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Design and Optimisation of Membrane Bioreactors for Wastewater Treatment and Recycle

Design and Optimisation of Membrane Bioreactors for Wastewater Treatment and Recycle

High retention Forward Osmosis Membrane Bioreactors (FOMBRs) are under development to treat municipal and industrial wastewater and recover valuable resources such as water and energy. We are also  investigating the use of novel draw solutions such as polyelectrolytes and high permeability membranes,  and the interaction between fouling mitigation and system design and operation. The FOMBR system is being integrated with membrane distillation, including automated control, to facilitate water recovery and reuse during long-term operation.

High operational cost can be a major issue in the biological treatment of wastewater using membrane bioreactors (MBRs). Based on a detailed study of fouling mechanisms and system hydrodynamics, the design and operation of MBRs can be optimized, leading to significant saving in the costs of energy and chemical cleaning. Novel experimental methods are being developed to study membrane fouling hand in hand with new mathematical models.

Prof. Hankins, Prof. Cui



Fozia Parveen and Nick Hankins: “Integration of Forward Osmosis Membrane Bioreactor (FO-MBR) and Membrane Distillation (MD) Units for Water Reclamation and Regeneration of Draw Solutions”, Journal of Water Process Engineering, 2021, 41, 102045. doi:10.1016/j.jwpe.2021.102045.

Muhammad Saqib Nawaz, Fozia Parveen,  Sher Jamal Khan and Nicholas P Hankins: “Impact of Osmotic Backwashing, Particle Size Distribution and Feed-Side Cross-flow  Velocity on Flux in the Forward Osmosis Membrane Bioreactor (FO-MBR)”, Journal of Water Process Engineering, 2019, 31, 100861.

Fozia Parveen and Nick Hankins: “Comparative Performance of Nanofiltration and Forward Osmosis Membranes in a Lab-Scale Forward Osmosis Membrane Bioreactor”, Journal of Water Process Engineering, 2019, 28, 1-9.

Linnet Zohrabian, Nicholas P. Hankins, Robert W. Field: “Hybrid Forward Osmosis-Membrane Distillation System:  Demonstration of Technical Feasibility”, Journal of Water Process Engineering, 2019, 101042.

Sher Jamal Khan, Nicholas P. Hankins and Li-Cheng Shen: “Submerged and Attached Growth Membrane Bioreactors and Forward Osmosis Membrane Bioreactors for Wastewater Treatment”, in “Emerging Membrane Technology for Sustainable Water Treatment”, Elsevier, Amsterdam, 2016, pp.277-296.

Sher Jamal Khan, Aman Ahmed, Muhammad Saqib Nawaz, and Nicholas Hankins: “Membrane Fouling and Performance Evaluation of Conventional MBR, Moving Biofilm MBR and Oxic/Anoxic MBR”, Water Science and Technology. 2014, 69(7), 1403-1409.

Sher Jamal Khan, Fozia Parveen, Aman Ahmad, Imran Hashmi, Nick Hankins: “Performance Evaluation and Bacterial Characterization of Membrane Bioreactors”, Bioresource Technology. 2013, 141, 2–7.