Modelling energy consumption in membrane bioreactors for waste water treatment in North Africa

George Skouteris, Tom Arnot, Mouna Jraou, Firas Feki, Sami Sayadi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (SciVal)
286 Downloads (Pure)


Two pilot-scale membrane bioreactors were operated alongside a full-sized activated sludge plant in Tunisia, in order to compare specific energy demand and treated water quality. Energy consumption rates were measured for the complete membrane bioreactor systems and for their different components. Specific energy demand was measured for the systems and compared with the activated sludge plant, which operated around 3 kWh m-3 . A model was developed for each membrane bioreactor based on both dynamic and steady-state mass balances, the microbial kinetics and stoichiometry, and the energy balance. Energy consumption was evaluated as a function of mixed-liquor suspended solids concentration, net permeate fluxes, and the resultant treated water quality. This work demonstrates the potential for using membrane bioreactors in decentralised domestic water treatment in North Africa, at energy consumption levels similar or lower than conventional activated sludge systems, with the added benefit of producing treated water suitable for unrestricted crop irrigation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)232-244
Number of pages13
JournalWater Environment Research
Issue number3
Early online date1 Mar 2014
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2014
EventWaterBiotech International Conference - Marrakech, Morocco
Duration: 8 Jan 201410 Jan 2014


  • membrane bioreactor, energy consumption, specific 1 energy demand, decentralised domestic waste water treatment


Dive into the research topics of 'Modelling energy consumption in membrane bioreactors for waste water treatment in North Africa'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this