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Scale-Up Considerations for a Hollow-Fiber-Membrane Bioreactor Treating Trichloroethylene-Contaminated Water

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Scale-up of a hollow-fiber-membrane (HFM) bioreactor treating trichloroethylene- (TCE-) contaminated water via co-metabolism with the methanotroph Methylosinus trichosporium OB3b PP358 was investigated through cost comparisons, bioreactor experiments, and mathematical modeling. Cost comparisons, based on a hypothetical treatment scenario of 568-L/min (150-gpm) flowrate with an influent TCE concentration of 100 μg/L, resulted in a configuration of treatment trains with two HFM modules in series and an overall annual cost of $0.36/m3 treated. Biological experiments were conducted with short lumen and shell residence times, 0.16 and 0.40 min, respectively, as a result of the cost comparisons. A new variable, specific transformation, was defined for characterizing the co-metabolic transformation in continuous-flow systems, and values as large as 38.5 μg TCE/mg total suspended solids were sustainable for TCE treatment. Using mathematical modeling, HFM bioreactor system design was investigated, resulting in a five-step system design strategy to facilitate sizing of the unit processes.

Keywords: biodegradation; bioreactor; hollow-fiber membrane; methanotrophs; trichloroethylene

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: September 1, 2005

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  • Water Environment Research® (WER®) publishes peer-reviewed research papers, research notes, state-of-the-art and critical reviews on original, fundamental and applied research in all scientific and technical areas related to water quality, pollution control, and management. An annual Literature Review provides a review of published books and articles on water quality topics from the previous year.

    Published as: Sewage Works Journal, 1928 - 1949; Sewage and Industrial Wastes, 1950 - 1959; Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, 1959 - Oct 1989; Research Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, Nov 1989 - 1991; Water Environment Research, 1992 - present.
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