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Aerobic Membrane Bioreactor for Ammonium-Rich Wastewater Treatment

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The major research objective involving ammonia-rich synthetic wastewater (centrate) treatment using a membrane bioreactor (MBR) was to determine the suitable hydraulic retention time (HRT), solids retention time (SRT), and ammonium loading rate for complete nitrification of centrate. The experiments were performed using a laboratory-scale 2-L MBR, which was supplied with synthetic wastewater (1000 mg nitrogen/L and 350 mg chemical oxygen demand [COD]/L). The entire study period was divided into five different experimental runs based on various HRTs and SRTs. Batch nitrification rate tests and microbial studies using fluorescent in situ hybridization were also conducted. The MBR was able to achieve more than 95% ammonium removal efficiency and 90% carbonaceous soluble COD removal efficiency. The experimental results showed that complete nitrification of centrate during treatment can be achieved at a 1-day HRT and 50-day SRT. The suitable ammonium loading rate was found to be 0.3 mg nitrogen/mg volatile suspended solids/d.

Keywords: alkalinity; centrate; membrane bioreactor; nitrification

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: October 1, 2007

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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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