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Character of Extracellular Polymeric Substances and Soluble Microbial Products and Their Effect on Membrane Hydraulics During Airlift Membrane Bioreactor Applications

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The effect of extracellular polymeric substances and soluble microbial products developed from wastewater and mature landfill leachate biomass was assessed using a pilot-scale membrane bioreactor operating polymeric and ceramic air-lift sidestream multichannel membranes. The plant was operated under identical conditions of sludge retention time, system hydrodynamics ,and parity of food-to-microorganism ratios. Biomass samples were extracted and fractionated (fixed and bound material, carbohydrate and protein extracts) and chemically and physically analyzed with the feedwaters. Both ceramic and polymeric membranes were tested and the critical flux ( J C) determined according to the classical flux-step analysis. Although permeability ( K) of both materials reduced with increasing flux ( J), the ceramic material had a higher resistance to fouling, demonstrating a higher K (by a factor of 1.2 and 3.2 for wastewater and leachate, respectively, at J of 30 L · m −2 · h −1) and lower fouling rate (d P/d t) (by more than an order of magnitude at the same J) than the polymeric membrane. Evidence suggests that deterioration of membrane permeability resulting from leachate biomass arises from the feedwater itself, rather than the products derived from the biomass, and that colloidal and/or soluble total organic carbon is primarily responsible for it.
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Keywords: colloids; critical flux ( J C); extracellular polymeric substances; fouling rate (d P/d t); permeability ( K); soluble microbial products

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 December 2008

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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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