Alternative Membrane Bioreactors: Anaerobic and Attached-Growth

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Water sustainability is essential for meeting human needs for drinking water and sanitation in both developing and developed countries. Reuse, decentralization, and low energy consumption are key objectives to achieve sustainability in wastewater treatment. Consideration of these objectives has led to the development of new and tailored technologies in order to balance societal needs with the protection of natural systems. Membrane bioreactors (MBRs) are one such technology. In this investigation, an anaerobic MBR (AnMBR) and an attached-growth aerobic MBR (AtMBR) performance are compared to aerobic MBR (AMBR). Long term chemical oxygen demand (COD) and total organic carbon (TOC) monitoring showed greater than 80% removal in the three systems. The AnMBR system required three months of acclimation prior to steady operation, compared to one month for the aerobic systems. The AnMBR system exhibited a constant mixed liquor suspended solids (MLSS) concentration at infinite solids retention time (SRT), while the aerobic MBR systems produced approximately 0.25 g of biomass per gram of COD removed. Critical flux experiments were performed to evaluate fouling potential of the MBR systems. Results showed similar critical flux values between the AMBR and the AnMBR systems, while the AtMBR system showed relatively higher critical flux value.

Keywords: Anaerobic treatment; attached-growth; biological treatment; membrane bioreactor; membrane fouling

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2011

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  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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