Study of aerobic granular sludge stability in a continuous-flow membrane bioreactor

Bioresour Technol. 2016 Jan:200:1055-9. doi: 10.1016/j.biortech.2015.10.065. Epub 2015 Oct 23.


A granular continuous-flow membrane bioreactor with a novel hydrodynamic configuration was developed to evaluate the stability of aerobic granular sludge (AGS). Under continuous-flow operation (Period I), AGS rapidly lost their structural integrity resulting in loose and fluffy microbial aggregates in which filamentous bacteria were dominant. The intermittent feeding (Period II) allowed obtaining the succession of feast and famine conditions that favored the increase in AGS stability. Although no further breakage occurred, the formation of new granules was very limited, owing to the absence of the hydraulic selection pressure. These results noted the necessity to ensure, on the one hand the succession of feast/famine conditions, and on the other, the hydraulic selection pressure that allows flocculent sludge washout. This preliminary study shows that the proposed configuration could meet the first aspect; in contrast, biomass selection needs to be improved.

Keywords: Aerobic granular sludge (AGS); Continuous-flow reactor; Feast/famine conditions; Hydraulic selection pressure; Membrane.

MeSH terms

  • Aerobiosis
  • Bacteria / metabolism
  • Biomass
  • Bioreactors / microbiology*
  • Equipment Design
  • Flocculation
  • Microbial Consortia / physiology
  • Pressure
  • Sewage / microbiology*
  • Waste Disposal, Fluid / instrumentation*
  • Waste Disposal, Fluid / methods


  • Sewage