MBR-TRAIN deals with process optimisation and fouling control in membrane bioreactors for water treatement

Within the consortium, two projects are coordinated by Biomath.

1. MBR data acquisition, instrumentation and control
MBR systems are typically equipped with a lot of devices, sensors and controllers. Online data acquisition and process control are essential to design and operate an MBR system. The purpose of this training is to make the trainee acquainted with the theory and practice of data logging and instrument control by means of a PC, data-acquisition devices and the Labview program which can be considered a state-of-the-art software for such purposes. A laboratory-scale MBR is running in BIOMATH and will be available to the trainee to practice the online data acquisition and instrument control system. After the training period (6 months), the trainee will be able to acquire signals (e.g. temperature, pressure, pH, DO etc.) from an MBR system and transform them into useful data (e.g. after filtering, outlier elimination, graphing, alarming, etc). Furthermore, the fellow will be able to control the MBR instruments (e.g. pumps, switches, valves etc.) based on user defined models, to eventually design a complete MBR process control system.

2. Mathematical modelling and process control of MBRs
The objective of this project is to build an integrated MBR model focusing on the interaction between biology and membranes, and apply this model to MBR process optimisation and control. The trainee can learn to work with MBR sub-models that simulate the MBR performance, such as 1) a modified activated sludge model (ASM) including SMP for the description of degradation processes, 2) a population balance model to describe the particle size evolution, 3) a hydrodynamic model to determine the trend of particle deposition on the membrane, and finally, 4) an integrated membrane pore blocking and cake filtration model to simulate the flux or the transmembrane pressure. The integrated MBR model can be applied to lab-scale and full-scale MBRs to optimise the MBR performance and minimise energy consumption. Finally, it can be used in MBR process control. The running lab-scale MBR in BioMATH and flexible access to pilot-scale and full-scale MBRs can give the trainee an excellent working platform.

Project duration: 2006-10-01 - 2009-12-31

Project home page



Ingmar Nopens
Department of Applied Mathematics, Biometrics and Process Control
Coupure Links 653
9000 Gent
Tel: +32 9 2645935
Fax: +32 9 2646220
Email: Ingmar.Nopens@UGent.be

Last update: 01 december 2008, webmaster@biomath.ugent.be

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