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This study focused on the analysis of membrane fouling in anaerobic membrane bioreactor (AMBR) for swine manure treatment. A laboratory-scale AMBR was operated for 135 days with stable performance at a trans membrane pressure of 30-70 kPa and a flux of 5 l/(m2┬Ěh). At the end of this period, the membrane in the AMBR system was analyzed. Irreversible fouling dominated the total membrane resistance. The fouling layer on the surface of the membrane was estimated to be 0.02 mm thick. Some inorganic precipitates were observed in scanning electron microscope images. It is suggested that the observed flux decline in the long-term operation was caused by the accumulation of a fouling layer and/or adsorption of soluble or colloidal organic matter in the pores of the membrane. Further research needs to be done to differentiate between the observed mechanisms of fouling in AMBRs.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2004-01-01

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