Advanced Wastewater Treatment by Electro Self-Forming Dynamic Membrane Bioreactors: Pilot-Scale Application

Fabiano Castrogiovanni, Laura Borea, Giuseppe Giannella, Sebastià Puig, Shadi Wajih Hasan, Vincenzo Belgiorno, Vincenzo Naddeo

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Membrane bioreactor (MBR) is an alternative to the traditional-activated sludge processes. It is considered as one of the most significant innovations for wastewater treatment since it is much more reliable and efficient. However, membrane fouling and its consequences on plant maintenance and energy consumption limit the application of this promising technology. Recent studies have attempted to control the membrane fouling by applying electrochemical processes to MBR (eMBR). This obtained solution is not only a promising technology for fouling control but also increases the system purification efficiency, allowing the reuse of the treated water. Other more recent studies have highlighted how the use of low-cost self-forming dynamic membranes (SFDM) can exploit the membrane fouling by increasing the efficiency of the system. These membranes differ from the traditional ones in the high pore size that ranges from 10 to 200 μm. Thanks to these membranes, costs are drastically reduced; however, the large size of the pores limits their application since the effluents obtained in the beginning of the process are not of good quality. In the present study, the performance of an innovative SFDM, integrated into an electro-MBR, was studied. The experiment was conducted on a pilot scale using real wastewater from a full-scale wastewater treatment plant. Both of the pollutants removal efficiency and the fouling formation have been evaluated. This extremely innovative hybrid system is able to achieve high effluent quality, significantly reducing the scale and, at the same time, the high costs of the traditional membranes.

Original languageBritish English
Title of host publicationAdvances in Science, Technology and Innovation
PublisherSpringer Nature
Number of pages3
StatePublished - 2022

Publication series

NameAdvances in Science, Technology and Innovation
ISSN (Print)2522-8714
ISSN (Electronic)2522-8722


  • Current density
  • Electro-membrane bioreactor
  • Fouling precursors
  • Pilot-scale experiment
  • Self-forming dynamic membranes


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