Minimisation of biomass in an extractive membrane bioreactor

L. F. Strachan, L. M. Freitas dos Santos, D. J. Leak, A. G. Livingston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (SciVal)


Many traditional biological methods for the treatment of wastewater cope poorly with toxic, volatile organic compounds. The extractive membrane bioreactor is a novel process for the treatment of industrial wastewaters containing such compounds which combines extraction across a silicone rubber membrane with biodegradation. Previous work has shown that there is a problem in this system with excess biofilm growth on the membrane surface, resulting in reduced flux of organic substrate across the membrane. The work presented here shows that addition of sodium chloride to the biomedium increases the maintenance energy requirement of the degradative microorganisms and results, in a carbon-limited situation, in a reduction in biofilm growth. Flux of organic substrate was shown to remain high under reduced biofilm growth conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)273-280
Number of pages8
JournalWater Science and Technology
Issue number5-6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1996


  • Biofilm
  • Biomass minimisation
  • Extractive membrane bioreactor
  • Volatile organic compounds
  • Wastewater treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Water Science and Technology


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