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The objective of the research was to investigate the effects of inducing loading and bacterial stress conditions on the fouling of membranes. Two laboratory-scale flat sheet membrane bioreactors were operated in parallel to treat a synthetic sugar-based industrial wastewater. One reactor
served as the control, while the other served as the experimental reactor. Three stress conditions were employed during the study, including different organic loading rates, high salt concentration, and temperature spikes. Under the imposed stress conditions, the experimental reactor had
a smaller particle size, higher average effluent chemical oxygen demand (COD) concentration, and lower sludge filterability. The experimental reactor fouled at a faster rate than the control reactor. The results showed that imposed stress conditions affect the bacteria in the MBR, and have
an impact on sludge characteristics such as filterability, polysaccharide production, floc size, effluent COD concentration, effluent color, and, most importantly, the rate of membrane fouling.
Water Practice™ publishes peer-reviewed articles and reports focusing on applied water studies. Topics include monitoring, facility operations and maintenance, management, policy, and other issues of interest and concern to water practitioners. The Journal publishes on a monthly to bi-monthly basis and is available online only.