Three different combinations of treatment techniques, i.e. electrocoagulation combined with microfiltration (EMR), membrane bioreactor (MBR) and electrocoagulation integrated with membrane bioreactor (hybrid MBR, (HMBR)), were analysed and compared for the treatment of tannery wastewater operated for 7 days under the constant trans-membrane pressure of 5 kPa. HMBR was found to be most suitable in performance as well as fouling reduction, with 94 % of chemical oxygen demand (COD) removal, 100 % chromium removal and 8 % improvement in percentage reduction in permeate flux compared to MBR with only 90 % COD removal and 67 % chromium removal. The effect of mixed liquor suspended solids on fouling was also investigated and was found to be insignificant. EMR was capable of elevating the flux but was not as efficient as HMBR and MBR in COD removal. Fouling reduction by HMBR was further confirmed by SEM-EDX and particle size analysis.
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