Effect of low dissolved oxygen on simultaneous nitrification and denitrification was evaluated in a membrane bioreactor treating black water. A fully aerobic membrane bioreactor was operated at a sludge age of 60 days under three low dissolved oxygen (DO) levels below 0.5 mg/L. It sustained effective simultaneous nitrification/denitrification for the entire observation period. Nitrification was incomplete due to adverse effects of a number of factors such as low DO level, SMPs inhibition, alkalinity limitation, etc. DO impact was more significant on denitrification: Nitrate was fully removed at low DO level but the removal was gradually reduced as DO was increased to 0.5 mg/L Nitrogen removal remained optimal within the DO range of 0.15-0.35 mg/L. Experimental results were calibrated and simulated by model evaluation with the same model coefficients. The model defined improved mass transfer with lower affinity coefficients for oxygen and nitrate as compared to conventional activated sludge. (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.