Fibrous support stabilizes nitrification performance of a membrane-aerated biofilm: The effect of liquid flow perturbation

Akihiko Terada, Junpei Ito, Shinya Matsumoto, Satoshi Tsuneda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)


Nitrification stability and biofilm robustness were examined by comparing a fibrous support membrane-aerated biofilm reactor (FS-MABR), where a woven fibrous support was surrounded on a silicone tube, with an MABR. The overall mass transfer coefficient of oxygen for the FS-MABR, assuming no boundary layer between the fibrous material and bulk liquid, was 5.85 m/d at an air pressure of 27 kPa, which was comparable to that value of the MABR (5.54 m/d). The amount of biomass on the fibrous support with a silicone tube was 2.48 times larger than on the bare silicone. The biomass loss after a high liquid flow rate condition was 49% and 75% in the FS-MABR and MABR, exhibiting robust biofilms grown on the fibrous support. The FS-MABR provided more stable nitrification performance than the MABR irrespective of a high liquid flow rate. Both reactors have deteriorated ammonium (NH+4-N) removal without a high liquid flow rate condition to eliminate excessive biomass, indicating that regular maintenance is essential to eliminate excessive biofilm from a MABR for nitrification, which potentially acts as a NH4+ diffusion barrier.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)607-615
Number of pages9
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Aug 20



  • Fibrous support
  • High liquid flow rate
  • Membrane-aerated biofilm reactor
  • Nitrification
  • Sloughing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)

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