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Membrane Bioreactor Treatment of a Simulated Metalworking Fluid Wastewater Containing Ethylenediaminetetraacetic Acid and Dicyclohexylamine

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Membrane bioreactors (MBRs) have been installed at automotive plants to treat metalworking fluid (MWF) wastewaters, which are known to contain toxic and/or recalcitrant organic compounds. A laboratory study was conducted to evaluate treatment of a simulated wastewater prepared from a semisynthetic MWF, which contains two such compounds, dicyclohexylamine (DCHA) and ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA). Primary findings were as follows:

During stable operating periods, almost all chemical oxygen demand (COD), total Kjeldahl nitrogen (TKN), and EDTA were removed (by >96%). During somewhat unstable periods, COD removal was still extremely robust, but removal of EDTA and TKN were sensitive to prolonged episodes of low dissolved oxygen.

Nitrogen mass balance suggested 30 to 40% TKN removal by assimilation and 60 to 70% by nitrification (including up to 34% TKN removal via subsequent denitrification).

Dicyclohexylamine appeared to be readily biodegraded. Maximum DCHA and EDTA degradation rates between pH 7 and 8 were found.

An Arthrobacter sp. capable of growth on DCHA as the sole source of carbon and energy was isolated.

Keywords: automotive; dicyclohexylamine; ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA); industrial wastewater treatment; membrane bioreactor; metals; metalworking

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2009-04-01

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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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