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A Comparison of the Physical, Chemical, and Biological Properties of Sludges from a Complete-Mix Activated Sludge Reactor and a Submerged Membrane Bioreactor

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The properties of sludges from a pilot-scale submerged membrane bioreactor (SMBR) and two bench-scale complete-mix, activated sludge (CMAS) reactors treating municipal primary effluent were determined. Compared with the CMAS sludges, the SMBR sludge contained a higher amount of soluble microbial products (SMP) and colloidal material attributed to the use of a membrane for solid–liquid separation; a higher amount nocardioform bacteria, resulting from efficient foam trapping; and a lower amount of extracellular polymeric substances (EPS), possibly because there was no selective pressure for the sludge to settle. High aeration rates in both the CMAS and SMBR reactors produced sludges with higher numbers of smaller particles. Normalized capillary suction time values for the SMBR sludge were lower than for the CMAS sludges, possibly because of its lower EPS content.
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Keywords: capillary suction time; extracellular polymeric substances; filamentous microorganisms; nocardioform bacteria; particle size distribution; soluble microbial products; submerged membrane bioreactor

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 March 2007

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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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