A comparative examination of MBR and SBR performance for the treatment of high-strength landfill leachate

M. El-Fadel, J. Hashisho

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    21 Scopus citations


    The management of landfill leachate is challenging, with relatively limited work targeting high-strength leachate. In this study, the performance of the membrane bioreactor (MBR) and sequencing batch reactor (SBR) technologies are compared in treating high-strength landfill leachate. The MBR exhibited a superior performance with removal efficiencies exceeding 95% for BOD5, TN, and NH3 and an improvement on SBR efficiencies ranging between 21 and 34%. The coupled experimental results contribute in filling a gap toward improving the management of high-strength landfill leachate and providing comparative guidelines or selection criteria and limitations for MBR and SBR applications. While the sequencing batch reactor (SBR) technology offers some flexibility in terms of cycle time and sequence, its performance is constrained when considering landfill leachate associated with significant variations in quality and quantity. Combining membrane separation and biodegradation processes or the membrane bioreactor (MBR) technology improved removal efficiencies significantly. In the context of leachate management using the MBR technology, more efforts have targeted low-strength leachate with limited attempts at moderate to high strength leachate. In this study, the SBR and MBR technologies were tested under different operating conditions to compare and evaluate their feasibility for the management of high-strength leachate from a full-scale operating landfill. Such a comparison has not been reported for high-strength leachate. © 2014

    Original languageBritish English
    Pages (from-to)1073-1084
    Number of pages12
    JournalJournal of the Air and Waste Management Association
    Issue number9
    StatePublished - 2014


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