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Anaerobic Membrane Bioreactor Treatment of Synthetic Municipal Wastewater at Ambient Temperature

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The performance of a crossflow anaerobic membrane bioreactor (AnMBR) to treat synthetic municipal wastewater was investigated at different hydraulic retention times (HRTs). The AnMBR was operated at chemical oxygen demand (COD) loading rates of 1 to 2 kg COD/m3·d for 280 days. The permeate COD concentration was always lower than 40 mg/L, and no noticeable volatile fatty acids were detected, regardless of HRT variations, while soluble COD (SCOD) was accumulated in the reactor with decreases in HRT. The particle size reduction was relatively lower than other studies reported, even after a long operation time resulting from the low operation crossflow velocity. Approximately 30% of COD was not available for methane recovery, irrespective of applied HRTs, as a result of the COD loss by dissolved methane, sulfate reduction, and untreated COD in the permeate. The fraction of methane recovered from the synthetic municipal wastewater decreased from 48 to 35%, with the decrease of HRT from 12 to 6 hours, as a result of the increase of mixed-liquor SCOD, which was rejected and accumulated in the AnMBR. Therefore, AnMBR operation with relatively long HRTs and SRTs may be favorable, to enhance methane recovery and reduce or eliminate sludge production.

Keywords: ambient temperature; anaerobic membrane bioreactor; hydraulic retention time; methane production; synthetic municipal wastewater

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: September 1, 2009

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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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