  • Flux
  • Membrane bioreactor


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