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Use of Chemical Coagulants to Control Fouling Potential for Wastewater Membrane Bioreactor Processes

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Chemical coagulation with ferric chloride, alum, and an organic polymer were used to control the fouling potential of mixed liquors for submerged membrane bioreactor (MBR) processes in treating municipal wastewater. Their filterability was evaluated using a submerged hollow fiber ultrafiltration apparatus operated in constant permeate flux mode. The collected transmembrane pressures over filtration time were used to calculate the membrane fouling rates. The results showed that coagulation pretreatment can reduce fouling rates when MBRs were operated above the critical flux. Even though coagulation with the organic polymer formed larger mixed liquor suspended solids particles and had shorter time-to-filtration than those with ferric chloride and alum, the filterability for membrane filtration were similar, indicating that the membrane fouling in MBR systems was mainly controlled by the concentration of smaller colloidal particles.
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Keywords: coagulation; colloids; filterability; fouling; membrane bioreactor; wastewater treatment

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2007-09-01

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  • Water Environment Research (WER) is published monthly, including an annual Literature Review. A subscription to WER includes access to the latest content back to 1992, as well as access to fast track articles. An individual subscription is valid for 12 months from month of purchase.

    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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