Aerobic granular sludge membrane bioreactor for nutrient removal from wastewater
Research Project , 2014 – 2017

Many wastewater treatment plants have to be upgraded to increase capacity and to meet more stringent effluent standards. As space is often limited, compact and efficient treatment systems are needed. Membrane bioreactor (MBR) is a compact process which combines activated sludge with membrane filtration. This gives excellent effluent quality due to efficient sludge retention. A major obstacle is fouling of the membranes due to cake formation and pore blocking. Aerobic granular sludge membrane bioreactor (AGMBR) is a new technique where aerobic granular sludge is combined with membrane filtration. Aerobic granules are large, dense and round aggregates of cells formed under certain environmental conditions with excellent settling properties, and high metabolic activity which makes them suitable for MBR systems. The overall aim of this project is to achieve compact, efficient and less energy consuming wastewater treatment systems using a combination of aerobic granular sludge and membrane filtration. Granule formation in such systems will be assessed as well as the mechanism of membrane fouling to understand the fundamental mechanism behind it and find suitable operational regimes for an efficient process. The research project proposed here could potentially result in an MBR process with significantly less fouling due to the combination of granular sludge and membranes.


Britt-Marie Wilen (contact)

Full Professor at Chalmers, Architecture and Civil Engineering, Water Environment Technology

Raquel Liebana

Visiting Researcher at Chalmers, Architecture and Civil Engineering, Water Environment Technology



Project ID: 245-2013-627
Funding Chalmers participation during 2014–2017

Related Areas of Advance and Infrastructure

Sustainable development

Driving Forces


More information

Latest update