Minimizing membrane bioreactor environmental footprint by multiple objective optimization

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This paper presents a modelling study aimed at minimizing the environmental foot print of a membrane bioreactor (MBR) for wastewater treatment. Specifically, an integrated model for MBR was employed in view of the management optimization of an MBR biological nutrient removal (BNR) pilot plant in terms of operational costs and direct greenhouse gases emissions. The influence of the operational parameters (OPs) on performance indicators (PIs) was investigated by adopting the Extended-FAST sensitivity analysis method. Further, a multi-objective analysis was performed by applying the Technique for Order of Preference by Similarity to Ideal Solution (TOPSIS). The results show-up that the sludge retention time is the OP mostly affecting all the investigated PIs. By applying the set of optimal OPs, there was a reduction of 48% and 10% of the operational costs and direct emissions, respectively.


  • Giorgio Mannina
  • Bing Jie Ni
  • Taise Ferreira Rebouças
  • Alida Cosenza
  • Gustaf Olsson
External organisations
  • University of Palermo
  • Tianjin Chengjian University
  • University of Technology Sydney
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Transport Systems and Logistics


  • Greenhouse gases, Mathematical modelling optimization, Membrane fouling, Multi-objective analysis, Wastewater treatment plant
Original languageEnglish
Article number122824
JournalBioresource Technology
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Apr
Publication categoryResearch