Special Section on Wastewater Re-use
Control of membrane fouling during hyperhaline municipal wastewater treatment using a pilot-scale anoxic/aerobic-membrane bioreactor system
Membrane fouling limits the effects of long-term stable operation of membrane bioreactor (MBR). Control of membrane fouling can extend the membrane life and reduce water treatment cost effectively. A pilot scale anoxic/aerobic-membrane bioreactor (A/O-MBR, 40 L/hr) was used to treat the hyperhaline municipal sewage from a processing zone of Tianjin, China. Impact factors including mixed liquid sludge suspension (MLSS), sludge viscosity (μup), microorganisms, extracellular polymeric substances (EPS), aeration intensity and suction/suspended time on membrane fouling and pollution control were studied. The relationships among various factors associated with membrane fouling were analyzed. Results showed that there was a positive correlation among MLSS, sludge viscosity and trans-membrane pressure (TMP). Considering water treatment efficiency and stable operation of the membrane module, MLSS of 5 g/L was suggested for the process. There was a same trend among EPS, sludge viscosity and TMP. Numbers and species of microorganisms affected membrane fouling. Either too high or too low aeration intensity was not conducive to membrane fouling control. Aeration intensity of 1.0 m3/hr (gas/water ratio of 25:1) is suggested for the process. A long suction time caused a rapid increase in membrane resistance. However, long suspended time cannot prevent the increase of membrane resistance effectively even though a suspended time was necessary for scale off particles from the membrane surface. The suction/suspended time of 12 min/3 min was selected for the process. The interaction of various environmental factors and operation conditions must be considered synthetically.
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