Investigation of Membrane Filterability in Membrane Bioreactors for Treating Oil Refinery Wastewater

Document Type: Research Paper


1 Deputy of Technology and International Affairs, Research Institute of Petroleum Industry, (RIPI) Tehran, Iran

2 Polymer Science and Technology Division, Research Institute of Petroleum Industry, (RIPI) Tehran, Iran



The evaluation of critical flux and pollutant removal in a lab-scale submerged membrane bioreactor (MBR) was performed for the wastewater of a domestic oil refinery. The flux step method and its behavior vs. transmembrane pressure (TMP) were studied to determine the critical flux of the membrane and the effect of TiO2 nanoparticles (NP) incorporation into polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) matrix on the membrane filterability. The effectiveness of MBR for treating effluent stream of dissolved air floatation (DAF) unit of the Tehran oil refinery wastewater plant was studied, and the results showed that TiO2 NP improved the efficiency of phenol removal. Ultimately, according to this study, 70 % enhancement in the critical flux of the PVDF/TiO2 membrane was obtained as a result of TiO2 NP tendency to reduce the fouling of PVDF membranes.


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